History

1944 to 1980:  The Beginning

Houle’s story began in 1944 when Lionel Houle and his father realized their dream of opening an electrical store. This store, which they named Houle Electric, provided electrical products and services to the residents of Port Alberni. In 1951, with nothing but a pickup truck and a utility trailer, Lionel left the Island and relocated to Terrace. Four years later in 1955, Lionel moved to Kitimat, which up until then, was a closed town for Alcan employees only. Despite many layoffs and the threat of bankruptcy, Lionel managed to keep Houle operational through subsidies from other enterprises, including a local furniture store.

Lionel received a break in 1959, landing a considerable project with Bird Construction to help the government relocate the inhabitants of Aklavik to the new town of Inuvik. The project involved building 150 homes, a hospital, nurses’ residences, and an RCMP station office. A year later, Lionel and his family moved again, this time to Strathmore Avenue in Burnaby. To keep costs down, Lionel’s used a converted yellow school bus in the backyard of his home as an office. It was not until 1963 that Lionel would relocate from this humble school bus office to a genuine commercial office on Joyce Street in Vancouver.

1962 to 1997: Growth

History 1962-1997
The next few decades saw considerable growth with the opening of several regional offices in British Columbia: Kamloops in 1962, Prince George in 1965, Nanaimo in 1976, and Fort St. John and Victoria in 1978. With the company’s rapid growth, an agreement was negotiated in 1979 to sell Houle to 12 employees.

In 1980, Houle was awarded its first major project, the $3,300,000 Victoria General Hospital project. Upon completion of the Victoria Hospital project, Lionel was paid out for the company. Bill Hall was appointed the first President of this employee-owned company. The tremendous success of the Victoria General Hospital project would propel Houle’s involvement in several other major hospital projects in the decades to follow.

Soon afterwards, with a number of multi-million dollar projects contributing to Houle’s rapid growth, the new ownership team was able to pay for a new office on Myrtle Street in Burnaby in 1984 without a mortgage. This was during a time when half of the major lower mainland electrical contractors were going out of business due to the poor economy. The continual success led to the establishment of the Network Systems division in 1991. In 1993, Dennis Houle, Lionel’s brother, was appointed as President.

1997 to Present: Becoming an Industry Leader

Robert Lashin, President

Robert Lashin was appointed as President in 1997. Under his leadership, Houle received many awards throughout the years for our excellence in the industry and for particular projects. These awards included the Vancouver Construction Association’s (VRCA) Gold, Silver, Innovation; Leader in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and Safety awards; Consumer’s Choice Award; and in 2012, Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies Award.

Houle expanded its service offering in 2007 by establishing a Security division. In 2009, the Kelowna regional office was opened. That same year, Houle’s head office was relocated to the new 32,000 square feet 5050 North Fraser Way office. Houle is currently the only electrical contractor and systems integrator in British Columbia that has province-wide mobilization and that offers electrical construction and service, security and life safety, networks and infrastructure, building automation, and preventative maintenance collectively as both standalone and integrated services.

From the team of father and son to a team that has most recently grown to between 700 – 1400 employees, Houle has grown tremendously from its humble beginnings. But what remains the same throughout the decades is Houle’s commitment to safety, quality, ethics, and integrity.

Our Vision, Mission, and Values

Our vision, mission, and values define who we are. It provides the framework for what drives our organization, conveying our purpose, direction, and driving forces of our organization.

LEARN MORE

Career Opportunities

Looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding? Do you want to be part of a team that genuinely cares about your career growth? Join Houle’s ‘One Team’ and be empowered to own your work.

LEARN MORE

Community Engagement

We are committed to serve and strengthen the communities where we live, work, and do business.

LEARN MORE