How it all started…
French River Contracting was established in 2002 by Al Pilon, a lifelong member of the Noëlville community.
Al started his entrepreneur adventure at age 24 when he purchased Noëlville Sanitation in June of 2002. After the first year of owning and operating the Sanitation truck on his own, he wondered what the cottagers on water-only access did to pump out of their septic system. That is when he got his first barge built in 2003 and started pumping out the cottages on the French River, Pickerel River and Key River.
Al was quick to notice that many cottagers were also interested in doing landscaping at their camp, so he equipped himself with a small excavator. As Al’s lifelong passion was to operate heavy equipment, he was a natural at landscaping projects. He also noticed that many cottages on the water did not have proper septic systems, and so he got his installer license to be able to design and install septic systems that would meet the Ontario Building Code regulations.
Picture a little boy not older than 10 years old driving whatever tractor his father had on the farm, sitting at the edge of the seat just so he could reach the clutch with his foot. He studied and obtained a college certificate in heavy equipment mechanics at College Boreal in 1995. Now he uses those mechanical skills and reduces repairs and maintenance costs by fixing his own trucks and equipment.
He quickly was known in the area to complete high quality landscaping projects and specialized in installing septic systems. During the busy summer months, he hired drivers for the Sanitation truck while he operated his excavator and barge. At first, he could only afford to rent the heavy equipment needed for the projects and then he was finally able to buy the excavators needed. He also grew his barge fleet when he built his own barge in 2010 with the help of his brother who is a welder and purchased a third barge in 2017.
In 2012, French River Contracting Limited and Noëlville Sanitation were incorporated. Since then, the locals know Al as being the expert on septic system designs and installations. He is also well liked by the local Health Inspectors that approve his designs and sign off on the systems. He was able to compete with the bigger local contractors like Bayview Excavating that had been in operations since 1992.
It was in December of 2014, when he was chatting with Bob Timony, the previous owner of Bayview Excavating, at a Ritchie Bros Auction that he got the idea to purchase Bayview. In fact, Bob and Rae-Anne Timony were getting ready to plan their retirement and sell their business. They worked hard for many years to grow Bayview Excavating to the successful business it was and were cautious to whom they were going to sell it to. They had gotten to know Al throughout the years and trusted that he would be the perfect fit for taking over their business. It was the perfect expansion for Al, as he was purchasing not only a competitor in the landscaping business, but also a supplier of gravel and sand for the septic systems. Plus, he got to expand his business into trucking, bulldozing and demolition by having access to bigger equipment. Finally, on April17, 2018 the deal went through and French River Contracting owned 100% of Bayview Excavating Shares.
Al is also a great employer. He kept Bayview’s three full time employees and gained their respect and trust in no time. He was also able to secure full time jobs for two of his loyal seasonal employees under French River Contracting and Noëlville Sanitation after he purchased Bayview. He focuses on hiring employees from the area and providing them with a fair pay and enjoyable work environment. He is dedicated at being honest and fair to all employees and customers, while using his humor during stressful times or to win over customer’s confidence. He loves a challenge and uses his creativity to solve any problems or complex projects.
As of April 1st 2019, Bayview Excavating and French River Contracting have legally amalgamated as one company and are now operating as French River Contracting. The purchase of Bayview has enabled the Company to provide their customers with even better value as it can supply its own gravel, sand, topsoil and various aggregates, thus eliminating the cost of a third party provider.
Fast forward to today…
French River Contracting is located just off Highway 64 in Noëlville, Ontario, approximately 1 hour southeast of Sudbury in the French River area.
Our services range from excavating, landscaping, trucking, road building, ditching, drainage works, sewage system design and installation, rock breaking, dredging, and snowplowing. We are also a licensed carrier for dangerous goods and contaminated waste. Our products include sand, gravel, topsoil, and various aggregates available from our licensed pit & quarry operations.
Our expertise in the construction field enables us to offer various services for a wide range of clients, including those from the municipal, tourism, forestry, industrial, public and private sectors.
We provide our services to new residential or commercial construction. Islands or water-access properties are our speciality whether they are permanent homes or seasonal cottages.
French River Contracting has logged many successes. Satisfied clients mean everything to us. Check out what some of them have said about their experience with Al and the company.
We are very proud of our people and will undertake any project within our capabilities. Our equipment operators and drivers collectively possess many years of experience, and some of them have been with us for over 20 years. We receive excellent comments regarding the ability of our people to get the job done in a safe and timely manner, as well as their professionalism and courtesy with our customers.
Experience, knowledge, satisfied customers and flexibility are just a few of the advantages that make French River Contracting the better choice. We welcome new business and look forward to developing sound relationships with new clients.
If you have a project in our service area, we invite you to talk to us about it. There is absolutely no cost or obligation for a preliminary discussion.
We look forward to serving you.