Donato Broccolini, founder of Montreal-based construction company Broccolini, has passed away at 97.

“From his beginnings in the industry, my father always stressed the importance of honesty, integrity, perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Joseph Broccolini, executive vice-president of the company, in a statement. “He was a man of his word who embodied values of humility and passion. He believed deeply in the importance of enhancing his community and passed on the importance of those qualities and beliefs to his children and his grandchildren. He will be forever and deeply missed.”

Donato died peacefully on March 26.

Born in Teramo, Italy on July 9, 1924, he immigrated to Canada when he was six years old. He married Jeanette DiGennaro, had four sons, 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

“Perhaps the most significant values he lived by were the importance of developing lasting relationships – with customers and collaborators alike – as well as an emphatic pride in producing work of exemplary quality,” states the Broccolini website.

His career in construction started when he founded a small residential construction company in Montreal in 1949. According to the company’s website, Donato was inspired by his uncle who was in the construction business in the city and he wanted to follow in his footsteps.

After completing his studies in engineering, he built his first single-family home which he sold for $16,000. He continued with residential construction, building homes and communities, until the late 1970s when the company shifted its focus to the industrial and commercial sectors.

In the early 1980s Broccolini’s three sons John, Joseph and Paul joined the company to help their father run the business and expand.

The first commercial contract was awarded to the company in 1982 by the owners of Avenue Pontiac Buick.

In the early years Broccolini completed a number of projects including the Innotech Aviation helicopter hangar, Molson Distribution and Sorting Centre, renovation and the expansion of the Cavendish Mall, which was the company’s first major retail renovation. Other notable projects include the Canadian Tire Distribution Centre; the Telus head office, the first major project in Ontario; the Export Development Canada head office in Ottawa; Public Works and Government Services Canada; Saputo Stadium; and the headquarters for CBC/Radio-Canada in Montreal.

In the mid-‘90s, the company expanded into the real estate services sector.

In 2004 they expanded into the Ottawa market and 2011 they opened an office in Toronto.

Today, three generations of Broccolinis run the business which has grown to include 500 employees.


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