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It is with great pleasure that WalterFedy announces the company has achieved Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer (SME) status for the fourth consecutive year. Administered by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the annual awards program recognizes employers across Canada for their exceptional workplace practices and policies, including workplace, atmosphere, social opportunities, benefits, vacation, and training, among other criteria. 

 

“Early in the pandemic, smaller employers were able to respond to employees’ needs quickly and with agility,” says Anthony Meehan, Publisher at Mediacorp. “Once again, small and medium employers are responding with agility by adopting many of the benefits previously seen only at larger, more established organizations.” 

 

In Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s official release, WalterFedy was commended for adapting to better support employees in the pandemic: 

 

“Along with moving all employees to work-from-home arrangements early in the pandemic, Kitchener, Ont.-based WalterFedy let employees take home needed tech and furniture along with introducing a special program to provide interest-free loans (up to $1,000) for home office improvements.”   

 

“We’ve learned we can work differently and want to ensure our employees have the resources and tools to do so,” said Victoria Campbell, Director, Human Resources. “Flexibility and communication continue to be essential elements in our strategy as we navigate through the future of our workplace.” 

 

WalterFedy was also recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc in January 2022 as a Waterloo Region Top Employer. 

 

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Read the official MediaCorp Release. 

Learn more about WalterFedy’s 2022 award recognition here. 

We are always on the lookout for great candidates. If you are interested in joining our team, you can find a full list of open positions here. 

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WalterFedy was among 25 local businesses recognized as one of Waterloo Area’s Top Employers today. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the firm has made the list, carefully curated by the team at Mediacorp Canada Inc, and the fifth win since 2016.

 

The Waterloo Area’s Top Employers competition is part of the larger Canada’s Top 100 Employers contest, now in its 15th year. Employers are judged on eight criteria – physical workplace, atmosphere and social culture, benefits, vacation/time away policies, employee communications, performance management, professional development opportunities, and community involvement.

 

The staff editors at Mediacorp Canada Inc. cited WalterFedy’s pandemic response and vacation policy in their reasoning for selection. The full employer profile is available here.

 

"Hearing from our employees through regular pulse surveys and open forums helped us understand their changing needs as we moved through different stages of the pandemic," said Victoria Campbell, Director of Human Resources. "We continue to adjust our approaches based on the challenges our employees face. Our hope is to maintain this invaluable open dialogue so we can continue to pivot to the needs of our business and our people."

 

“The past few years have been challenging for businesses across Waterloo Region,” said Garth Cressman, CEO. “That we were able to maintain our culture amid a pandemic without compromising on the programs and supports we could offer really speaks to our people. Despite the adversity and uncertainty presented by the pandemic, they continued to drive us forward and challenge us to rethink the workplace.”

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WalterFedy is pleased to announce we have achieved Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer (SME) status for the third consecutive year. Administered by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the annual awards program recognizes employers across Canada for their exceptional workplace practices and policies. This includes consideration of physical workplace; work atmosphere & social; health, financial & family benefits; vacation & time off; employee communications; performance management; training & skills development; and community Involvement.

 

“These companies have proven to be extremely agile,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “Not only were they able to transition employees to working from home right out of the gate, but many already had policies in place that allowed for flexible work. It was simply a matter of extending existing benefits, such as home office allowances and internet subsidies, to make the full transition.”

 

This year, WalterFedy’s RSP contribution matching program, profit-sharing model, and personal development opportunities were among the top reasons behind being selected for this prestigious award.

 

“It is an honour to be recognized as a Canada’s Top SME for another year, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” said Victoria Campbell, Human Resources Director for WalterFedy. “Our leadership and employees continually make a positive impact on our work, clients, and community and this award is a great way to celebrate the efforts of our incredible team here at WalterFedy!”

 

“In professional services, our people are our most valuable asset,” said Garth Cressman, CEO, WalterFedy. “Among other things, this award recognizes our firm for the programs that we put in place to support and develop our teams.  This award reinforces that we are doing the right things to build our business and attract and retain talent."

