Stantec to acquire Markham-based engineering firm Morrison Hershfield

View of highway leading to downtown Toronto at night

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Stantec has announced an agreement to acquire Morrison Hershfield, a 1,150-person engineering and management firm based in Markham.

Founded in 1946 and employee-owned, Morrison Hershfield has experience in transportation, buildings and environmental services. Morrison Hershfield has offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States, and one office in India.

Morrison Hershfield has offices in 22 cities in Canada and the United States, and one office in India.

The acquisition, through a court approved plan of arrangement, is subject to Morrison Hershfield shareholder approval, court approvals, and certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q1 2024. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Stantec officials say the acquisition strengthens the company’s US presence in buildings engineering.

“We are thrilled to bring a firm of Morrison Hershfield’s stature into the Stantec fold,” Stantec’s president and CEO Gord Johnston said in a statement. “Our firms have shared a mutual admiration over many years. Stantec and Morrison Hershfield have a similar history from our roots in the Canadian market, growing and diversifying services both by geography and service line.

“And, importantly, our values and culture are very well aligned.”

The addition of Morrison Hershfield’s Horizontal Infrastructure business will double Stantec’s transportation presence in Ontario, and expand the firm’s bridge, highway, construction administration, program management, and inspection services.

“Joining the Stantec family marks a historic moment for our 78-year-old company. Stantec is a highly successful firm that shares our corporate values and mission, with a unique culture that complements our own,” said Anthony Karakatsanis, president and chief executive officer, Morrison Hershfield. “With access to Stantec’s depth of renowned experts, resources, and cutting-edge technology, we will be able to provide our employees with exciting and meaningful work, growth, and professional development for the long term.

“This acquisition provides us with access to many high-profile North American and global projects and markets in the communities where our employees live and work.”

Projects in Morrison Hershfield’s portfolio include:

  • Gardiner Expressway East from Cherry Street to the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto – including condition assessment, detailed design, and preparation of tender documents for interim repair, as well as preliminary design for the replacement of this section.
  • Confederation and Trillium lines of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit system – provided services for preliminary engineering and procurement, as well as implementation and construction phases. The project involves the construction of 44 kilometres (27 miles) of new light rail running way, as well as 24 stations. Several interchange modifications were also needed on Highway 417.
  • NextStar, Canada’s first lithium-ion EV battery manufacturing facility in Windsor – mechanical, electrical, and civil services on the 4,500,000-square-foot (418,000 square-metre) facility, ensuring optimal building performance and functionality to support its groundbreaking design.
  • Microsoft Redmond Campus Renovation in Redmond, Washington – project includes 19 new buildings across four villages, a 6,500-car parking garage, a visitor center and a Central Utility Plant. Morrison Hershfield services include building envelope consulting and commissioning, façade engineering, energy modeling, and field performance testing. Morrison Hershfield’s work on the project is complementary to Stantec’s, which includes technology, acoustics, MEP, and lighting design for multiple buildings on the campus.
  • Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s stormwater management ponds – program planning and resource allocation, land use and hydrological assessment, monitoring and documenting daily results, and analysis of results. Morrison Hershfield has managed this program exclusively for the Ministry since 2004.


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