We pride ourselves on a history of excellence.
Since our inception in 1946, we’ve grown to over a thousand employees in offices across North America.
Although there have been many transformations over the years, there are some things that have not changed…like our thirst for unique and challenging projects, our desire to expand into new and exciting marketplaces, the mentorship of passionate young engineers by their peers and our drive to be the best.
Morrison Hershfield Was Born
Partnership venture between Carson Morrison, Charlie Hershfield, Joseph Millman and Mark Huggins officially commenced, offering structural, civil and mechanical engineering services.
The Early Days
The firm’s partners were known for their specialized knowledge of wood structures, concrete structures, structural analysis, mechanical engineering and guyed towers. Early projects included Odeon theatres in Toronto and Paramount theatres in Port Arthur and Halifax and a timber tote road bridge in Kapuskasing.
Early Telecom Projects
In the 1950s, Morrison Hershfield was deeply involved with infrastructure for the major expansion of communications facilities across Canada, including radio and TV towers from coast to coast and early warning systems in the Far North. The Jarvis Street Tower in Toronto was among our first tower projects, and at 540 feet it was the second tallest freestanding structure in Canada for several years and the second tallest freestanding lattice tower ever built in Canada.
Award-Winning Engineering: Structural Design Of Avon Theatre In Stratford
Innovative structural design involved using a compression ring between the radial arch ribs of the roof to reduce distortion caused by uneven snow loading. This allowed the architect’s vision of the interior space to materialize. Twenty-six years later, this engineering masterpiece would be cited in support of the award of the Engineering Medal to Mr. Hershfield by the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.
Bridge Design Takes Off
Warden and Ellesmere Grade Separation was our first significant bridge structure, and marked the beginning of countless bridge inspection, design and construction assignments for new and rehabilitation projects.
First University Projects
The post-secondary education boom in the 1960s saw existing universities expanding and new universities being built. Morrison Hershfield designed a gymnasium for the University of Saskatchewan, a parking garage for the University of Toronto and provided structural designs for several new buildings on Laurentian University’s campus in Sudbury. Our work on the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto provided us with early exposure to new “fast-track” project management techniques, a model that would continue to grow in popularity.
Award-Winning Engineering: Leaside Bridge
The strengthening and widening of the Leaside Bridge involved the sequential demolition and rebuilding of the structure while maintaining existing traffic access. This innovative work led to Morrison Hershfield’s first Canadian Consulting Engineering Award of Excellence (received in 1970).
Innovation In Building Science
During the late 1960s, new ideas were evolving regarding the function of walls of buildings, and what was termed the “Rain Screen Principle” of separating the structural and weather resistance aspects of the wall. Morrison Hershfield was among the first engineering consultants to introduce this into not only the design of new structures, but also into the repair and retrofit of existing buildings. In particular, high-rise apartment buildings and condominiums were being built using old techniques satisfactory for lower types of buildings and were demonstrating many leakage problems. The firm became known as a leader in this field throughout the 1970s.
Computers Introduced At Work
Morrison Hershfield officially entered the age of the computer with its first timesharing terminal to an IBM mainframe across the city. The first “in-house” program written was for the analysis of guyed wires. Input was by punched paper tape created offline, and results were printed out at the terminal. The program was revised twice within two years, and as the most up-to-date design tool available for some time, it was used under license by many Canadian tower engineers.
Landmark Transit Project
Morrison Hershfield’s first step into railway
transit infrastructure design was the GO Train Flyunder in downtown Toronto. The railway-under-railway grade separation tunnel allows commuter GO Trains speedy transfer into the station proper by going under the main tracks, avoiding scheduling problems caused by the level crossings across the existing tracks in the yard. The project involved not only the structural design of the tunnel, but the trackage adjustments of the complex station yard, tying our established disciplines of structural and civil engineering with the practice of railway engineering. Railway design had been around for about 150 years by this point.
Advancement In Timber Structures Engineering
Morrison Hershfield engineers became Timber Engineering and Wood Technology leaders, engineering structural components like arches, trusses, panels, beams and columns in sawn timber and glulam. One of the most visible examples of our success in this field was the “Beehive Domes” – unique design of timber structures for the safe storage of salt and sand mixtures for roadway safety.
Building Science Group Formed
A group was created to focus on construction deficiency inspections (soon called Technical Audits) as the number of building envelope inspections and investigations grew in the booming condominium marketplace. This group soon became known as the Building Science Division, and set about establishing a substantial reputation in roofing and building envelope engineering.
GO ALRT Multi-Year Project Solidifies Reputation In Rail Track Design
Morrison Hershfield was awarded the contract for engineering and field supervision of the Rail Corridor for GO ALRT, a project to provide a separate railway track between Toronto’s eastern suburbs. This was a major project, which took over four years from inception to completion, and which consolidated Morrison Hershfield’s position and reputation in the field of rail track design. It also included the design of a bridge to carry existing CN tracks over the new right-of-way.
First Assignments For F.G. Gardiner Expressway
In 1980, Morrison Hershfield completed a strategic planning report for Metropolitan Toronto, based on intensive investigations performed by our company. In 1984, in response to that report, the first contract for the design and field supervision of the rehabilitation of the main deck and super-structure was awarded to Morrison Hershfield. This project proved to be the first of annual assignments to rehabilitate various sections of the highway which continues to this day. It would go on to win the Award of Excellence by the International Concrete Repair Institute in 1996.