 

WalterFedy was also recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc at the end of 2020 as a Waterloo Region Top Employer for 2021.

 

View our 2021 Waterloo Region Top Employer and Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer award profiles.

 

View our active career opportunities.

 

Read Mediacorp Canada’s official release.

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On the north end of the University of Waterloo’s main campus, a four-storey tall Warrior emblazoned on a golden background looks out across the football stadium. A symbol of university spirit and pride, the emblem is a bold focal point on the newly erected Columbia Icefield Field House. We are pleased to announce this project has received an Outstanding Project Award from LEARNING BY DESIGN magazine. This publication recognizes educational facility design projects from K-12 and post-secondary institutions that excel in the areas of innovation, sustainability, interior design, next-generation learning, planning and functional design, and community needs.


Designed by our architecture and engineering team at WalterFedy, the 65,000 SF facility offers an expansive and divisible turf field and ancillary spaces developed to increase the capacity for drop-in recreation, intramurals, and varsity training.

The Field House is constructed of durable pre-cast concrete, giving the appearance of strength, stability, and permanence. The façade is decorated by texturized concrete to break down the scale, add visual interest, and support a more contemporary look. Large windows jet across the top of the building, allowing natural light to flood the playing field inside. The south side of the building incorporates special light-diffusing glass that scatters rays and casts an even glow across the field below.


The soaring ceilings were deliberately designed to allow varsity athletes to practice indoors with relatively few obstructions. The height also allows for the integration of a second-level running track, viewing gallery, and change room facilities, as mapped out in the Recreation Master Plan our team completed for the University in 2017.

Beyond its functional purpose, the Field House represents the University’s ongoing commitment to creating a memorable student experience and prioritizing physical and mental wellbeing.

 

View the LEARNING BY DESIGN Spring 2021 publication here.

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February 25, 2021 – WalterFedy is pleased to announce that local Kitchener office development, One Young, has received an Ontario Wood Design Award for Mid-Rise Development. The award was presented by The Canadian Wood Council’s Ontario Wood WORKS! in partnership with the Ontario Forest Industries Association on February 24 in Toronto.

 

 “The winning projects reflect the innovation of an evolving wood culture that is gaining momentum in Ontario,” explained Marianne Berube, Executive Director for the Ontario Wood WORKS! Program.

 

“The design and construction teams from the winning projects are revolutionizing the way we think about wood in construction,” said Ian Dunn, Interim President & CEO of OFIA. “Growing pressure for the built environment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has resulted in more sustainably conscious building material choices that align with our members’ commitment for sustainable development – meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations.” 

 

The project was a collaboration between WalterFedy architects and engineers, Timmerman Timberworks, Dfy Studio, and Jackman Construction Ltd., among others. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a success. 

 

Read the full news release from Ontario Wood WORKS!

Learn more about One Young.

 

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Image of front lobby looking down at a staircase and offices    

ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider for many of the world’s most successful companies. Since the Waterloo Region is known as the “Silicon Valley of Canada”, ATS is following suit and continuing to promote innovation within our community.

 

We had the privilege of providing architectural services, structural, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, with support from GSP Group who provided landscaping and site plan application for ATS’s new Cambridge plant and corporate office space. ATS required additional manufacturing space for their life sciences department, a research and development (R & D) innovation lab, a new corporate office space, collaborative spaces (such as kitchenettes), and a cafeteria for up to 400 people. The total area of the project was 120,000 SF. 

 

“ATS has a strong focus and knowledge within automation project management and quality control,” says Will Pentesco, Project Manager. “They showed great interest in the finer details of this project. This gave our team many opportunities to have in-depth design meetings and collaborate using renderings from our 3D modeling programs.”

 

ATS needed an innovation lab that had a functional layout. Underneath this minimalistic design, though, there were highly intricate designs requiring a lot of mechanical, electrical, and structural coordination. Our team’s goal was to keep this complicated technical layout as simple looking as possible.

