One of Our Specialties

Apr 13, 2019

A Diverse Resume

McDonald Brothers Construction prides itself on our ability to build a diverse multitude of structures, regardless of location. From the institutional sector of schools, to commercial, industrial, and government sectors, we have had experience with it all in the past thirty years. However, one of our most recurring structures that we are sought after has to do with our experience in the recreational and arena sector. Since 2000 alone, MBC has been responsible for an abundance of different projects that fall into this scope of work. In Ottawa alone, we have built several ice hockey arenas, including the Carleton University Twin Pad, City View Curling Club Arena, Caledon Community Complex, and the CIH Academy Rockland Arena and have done major restoration work on the Merivale Arena.


The Big Leagues

Carleton University – Ottawa

In addition to these arenas, we have also had significant experience in recreational athletic fieldhouses. One of our more recognizable projects was the fieldhouse at Carleton University in 2003. In early 2002, Carleton University’s Athletics Department required a new Multi Sports Field Facility. Initially, they began the process of designing a textile ‘bubble’ to house an indoor field. McDonald Brothers Construction contacted the university with our pre-engineered steel system as a value-added alternative. Only our steel building could overcome the extremely low soil bearing capacity on the campus grounds, as it uniformly distributes its bearing load to the foundation. The structure is extremely energy efficient and is designed in a way that does not obstruct any of the activity that is taking place on the field.



Out Of Town

First Stop – Thunder Bay

In 2004, MBC successfully tendered and was awarded the job of building a fieldhouse at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Design Build is a 60,000 ft2 facility, boasting 40’ ceilings, and is built into the existing fieldhouse complex with an enclosed link. The primary challenge in the project resided in the fact that Thunder Bay is in excess of 15 hours from Ottawa while driving. As a result, the superintendent and crew that facilitated the day to day management of the job were required to be on rotation throughout the project; typically, a month on and a week off was the routine. All of the building material was obtained locally through suppliers in the Northern Ontario region. Because of the significant commute from Ottawa, MBC tendered the sub-trade work to local companies within the area as well. Although challenging in many aspects, the entire project illustrated the capabilities of MBC running an out of town job; specifically, a project that required thorough planning and scheduling throughout the winter months in Northern Ontario.

Second Stop – Guelph

McDonald Brothers Construction did a similar project for the University of Guelph in 2011. This Design Build carried a similar rotation as the Lakehead fieldhouse in Thunder Bay. MBC’s superintendent and labour force was working two to three weeks on, and one off. The building material was obtained locally; however, the frame of the fieldhouse was transported to Guelph from Quebec City. The sub trades were also local from within the area. The structure is designed with Honco Frameless Steel shell forty feet high. The scope of work includes a four lane 200m compliant running track, shot put, long jump-triple jump, pole vault, high jump. The inner oval incorporates a state of the art Polytan brand synthetic field complete with locker rooms, washrooms, storage rooms and administrative offices. This project was selected by Athletics Canada to be the first Centre of Excellence in the country, winning the award in 2018.

All three of the fieldhouses in Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Guelph challenged MBC’s ability to work and facilitate a job well outside of our home base here in Ottawa. However, both jobs saw paramount success and achieved a level of satisfaction that is typically not common for a company that is new to running project out of town. Since these milestone projects, MBC has adamantly expanded its realm of knowledge in this building sector by including ice arenas and gymnasiums to our resume. In addition, we have also pursued work as far as Alberta for our knowledge in building fieldhouse recreation facilities. At McDonald Brothers Construction, we’re never afraid to step out of town to complete a job, especially when it’s one of our many specialties.