Celebrating 50 Years and Looking Ahead
In 1964 Mr. James Dick went into business for himself, forming James Dick Construction Limited, and purchasing a D-6 bulldozer and a single axle dump truck.
Understanding that “he who controls the raw source, controls the industry”, Mr. Dick secured two properties, the Adjala pit and the 20th side road pit in Albion township to supply his road building business as well as other contractors who needed sand and gravel. The company functioned at this moderate level through the rest of the 60’s.
In 1970 James Dick began building the James Dick Group, by forming Albion Ready Mix, and entering into the ready-mix concrete business. This allowed our own ready-mix company to become our own biggest sand and stone customer.
The first plant was purchased and erected on Highway 50 just north of Bolton. A year later, in 1971, Plant # 2 strategically located at the corner of highways 50 and 89 just outside of Alliston, was built. In 1973 Plant # 3 Orangeville was opened.
In the mid 70’s the James Dick Group ventured into the east end of the GTA market by acquiring the Mara Limestone Quarry which was and remains the closest quarry on the Carden Plain to the GTA Market. Also, the Myrtle Pit, just north of Whitby was leased and a stone depot was set up at this location. The company became aggressive, launching ventures in the asphalt and wall forming industries. Only marginally successful, these offshoots became a valuable lesson as cash flows were difficult to maintain as the labor force ballooned to over 400. After a short time, the Group divested itself of these labor intensive businesses to concentrate on the core of business of aggregates and concrete.
IN THE 80s
The recession of the early eighties was hardly noticed as the Group surged forward to fill the gap left from the depleted pits in the Brampton area. Rapid growth in the north and west of the GTA let the James Dick Group in 1983 to acquire Caledon Sand & Gravel Inc. and its major assets, the 825-acre Caledon Pit is one of the largest pits in the country. This acquisition turned out to be nothing short of spectacular as the economy escalated towards the building boom of the late eighties.
The company purchased the Manvers Pit in the east end as a future source of sand & gravel. Also purchased was the 800-acre Erin Pit property from Telephone City Gravel Limited consolidating the Groups dominance of in the west GTA market. Land holdings for future pits were secured in the Oro Moraine north of Barrie and in Rama, Flos and Eramosa townships.
IN THE 90s
The company was well prepared for the recession that followed the building boom of the 80’s. All equipment had been modernized to weather the storm. A record setting purchase of 42 Komatsu Wheel Loaders put James Dick on the world stage as a power purchaser of global proportions. New equipment ventures were acquired and started up making the company a major manufacturer and supplier of construction Equipment. Assinck was a valued supplier who had built the new Caledon wash plant in 1989. When Jim went over to Assinck to purchase some stock, he came back owning the company. In 1997 after a 12-year battle, the company acquired a large extension to the Caledon Sand & Gravel license, assuring quality reserves for decades to come. Licenses were also acquired on the Oro Pit and the Rama Quarry.
2000 to Present
The new millennium brought year over year improvement to the market place. Licensing the essential close to market reserves that Ontario requires has become ever more difficult, but it is still the right answer for environmental, social and economic reasons. The non-aggregate business units of Aggmin Equipment and the James Dick Concrete division were sold or leased out, allowing the company to focus on the sales, transport and production of aggregate materials produced from our close to market pits and quarries. The company’s extensive and overwhelming support given to our local community was recognized by the Caledon Chamber of Commerce with the Community Sensitivity Award.
As we reach our 55th Anniversary, it is with a sense of optimism. The company is stronger than it has ever been. We are blessed with the wisdom of age along with the vigour of youth. We are in a process of renewal in making our company a safe, fun and respectful place to work for a new generation.