City company transforming first Tim Hortons
January 7, 2015 – BY SCOTT LARSON, THE STARPHOENIX
Mark Oleniuk admitted it was a little daunting when he found out his company was going to contribute to the reconstruction of the very first Tim Hortons location in Hamilton, Ont.
“We were excited and a little nervous because it was Tim Hortons,” said Oleniuk, managing partner of Element Project Services in Saskatoon.
“It was their iconic first store in Hamilton and they wanted to completely redevelop it.
“We were going to be responsible for the overall project management of the project from start to finish.”
Not bad for a four-year-old company that was started in Saskatoon by Oleniuk and partner Harpreet Singh.
The pair initially contracted themselves out to engineering firms and industrial clients such as Cameco, handling project management, cost control and construction-management duties. They now have about 25 employees working on projects across the country and have opened a second office in Toronto.
While working in Ontario, they were introduced to a vice-president in the Tim Hortons chain and in May they were hired for the Hamilton project.
“They brought us on board to manage the reconstruction of their flagship first store in Hamilton as part of their 50th anniversary,” said Oleniuk. “We were very excited to be involved on this project and happy to say that we brought it in on time despite some very tight timelines and unique challenges.”
The original store was an old garage that had been renovated a number of times. It was torn down along with two houses beside it to make room for the new store.
It is the first Tims to have an elevator and a full basement.
Inside the main floor is a typical Tim Hortons, but upstairs features a Memory Lane section that is full of memorabilia, uniforms throughout the decades and a replica of the original counter from 1964.
“They also have a big Hamilton Tiger-Cats wall, which for me being from Saskatchewan was a bit painful,” Oleniuk laughed.
The store opened Dec. 20 and the grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday.
“We will be out there with our team,” Oleniuk said, adding, “We will hopefully continue to work with Tims on other upcoming projects.”