 

This functional style was carried over into the corporate office space as well. ATS wanted to ensure they had a modern and tech-savvy space for their offices, which included a variety of touchdown and collaborative spaces throughout. During the design development, ATS decided that two floors wouldn’t fulfill the office staff needs, and decided to add a third floor. Our design team showcased the 3D design models via renderings and by utilizing Virtual Reality (VR), which allowed us to showcase and provide an immersive look into the complex details of the whole project. VR also allowed us to reveal the building designs to staff focus groups so they could experience what their new workspaces would feel like.

 

“ATS enjoyed the close relationship with our design team while using VR,” says Will. “It allowed them to fine-tune finish selections for the staff amenity spaces, such as the touchdown kitchenettes on each floor, and the main cafeteria.  We did a series of iterative floor plans, so we could find the right balance for the total number of seats that could fit into the floor plan. It also provided architectural opportunities to showcase their innovative product designs.”

 

A key architectural feature was a grand swooping “A” framing the main entrance. This accent on the façade is reminiscent of the typography used in their corporate logo. It scales the three-stories, peaking at the rooftop. Inside the main lobby, the “A” creates a grand three-story atrium showcasing a prominent staircase, views into the research and development (R&D) innovation lab, as well as a view right into the main cafeteria.

This innovative building, completed in the Fall of 2020, can be seen right off the 401 while driving through Cambridge.

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There is a lot more to creek design than meets the eye. When our Water Resources team was tasked with taking a Cambridge stormwater pond offline to make way for a more diverse creek ecosystem, we knew there would be a lot of challenges. Add in the removal of a 400m stretch of road and you’ve got the makings of a really complex water resources project.

 

The on-line pond had been used for decades to capture runoff from the adjacent agricultural land but had also been recommended for removal for over 20 years. When the Hunt Club Valley Estates subdivision broke ground on the old farmland around the pond, our team worked with GSP Group to devise a plan to take the pond offline and create a more cohesive environment for the wildlife in the area and to restore the coldwater characteristics of the creek which had been negatively impacted by the existing pond. We worked closely with the Grand River Conservation Authority to ensure our plan allocated enough land for enhancements, restoration, and floodplain.

 

Removing the pond meant this existing fish habitat was lost so our Water Resources team restored a wetland area in another portion of the site to ensure an equivalent habitat was reintroduced. A 400m stretch of Briardean Road bisected the wetland and, to restore the wetland into a single contiguous feature, the portion of Briardean Road through the wetland was removed. “Proposing the removal of a section of road isn’t something we regularly do, but in this case, it was what was best for the wetland,” says Brian Verspagen, leader of our Water Resources team. “Excavating out the road made it possible for us to turn the whole area back into a unified wetland habitat and reconnect Middle Creek so it could stay connected with the Speed River.”

 

With the road out of the way and the two sides of the wetland reconnected, the next major component of the project was the restoration of Middle Creek through the former farm pond. “We had to design a path for the creek to get from one end to the other without the pond in the middle, while also navigating a 1.5-metre change in elevation,” says Brian. “Instead of doing a 1.5-metre drop in one spot with a waterfall, which would make it impossible for fish to migrate up the creek, our team introduced a series of meanders [bends] with pools and riffles changing the grade of the creek just 6 inches at a time.” By studying the types of fish that would commonly live in this creek, the team knew the fish would have a spurt speed that could handle a 6-inch incline over a 2-metre distance if they had adequate rest time in a pool afterward.

The pool and riffle sequence also had an additional design advantage. “Middle Creek is a cold-water creek, which is quite rare for the area, so keeping the temperature of the creek down was important,” says Brian. “Running in and out of the shallow pond had been warming up the creek water, making it difficult for aquatic life to thrive. Each riffle section oxygenates the water, causing evaporation. The energy the water uses to change state from a fluid to a vapour cools it.” This means even if the water warms up in the pool sections, it can cool up to half a degree when it passes over a riffle, rebalancing the water temperature.

