Ainsworth would not be what it is today without looking back at how we have grown through purchase/partnership transactions with strong local businesses to help us enter into new geographies, broaden our service offering, add to the strength and depth of our management team and ultimately, to service our clients better.
Ainsworth Inc. was started by brothers F.C. and C.J. Ainsworth in 1933 – the height of the great depression. Some of their earliest work included installing power to horse barns in Toronto. Their humble beginnings included just industrial services including installation, maintenance and repair of electrical equipment in established plants.
By 1936, the Ainsworth brothers were ready for the next step and entered into the electrical construction field. The beginning of World War II found them equipped and ready to offer wide experience to both the government and industry in getting Canada’s wartime production machine rolling. They undertook contracts in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, and in 1944 they made another move forward, creating a complete motor and transformer repair service. Over the next few years they proved very quickly to become a major player in electrical, from industrial and manufacturing facilities in the downtown core (Toronto).
At the conclusion of World War II, and with a return of key personnel, the Ainsworth brothers took their biggest step forward, incorporating as Ainsworth Electric Co. Limited in 1946, and setting up four distinct divisions within the framework of the Company. These were the Construction Division, the Industrial Division, the Motor and Transformer Division, the Electrical Apparatus Sales Division, and an office and accounting section. Their final step, in 1953 was to set up the Estimating and Engineering Division.
The second world war brought a large economic boost, and to address that, the Ainsworth brothers built the facility at 131 Bermondsey Rd which would become and remain Ainsworth’s head office in Toronto today.
Over the next few decades, Ainsworth grew tremendously in the Toronto market, becoming one of the largest electrical contractors in the city. One of the major projects they performed was actually the Sky Dome (now known as Rogers Place) in Toronto completed in 1989. During those years at Ainsworth, there were over 700 electricians working for the company in the GTA
In 2015, Ainsworth joined the GDI Family. GDI realized that Ainsworth was the perfect foundation to build a technical services company, and from there it has continued to grow with new companies joining Ainsworth almost every year. Since the beginning, Ainsworth was built on a culture of satisfying customers, and respecting employees, and we continue to build on that culture today.
On November 13, 2016, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Direct Energy Business Services Ltd. (“Airtron”), doing business as Airtron Canada. Airtron provides a broad range of multi-trade services, including mechanical maintenance, HVAC and building automation services for commercial and institutional clients in Canada. The acquisition of Airtron expanded Ainsworth’s services portfolio and strengthened GDI’s Technical Services business unit. The acquisition added building automation and energy efficiency services to Ainsworth’s service portfolio, as well as the ability to remotely monitor and manage facility energy consumption, perform remote equipment diagnostics and problem resolution, and provide clients with real-time data analytics on building system performance.
On July 1, 2017, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Poleair Technical Inc, which started as a three-man venture handling the industrial and commercial refrigeration and HVAC needs of clients in the Sarnia/Lambton area of Ontario. Now Ainsworth Technical, the division has grown to become the region’s leading expert in industrial and commercial HVAC installations and services and they have expanded to include sheet metal, plumbing and metal fabrication in their services portfolio.
On March 1, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Mechanical Design & Installation, LLC, a U.S. company providing HVAC, plumbing, controls, process piping, design-build and maintenance services for commercial, health care, educational and industrial facilities in Detroit, Michigan. On June 1, 2018, the Company also concluded the acquisition of BSD Solutions Ltd., with it’s principal business being the supply and installation of Building Automation Systems for various buildings and campuses and enhanced building operation through the integration of multiple building systems in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On September 20, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Simpkin Mechanical Inc. and Simpkin Electrical Contractors Ltd, which provide technical services in Montreal, Quebec as some of the most respected mechanical and electrical contractors in the city and specialize in retrofit, refurbishment, and renovation for most of the electrical and mechanical systems in a building. Concluding a huge year of growth, On December 1st, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Gordon Latham Ltd., a well established business in the service and maintenance of multi-residential apartment buildings, industrial plants, and commercial office complexes, also undertaking retrofit work in both institutional facilities as well as office buildings in Vancouver, British Columbia.
On April 1, 2019, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Digicon Building Control Solutions Limited, a building automation and building information systems company based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. On the same date, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of T.S.M. Limited, a Sarnia, Ontario-based specialized services provider including plumbing, process piping, gas piping, and underground services. On August 1, 2019, Ainsworth acquired Barcol Controls Ltd., a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based multi-trade services provider specializing in building automation systems and mechanical services, and on October 1, 2019, concluded the acquisition of Airco Ltd., a Sudbury, Ontario-based multi-trade contractor providing mechanical services in Northern Ontario.
On January 15, 2020, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Vancouver, British Columbia-based ESC Automation Inc. and its two U.S. subsidiaries, Delta Connects Inc. and New Patriot Energy Inc. (collectively, “ESC”). Operating out of 12 regional offices in North America, ESC is a leading and highly regarded building systems integrator with a diverse services portfolio, including, among other services, the installation and maintenance of building automation systems, security systems, HVAC systems as well as newer technologies such as real time locating systems, building analytics, and energy management systems. The ESC acquisition further strengthened Ainsworth’s building automation systems business across Canada and in Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and New York States in the U.S., and positioned Ainsworth as a master systems integrator with the capacities to install and service multiple types of building systems and related technologies.
Ainsworth would go on to welcome The BPAC Group Inc. on and their subsidiaries, BP Mechanical, BP Air Conditioning and Legacy Insulation to the GDI Group of Companies on January 6th, 2021. Established in New York City in 1978, BP is one of the largest and most respected mechanical services providers in New York. Focusing primarily on the commercial sector, BP provides retrofit, renovation and on-call HVAC and mechanical services to many of the most recognized Class A properties in New York City. BP was Ainsworth’s largest acquisition in the USA, and played a significant role in Ainsworth’s future growth in the U.S. market.
On January 21, 2022, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Gestion E.C.I Inc. and its affiliates Energere, and it subsequently launched a new business unit named Ainsworth Energy & Technology Solutions. Founded in 1997, Energere is a leading energy services company in the Province of Quebec, providing innovative solutions that increase energy efficiency, reduce operating and maintenance expenses and decrease the carbon footprint of buildings. Energere offers energy efficiency advisory services, turnkey design-build projects with or without energy performance guarantees as well as energy efficient street lighting and infrastructure management technologies to cities and municipalities through its smart cities division. Energere has successfully completed more than 600 energy efficiency projects in institutional, municipal, commercial and industrial markets across Quebec. Energere’s employee base of approximately 100 individuals is principally composed of engineers, building system designers, project managers and energy analysts.
Ainsworth continued to strengthen its value proposition to clients and its position in the market through the acquisition of M.T.I., and its sister company M.T.I. Facility Management from Markham, Ontario. MTI is capable of performing any type of commercial or industrial heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, design/build construction management and mechanical construction in the Markham region.