In 1919, after a decade of gaining experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, Harry Holborn Angus opened his own practice in Toronto. HH Angus and Associates was a pioneering firm in Canada, offering exclusively mechanical and electrical consulting engineering services. At a time when electricity was only in rudimentary use and air conditioning was even more rare, early projects for the small company consisted mainly of industrial plants and hospitals.
The company grew slowly but steadily throughout the first half of the twentieth century and was incorporated as H.H. Angus and Associates Limited in May 1946. That same year saw HH Angus’ involvement with the greenfield site that was soon to become Sunnybrook Hospital. When completed, it would boast 1600 beds and be the largest healthcare facility in the British Commonwealth. HH Angus continues to work on the Sunnybrook campus today, having provided engineering services for almost 60 years.
During the 1940s and 50s the company worked on many hospitals, which were almost the only buildings using steam for heating at the time. The firm’s subsequent reputation for excellence in boiler plant work developed from these early projects. The Walton Street Steam Plant, originally designed to provide steam to the University Avenue hospitals, was eventually expanded and has become a core asset of the Toronto District Heating Company, now known as Enwave, providing steam heat and deep lake cooling to buildings in Toronto’s downtown core.
Harry Holborn Angus passed away in 1959 and the company leadership passed to his son, Donald L. Angus, who had joined the firm in 1946 after returning from service in World War II. The company flourished under his leadership.
In 1960, during the heart of the Cold War, HH Angus helped develop SAGE, or Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, the firm’s first computing centre job. The project was commissioned by NORAD to control its continental missile and radar detection systems in the event of a nuclear attack.
On a more architectural note, in 1967 HH Angus worked with Mies Van der Rohe on his elegant and award-winning landmark building, the iconic Toronto-Dominion Centre Tower, one of the earliest skyscrapers in Toronto. This set the stage for not only other TD Centre Towers to follow, but also a long-lasting relationship with Cadillac Fairview that continues to this day. HH Angus is proud to have worked on, in various capacities, the majority of office towers in Toronto.
The company moved to its current address overlooking the wooded parkland of the Don Valley in 1967. At this point the company had 60 employees and 7000 square feet of office space. The move coincided with the creation of the Vertical Transportation group, a very successful team within the current Commercial Division.
In the 1970s the company continued its steady growth. Clients began consulting with HH Angus about the increasingly complicated operations of new facilities and, in response to our clients’ needs, Angus Consulting Management Limited (ACML) was founded. ACML has grown considerably and its mandate is to provide building management services. It in turn gave rise to Angus Systems Group (ASGL), which specializes in building maintenance software.
HH Angus established offices in the United Kingdom (London) in 1972, and in the United States (Dallas) in 1985. The Lighting Design Group (now Angus Lighting) was formed in 1981, and the Tenant Engineering Group was established in 1984. Another U.S. office, H.H. Angus and Associates Incorporated, opened in Greenville, South Carolina in 1992 to provide process engineering consulting for pharmaceutical clients.
Harry G. Angus assumed the presidency in 1985, taking over from his father Donald (who passed away in 2011), becoming the third-generation Angus to head the company. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, HH Angus worked on many prestigious and international developments including Canada’s National Art Gallery, Skydome, Canary Wharf, and projects in The People’s Republic of China, the Middle East and Africa.
As part of the ongoing evolution of the construction industry, HH Angus is becoming increasingly involved in P3 or Private Public Partnerships for healthcare projects across Canada. Our prime consulting and fast-tracking skills, essential for P3 projects, have been continuously improved since their initial development during our work with the automotive sector in the 1970s.
Through 90+ years of engineering excellence, we have been part of significant changes in both engineering and in the building services community. Today, HH Angus continues to grow. We have over 250 permanent employees and are constantly exploring new opportunities and new technologies to serve our valued clients to the very best of our ability.