 

Within the pools, the team introduced areas that would enable the fish to breed and safely create nests for their eggs and fry. These spaces included fallen trees and root wads that would protect the fish from predators like raccoons, while also shading them from the sun. Overflow ponds were also introduced, creating the perfect habitat for the many frogs that live in the area.

 

This project has revitalized an underused ecosystem and breathed new aquatic life into the area for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy.

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New Partners: Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya, and Russ Parnell

 

KITCHENER, Thursday, November 12, 2020 – The WalterFedy Board of Directors is pleased to announce three new shareholders are joining our ownership team. Congratulations to Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya and Russ Parnell who have all proven themselves as leaders within the firm and will be strong representatives of WalterFedy moving forward.

 

“We are proud to be adding these three talented professionals to our shareholders' table,” says Jamie Van Dyk, Chair of the WalterFedy Board of Directors. “Each one brings different skills and experiences to the group and their voices will be valuable additions to our ownership team.” 

 

All three represent different departments and showcase the breadth of talent within our organization. 


Patrick Darby, P.Eng., CEM, CMVP, LEED AP, has been a champion for sustainability in engineering at WalterFedy since joining the team in 2008. Patrick meshes his mechanical engineering background with environmental advocacy to develop future-conscious solutions for his clients. As manager of our Energy and Carbon Solutions department, he challenges his team to explore new approaches to carbon reduction and energy conservation, and actively encourages clients to make savvy, green choices for their buildings. He is also the chair of Smart Energy Oxford that has the mandate to support the county-wide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

 

Matt Ninomiya, MBA, P.Eng., leads the Land Development practice with our Civil Engineering group. Matt joined the WalterFedy team in late 2018 and has made big strides for our business since coming on board. He brings a strong energy and client focus to every project he works on. Whether it be finer details on a small site or a big picture vision of a subdivision, Matt is passionate about designing and building the communities we all call home. He is also actively involved in the home building industry and serves as a Director on both the Waterloo Region Home Builders Association Board and the Brantford Home Builders Association Board.  


For Russ Parnell, P.Eng., M.ASc., structural engineering isn’t just his job – it’s his passion. This seasoned engineer joined WalterFedy in 2014 and believes building collaborative relationships is just as important as creating structures that will stand the test of time. As a creative problem solver, Russ is known for his ability to deliver large, complex, and multi-phased projects on accelerated timelines. Empowering those around him to grow and excel in their positions is something Russ takes great pride in. Outside of work, he is a dedicated member of the Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region Board of Directors. 


Congratulations Patrick, Matt and Russ. The WalterFedy community is happy to have you joining our leadership team to guide us toward a successful future for our organization. 

 

ABOUT WALTERFEDY

WalterFedy is a dynamic, integrated firm delivering creative design solutions and practical built environments. Our expertise includes architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering; energy and carbon solutions; asset and facilities management; project management; and construction management through our sister company, AEC Developments.

 

Our staff of nearly 200 people serve from two locations in Kitchener and Hamilton. Together, we support clients across Canada with their commercial, healthcare, education, municipal, industrial, and residential projects.

 

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Website – walterfedy.com
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/walterfedy/
Facebook – facebook.com/walterfedy
Instagram – Instagram.com/walterfedy 

 

WalterFedy Media Contact
Katie McQuaid
519-576-2150 x229
kmcquaid@walterfedy.com

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In a burgeoning neighbourhood in Kitchener’s south-end sits Janet Metcalfe Public School, the area's newest public education facility designed to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse community it serves. With programming for children from junior kindergarten to Grade 8, the two-storey facility includes 20 classrooms, two special education rooms, five kindergarten rooms, an administration centre, library, technology classroom with workshop, double gymnasium, and washrooms. Home to a specialty program for medically fragile students, the design includes program space that accommodates the needs of eight children with medical needs, their caregivers, and teachers, ensuring equal access to education for all. The site also hosts a 6,800 SF daycare facility.

