When Canada was founded in 1867, Robert Shaw’s Hantsport brickyard, which would evolve into L.E. Shaw Limited and eventually The Shaw Group, was already six years old.
For almost 40 years until the turn of the 20th century, all our bricks were made by hand, but then in 1897 Windsor, Nova Scotia burned to the ground. That was the impetus for our company to purchase its first brick making machinery, as hundreds of thousands of bricks were needed to rebuild the town. In another tragic episode in our country’s history, the Halifax Explosion of 1917 created a great demand for building materials to rebuild Halifax. Four busy years later, the company became known as L.E. Shaw Limited with plants in Shubenacadie, Lantz, Avonport, and Chipman, New Brunswick.
During the Great Depression, our company was luckier than most, but still by 1934 all of our plants had suspended production. We hung on and slowly recovered and by the time of the Second World War, we were the only brick manufacturer remaining in the Maritimes.
In the 1940s, the company decided to expand into the manufacture of concrete products. At the time, this was a bold and brave strategic move. We began manufacturing concrete block and concrete pipe and eventually precast panels for building construction.
The 1950’s and 60’s were a time of grand advancements and change in the world: the birth of Canada as a peacekeeping nation, the creation of our Canadian flag, and the historic first walk on the moon – and the Beatles! It was also a time of new developments and advancements for our company. Several new plants were built in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, and we also entered the land development business through Clayton Developments, which has developed residential communities housing over 50,000 people in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
In the 1990’s, when the corporate name changed to The Shaw Group Limited, a series of acquisitions including Prestige Homes in Sussex and the creation of new companies like Shaw Wood, created growth in our product offerings. There was also the joint venture with Bredero Shaw—aptly named Shaw & Shaw—which saw our company enter the offshore gas industry.
A few years later, the furniture manufacturer, Ven-Rez, was acquired and GS Concrete was merged into The Shaw Group. We have also received national acclaim for the way we do business. For the last eleven years, The Shaw Group has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Private Companies. In addition, we were named a regional winner of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Program, founded by Waterstone Human Capital, in 2010. We are proud of our 150 years in business and also the diversity of our product offerings in the marketplace.
Here’s just a sample of what we’re up to at present day:
• Large pipe, culverts and arches supplied by Shaw Precast Solutions throughout Atlantic Canada.
• Hand-crafted senior’s residence furniture that places Ven-Rez in Shelburne at the forefront of a growing new market.
• Retaining walls, pavers, and a wide array of landscape products that the Shaw Brick Division has added to the production of what began as the beginning of our company.
• Wood pellets that are supplying both North American and international customers with green energy through Shaw Resources.
• Also at Shaw Resources, we manufacture a variety of sand products for the construction industry.
• An entire “green” community—only one of a handful in Canada — called The Parks of West Bedford: an innovative and environmentally sound community that will house up to 20,000 people.
• At Prestige Homes we are an innovative leader in the manufactured home industry.
We like to think that one of the secrets to our success has been staying true to a few key principles, even as we’ve grown. For 150 years, we have consistently focused on delivering innovative and durable products. We have stayed committed to the communities where we do business and we have been fortunate to have very talented employees throughout our organization.