Southeast Transitway Project
This project marked Morrison Hershfield’s early involvement with the expansion of Ottawa’s existing “busway” system. Since that time, we have been involved with the evolution of the city’s public transit network, from the Light Rail Transit pilot project through to the current O-Train network expansion.
Cycling Network Design Takes Off
The evolution of our cycling facility design expertise and active transportation networks begins with a major role in designing the cycling network in the Ottawa area.
First Carson Awards Of Excellence
A unique company tradition is introduced to reward staff for outstanding contributions to the firm and our clients. Award nominees are submitted by our peers and selected by a panel of judges formed by our clients and representatives in the engineering sector across North America. The Carson Awards continue every February at Morrison Hershfield.
First Office In The U.S.
U.S. operations established in Atlanta, GA in support of our vision to become a North American firm. The initial focus in the U.S. was tower engineering, and has now grown to include our full range of services across multiple sectors.
Vancouver Convention Centre
Work on one of Morrison Hershfield’s highest profile construction projects on the west coast begins – the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion. Its six-acre living roof is one of the largest in Canada.
Alberta SuperNet Connects Over 400 Communities Across Alberta
Morrison Hershfield begins design of the extended portion of the Alberta SuperNet, bringing reliable, high-speed internet to the most remote corners of the Province. Project wins multiple awards for innovations and management.
Largest Transportation Project Awarded
MH awarded detailed design of Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) – the largest transportation assignment to date for the firm.
First-Of-Its-Kind Bridge Manual
Developed Aesthetic Guidelines for MTO Bridges, an industry-leading manual for Ontario engineers.
Emerging Leaders In P3 Projects
First of multiple contracts and roles with the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. We continue to provide advisory services as the facility is being constructed. This marks the beginning of foray into P3 work throughout the next decade on projects across the country.
Engineering World-Class Sports Facilities, Stadiums And Arenas
Engineering World-Class Sports Facilities. Morrison Hershfield was the Building envelope consultant for Richmond Speed Skating Oval in 2007. It was the third largest building of its type in the world at time of construction. Since that time, we’ve been involved with the design and construction of major stadiums throughout North America.
Award -Winning Engineering: Niagara Tunnel Intake Works
Part of Strabag AG design build team for Ontario Power Generation’s Niagara Tunnel Intake Works Project, which won the Canadian Consulting Engineering Award from ACEC-CCE.
First Ever Multi-Span Rapid Bridge Replacement In North America
The Aberdeen Bridge in Hamilton Ontario was the first multi-span rapid bridge replacement in North America. The continuous structure over Highway 403 was completely replaced within 51 hours.
Earth Day 2010
Morrison Hershfield implemented our Environmental and Sustainabililty Policy, reinforcing our commitment to the future of our planet. On Earth Day 2019, the firm released its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
Airport Work Continues With Commissioning Services Introduced
Edmonton International Airport Expansion showcases the diversity of MH services and specialty services, including the introduction of commissioning to the typical airport mix.
First India Office Opens In Visakhapatnam (Vizag)
Award-Winning Engineering: Bridges And Structures
Capilano Cliffwalk wins Canadian Consulting Engineering Award and receives numerous other industry awards and accolades. This first of its kind pedestrian walkway was constructed using a ground-breaking fabrication/erection technique.
QMS System ISO 9001:2008 Certified
Morrison Hershfield’s Quality Management System receives ISO 9001:2008 certification and is subsequently ISO 9001:2015 certified.
First Designated Fair Trade Workplace In Alberta
Morrison Hershfield becomes the first designated Fair Trade Workplace in Calgary and Alberta, one of only 13 designated Fair Trade Workplaces in Canada at the time of certification.
Mission Critical Powerhouse
Merger with CCG Facilities Integration doubles the size and scale of Mission Critical practice, creating a powerhouse in mission critical services and adds a Baltimore office.
Award-Winning Engineering: MH Wins Three Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.
Awards of Excellence for the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye platform and the Kaliti Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sanitary Sewer Trunk Mains. The Kaliti project also won The Tree for Life Award for its outstanding environmental stewardship.
Shift To Remote Delivery Due To COVID-19
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic takes hold and the industry responded. Morrison Hershfield quickly pivoted … while we continued to deliver our project commitments with the high level of service our clients expect.
Canada’s First Zero Carbon Retrofit
After becoming the first retrofit to achieve a Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) – Design Certification from the CaGBC in June 2019, Building NX at Humber College achieves numerous industry accolades, including a CaGBC Ontario Green Building Excellence Award, a National Existing Green Building Excellence Award from the CaGBC, an Award of Merit from the Consulting Engineers of Ontario, recognition as a Top Performer by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (aashe) and the Canadian Consulting Engineering Award of Excellence and Tree for Life award.
Award-Winning Engineering: Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage
Edmonton Transit Service wins the CUTA Corporate Leadership Award for Environmental Sustainability for Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage. Morrison Hershfield was the prime consultant for this facility, one of North America’s leading transit facilities, with specialized infrastructure for the City’s electric bus fleet.
Morrison Hershfield Celebrates 75 Years In Business As An Employee-Owned Firm
The real story of our history is the people who have dedicated themselves to the projects.
And as we face the future, it is with confidence that we pledge to leave this firm stronger and better than it is today.