 

The building is located across from a preserved remnant of Carolinian forest. This landscape has inspired the materials used in the building. Clay brick, stone, and glass are the main material, with the underside of soffits appearing as wood. Soaring windows throughout the building flood communal areas and classrooms with natural light, and delight staff and students with views of the neighbouring conservation area. Warm wood finishes and natural colours inside, with bright colours utilized sparingly for wayfinding, allow students to move through the calm space with purpose. The playful green in the Library emulates the peaceful pastoral views of Waterloo Region, while exposed ceilings, modern fixtures, and gleaming glass align with the modern feel of the booming tech industry in the area.

When construction was about to commence, the requirements for the medically fragile area became known. The program was scheduled to move into another new school but the space was too small to meet program needs. The consultation process to develop the design of this space involved analysis of the existing inadequate classroom facility. Meetings and discussions with teachers and leadership lead to the conversion of two proposed classrooms into a specialized facility for medically fragile students.

 

The medically fragile program area includes a large, fully accessible washroom with a change table, and a large separate changing area with storage for supplies and clothing. An additional medical nursing area has space for charting, as well as refrigerated storage for medication and a sink for medical preparation. The design also includes a laundry and kitchen area within the classroom to care for the needs of students. The classroom itself has ample space to accommodate mobility needs and support equipment. A padded calming area allows students to retreat to a comfortable space and still be part of the lesson. This area includes a variety of sensory simulation equipment. To enhance functionality, a separate room was incorporated to store mobility equipment when not in use. This space plays in important role in legitimizing the educational needs of a historically underserved student demographic.

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Corbec Inc, a respected steel galvanizing company native to Quebec, has chosen Hamilton’s Red Hill Business Park as the site of their fourth Canadian plant. Valued at over $40 million, the 100,000 square foot industrial space will house a fully automated galvanizing system, 12 ft. deep equipment pits, as well as an office, cafeteria, and washroom facilities for the 100 people the plant expects to employ. In collaboration with construction manager Cooper Construction, WalterFedy is providing architecture; structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering services for the project.

 

“This is a project that highlights our industrial abilities, so it’s a fun project from that point of view,” said Structural Designer Kyle Pellerin. But even textbook buildings come with unique challenges. The City of Hamilton’s Planning and Development departments have stringent rules around aesthetics to keep the City looking beautiful. “Industrial buildings like these don’t usually need a modern look, but our design team is finding ways to highlight the facility that will keep the building simple, while still looking really sharp,” explained Kyle.

 

While subtle in appearance, the processes and equipment inside the building are remarkably complex. “Corbec is a leader in this industry,” said Project Manager Aaron Engel. “They use a system that is hands free through the dip and galvanizing process, which takes workers out of the hazardous areas of the plant. It’s very innovative.” Unlike most designs, the team is building an envelope to support a pre-determined layout and process. Since the equipment is entirely automated, designers must meet a multitude of specific criteria to ensure functionality. “Structurally this is a very sensitive project,” said Aaron. “There are extreme tolerance requirements for the automated conveyance system – less than an inch. Any variances can throw off the system.” 

 

Equipped with 3D models from suppliers demonstrating where equipment will sit, the team is meticulously planning structural elements, from the facility’s shell to catwalks, platforms, and access points. “It’s not always easy to wrap your head around 2D drawings for buildings like these,” said Kyle. “A 3D model makes it easier to spot potential challenges.” Using 3D drafting and collaboration software, the team can not only work through design interferences, but also walk through the model virtually with the Owner to ensure the intent is being met.

 

“This is a great development for Southern Ontario. Hot dip galvanizing is always a pinch point for steel manufacturers. To have more of these galvanizing vendors in Southwestern Ontario is a great benefit to the steel industry and will be helpful in reducing time on delivery,” said Aaron.

 

Construction is expected to kick off in early 2020.

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