Thomson report – Castanet.net

CTQ Consultants Ltd. has created quite a reputation for themselves in both the work they do for clients and being the best company the present staff have ever worked for. I took a few minutes from Matt Cameron’s busy day to talk about the business and its incredible growth.

“It was formed five and half years ago by myself and partner Gord Savage. We were working for another engineering company, a very large corporation and the vision making process was hidden. So we decided that we would branch out on our own. We envisioned that we would be about ten people strong and we started off five. It became evident that we needed more than that because our clients came with us and when we asked them why, they said they hired us, not the company we were working for. That is really what we are all about – relationship building, problem solvers and our fields are engineering, planning and urban design. When I say engineering it is predominantly land development and urban infrastructure.”

So in land development you would be working for a developer at that point and on the urban side for a city, town, municipality or regional district.

How long have you been involved in the business personally?

“I started in 1986 which is in excess of twenty years. I am from New Zealand originally and spent four years working and travelling around the world and decided to come to Kelowna in 1990. I was working in Turkey at the time. I met my future wife in Turkey, a Kelowna girl and we decided it was time to come home.”

In trying to understand everything the company does for its clients, let’s take the new project, Tower Ranch, to explain to the readers what CTQ Consultants Ltd. did for that project that was on the books for twenty years. I started writing about Stan Towers’ dream that long ago.

“We did the design, infrastructure, the lot layout, and the grading. Some preliminary work was done years ago on the site for the golf course and development of the residential component and we took that and modified it and did the detailed design and construction supervision of that. Just to give you an idea, the contractor moved one million cubic meters of material. That was for the golf course and the lot development. When you go up there today you wouldn’t realize that much material had been shifted around. A lot of the stuff we do people just don’t see. So much of the stuff like the water lines, sanitary lines and storm lines which are all underground. So a lot of that design work we do they never ever see.”

Did you do any design work with the golf course itself?

“We did the bulk grading of the golf course and then the golf designer took over for the fine grading. The actual infrastructure of the community such as the roadways and lighting was all done by CTQ. The actual size of the project is quite a diverse neighborhood plan. You have a multitude of types of development including single family, multi family and townhouses. When you look at the overall development of Tower Ranch it is in itself its own little community in a sense.”

“Everybody likes to have a view and that becomes a challenging thing to do as the costly thing is to build the infrastructure and the roads. If you don’t have lots on both sides of the road and you just singularly load a road it becomes very expensive. That translates back into the cost of the homes etc.”

On the industrial side, is there a job we can focus on to give people some idea of the scope of the company in their projects?

“A good one would be the McIntosh Properties purchase of the old Hiram Walker site where we created an industrial park. We developed some light industrial lots which were basically snapped up immediately.

What happens is that the client shows up at your office in the first stage of the project looking for planning. What is next? “We take it through its normal process, concept design, submissions for development permits, rezoning and that sort of thing and our team moves into place. The urban design people come in earlier than before because of the landscaping that is required when the project is completed. The environment is very important to each project today.

We are working with the cities because developing roads on hillsides requires guidelines that are much different than how we develop them on the flat of the land. We need to minimize that every step of the way.”

How many partners are there in the company today?

“Six partners and we have just under fifty people working in our offices in Landmark Square and our new office just opened in Kamloops. Staffing has become a huge problem we must face every day.

UBCO has become very useful to our growth plans. We were the first company in Kelowna to set up scholarship programs with the university.

Our large staff creates some very interesting challenges and we have a great diversity of personalities, which is fun. Many of our employees are also from Okanagan College so we have been very fortunate in our choices.”