A young man named James Francis Burns started a concrete and excavation business in Calgary, Alberta using his team of work horses, hand shovels and a four wheeled dump wagon.
J.F. Burns purchased a truck that could haul gravel and tow a mixer to job-sites. Work horses were being phased out in favour of the mechanization and a growing work force.(Jim II in photo)
At the age of 14, J.F. Burns II started working full time for his Dad and soon after was placed in charge of the crew. His duties included quoting prices for work, supervising the work and collecting the money after the job was done. He also began his development into an accomplished concrete finisher.
Jim II inquires about a mining permit to excavate gravel from the Bow River like others were doing. He was granted a permit and this was the beginning of J.F. Burns Sand & Gravel.
J.F. Burns I gives his son first opportunity and a short period of time to buy the business, the price was reluctantly agreed to by Jim II.
First office at 46th Avenue Calgary & Jim II’s company car, a Hudson ’38 Terraplane.
Jim II expands his sand and gravel operations from mining the Bow River by purchasing land and opening up the Manchester Gravel Pit.
As a summer student at the age of 14, Jim Burns III goes to work for his Dad taking on various jobs each summer: shoveling gravel, driving trucks, working in the office and operating equipment. In 1953, after returning from the University of Alberta, he began full time work.
Jim II continued the family tradition of innovation by introducing one of Western Canada’s first central mix plants for concrete, True Mix Concrete.
Asphalt Paving Operations began with Jim II and partner Clayton Carroll starting a business: Pioneer Paving Ltd.
Jim Burns III becomes the General Manager of J.F. Burns Sand & Gravel at the age of 20.
Jim II asks Clayton Carroll and Jim III to join him in acquiring land, together they form the joint venture, Carburn Aggregates. This company would continue to purchase land in support of the operating businesses.
Jim III creates Enterprise Trucking & Loading Ltd with Joe Pearson.
On May 15, the company started a 24 day continual pour of concrete to build the Calgary Tower. The slip-form technique they used was a relatively new idea, the record pour over 24 hours was 39 vertical feet.
In September five companies were amalgamated into one know as BURNCO Industries Ltd.
Jim Burns III buys the remaining interest of J.F. Burns II and Pearl Burns in BURNCO Industries Ltd over 15 years.
Pickering Rock products is purchased in Banff and Canmore, setting up BURNCO’s first concrete plant distant from Calgary.
A new subsidiary company is created under the name of BURNCO Rock Products Ltd to hold all of the operating business except Pioneer Paving.
The company expands to Red Deer, Okotoks, Airdrie and Medicine Hat with initial work done to facilitate expansion into Cochrane and Lethbridge.
BURNCO’s asphalt paving operations begin to be wound down, selling the rolling stock but keeping the asphalt plants to supply asphalt to independent contractors.
Having previously worked summers in various capacities in the business or been at school continuously since he was 15, Scott Burns, the 4th generation, begins his full time career in the business initially as Executive Assistant to Jim Burns III, then within BURNCO’s Aggregate Division.
BURNCO enters the retail market supplying do-it-yourself packaged products along with landscaping materials for retail customers and contractors.
BURNCO begins operations in the Edmonton market area.
Scott Burns enters into a purchase arrangement over 20 years to acquire BURNCO Rock Products Ltd and becomes president of the Company.
BURNCO purchases Key Concrete Ltd a then 23 year old family business to enter the precast concrete business.
BURNCO begins expansion into nearby Edmonton Centres, Leduc, Acheson, Fort Saskatchewan and the west side of the City, eventually replicating its positions in the Calgary District. In the same year Fort McMurrary operations commence.
A sister firm, Tricycle Lane Ranches is created where BURNCO begins to conduct its own real estate operations.
BURNCO operations commence in British Columbia and now operate from multiple sites in Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan/Shuswap Districts.
Scott Burns completes the purchase of BURNCO.
BURNCO sells its precast and packaging business and begins expansion into the aggregate business in B.C.
Landscape Centres continue to grow with the purchase of Landscape Depot in the B.C. Lower Mainland.
BURNCO proceeds with Project Enable, a complete replacement of its ERP and front end systems to provide for growth into its second century of operations.
BURNCO expands Calgary Ready Mix business with the acquisition of the assets of Four Star Concrete and Construction.
BURNCO celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary on June 21, 2012!
BURNCO acquires Saskatoon’s Taylor Concrete Group and commence operations in Texas with the acquisition of Gateway Concrete.
BURNCO establishes an independent board. BURNCO commences operations in Prince Rupert, along with expanding it’s footprint in Texas with the acquisitions of Image Concrete Inc. and Lucky’s Redi-Mix.
The Landscape Centres add a new centre in Saskatoon, BURNCO continues to expand operations in Texas and the Calgary corporate office undergoes renovations.
BURNCO’s Landscape Division was transferred to a new, wholly-owned subsidiary company, BURNCO Landscape Centres Inc.
BURNCO expands into Colorado with acquisition of Bestway and All American Sports Material.