Who we are.
Create opportunity. Enrich lives. Bring communities to life.
It all started when Lionel Houle and his father opened an electrical store, Houle Electric, in 1944 to serve the needs of the community of Port Alberni. Soon after, Lionel realized electrical work was in demand province-wide, which led him on a path of expansion, taking his family business and turning it into an integral part of communities across British Columbia.
The passion and dedication of our founders has been passed down to our current generation of employees, who continue to uphold our guiding values to create opportunity, enrich lives, and bring communities to life. Today, we’ve become a major provider of integrated electrical and technology solutions across British Columbia and a company that puts people first. We create opportunities for everyone who works at Houle, for our partners, and for the communities in which we operate.
Houle is more than a business; it’s a company with heart and a commitment to making a positive difference. By supporting growth and considering the impact of our actions together with our partners, we’re continually bettering ourselves and the communities we serve.
The values that drive us
Rooted in Community
It all began in 1944 as Lionel Houle and his father opened Houle Electric in Port Alberni, an electrical store to serve the needs of the community. This was the first step in establishing what would later become BC’s largest provider of electrical and technology solutions.
Entrepreneurship & Determination
In search of opportunity, Lionel moved his business to Kitimat and helped Houle become an inaugural member of BC’s first Electrical Contractors Association in 1952. Later, Houle landed a significant government project with the relocation of the town of Aklavik to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. To help establish the new community, Houle completed the majority of the electrical work for 150 homes, a hospital, and an RCMP building.
While the Inuvik project was in progress, Lionel moved his family to Burnaby, BC, to pursue construction projects for the company. Making an office out of a converted yellow school bus, Lionel embodied Houle’s commitment to creative problem solving!
Looking to expand into more BC regions, Houle opened a Kamloops branch in 1962 and a Prince George branch in 1965. All of this provincial expansion made a gap in the industry quite clear, and in 1968, Lionel joined the steering committee that would establish the Construction Labour Relations Board of British Columbia.
Reaching Growing Communities
Extending our reach to growing communities across BC, Houle opened offices in Nanaimo in 1976 and Victoria in 1978. Houle’s capacity grew with the team taking on significant projects such as the Prince George Sears Centre and Plaza 400– a design-build project which included an entire city block of government offices, theatres, and hotels. In Port Edward, BC, we provided the industrial electrical scope for the Prince Rupert Grain Elevators project.
A Team Approach
The Power of Employee Ownership
In 1980, Houle became employee-owned after an agreement was struck to sell the company to 12 employees. This was the beginning of an era that saw tremendous growth in our experience with large, complex projects–exactly what we’re known for today. Some of these projects were: Quintette Coal Mine ($12M), BC Systems–Victoria ($5M), Victoria General Hospital ($3.3M), and Canada Place Dome Lighting for Expo 86 ($6M). Despite a challenging economy in the mid-80s, we were able to purchase a large, new Burnaby office building that filled up as we took on more projects and expanded our team.
A Legacy Begins
Leading With Integrity
In 1997, Robert R. Lashin was appointed as the President of Houle. With his enthusiasm, strong ethics, passion for customer service, and mutual respect for everyone, Robert would go on to lead Houle for 21 years. He established our core values and fostered a lasting culture of collaboration and teamwork. The 90s also saw the beginnings of our Structured Cabling team and the landmark Lions Gate Bridge project ($5M), which won our first of many VRCA Awards of Excellence.
A New Wave of Technology and Healthcare
For ten years, Houle grew ten times in size (375+ employees and $120M in annual revenue). With a customer-centric vision, we took on multiple award-winning projects and became an established provider in the healthcare sector; this included projects like Royal Jubilee Hospital ($13M) in Victoria, Women’s & Children’s Hospital New Data Centre ($200K), Nanaimo Hospital Perinatal Building ($2M), and the LEED® Gold certified Abbotsford Regional General Hospital and Cancer Centre ($30M), our first ever Public-Private Partnership (P3) project.
We also established our Security team in 2007 expanding our technology solutions and opened a new branch in Kelowna to increase the reach of our service and maintenance solutions.
Complex Projects, Innovative Solutions
With our sizeable new team, we elevated our offerings to provide complex project delivery like never before– pursuing projects in the industrial, healthcare, government, and commercial sectors. We took these projects on with a full complement of electrical and technology solutions, including security, structured cabling, building controls, and healthcare technology. With so much growth, we later began the process of restructuring the company internally to optimize our operations.
Some of our projects included the Kitimat Aluminum Smelter & Modernization Project ($200M), Parq Casino Resort ($56M), North Island Hospitals ($40M), Penticton Regional Hospital ($38M), Surrey Memorial Hospital ($36M), Tsawwassen Mills Mall ($17M), Segal Family Health Centre ($13M), and Emily Carr University ($12.5M).
A Bright Future
Bringing Communities to Life
With an established next-generation of leadership, a team of 1,000 employees, and being a single point of contact for leading electrical and technology solutions, our purpose is to create opportunity, enrich lives, and bring communities to life.
We’ve entered the 2020s with confidence and have taken on complex projects like Royal Columbian Hospital ($108M), Neptune Terminals Coal Facilities Upgrade ($88M), Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement ($60M), Royal Inland Hospital Patient Care Tower ($45M), Lions Gate Hospital Redevelopment ($40M), The Stack ($20M), and UVic Student Housing & Dining ($18M).
Here’s to the next 80 years!
A dedicated team, every step of the way
Our leadership team
Our passionate and dedicated leadership team is unified in growing our legacy and enacting Houle’s core purpose—to create opportunity, enrich lives, and bring communities to life.