Celebrating Canada 150 with a Lesson in Uniform History
From the time the clock struck midnight on January 1st, Canadians east to west have been proudly celebrating “Canada 150” through community events, festivals, and sharing stories commemorating the past, present and future of our beautiful country. With Canada’s official birthday right around the corner, we wanted to take some time to share some of our Uniform history – proudly contributing to the ever-evolving Ottawa landscape for the last 58 years.
The Early Days
Uni-Form Builders Limited was established in 1959 and began with the construction of high end homes in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Rockliffe Park. Founders Walter and Friedl Stenger set roots in Ottawa and began their business as preferred custom home contractors. Through the 60s and 70s, their business expanded in the category of commercial and institutional buildings. Peter Stenger and John MacDougall continue to manage and grow an impressive commercial portfolio.
The More Recent Past
It was in the early 80s that Uniform reorganized, and a new homebuilding company was born. Uniform Urban Developments launched into residential building with Island View in 1988, a 13-storey, 38-unit condo overlooking the Ottawa River. John MacDougall together with Peter Stenger (Carleton University Engineering co-graduates), led Uniform Urban Developments into a series of successful infill communities throughout the city.
Uniform’s reputation for finding unique and established sites in sought after neighbourhoods was forming. These would include The Oaks of Island Park (1998), Nautica (2001), Stillwaters (2001), Stonebridge (2003), Manors of Alta Vista (2005), Charles Ogilvy Estates (2006), Callaghan Court (2007), Carsdale Court (2008), The Avenues of Westboro (2009), MacKay House (2009), St. George’s Yard (2011), and Maple Creek Estates (2011).
With each passing year, the Uniform team grew, adding more home closings, and larger scale land acquisitions. The forward thinking of co-owners John MacDougall, and Peter Stenger has set the tone for steady growth – it was this smart growth that continued to drive the positive reputation of the company. The company also owes much of its success to another key member, Mr. Annibale Ferro. As General Manager, Annibale has upheld the fundamentals of the organization but continues to adopt smart change, new systems, specs and approaches to building and scheduling. In this ever evolving industry, it is essential to find the people, partners and processes that strike the right balance between advancement and constancy. Our goal remains to carve out great sites all over the city that support the Uniform brand of unique quality and value and to not compete on volume.
Building Strong Communities
Our first real “model row” of houses was established at Richardson Ridge – our largest development ever. This community features hundreds of lots and years of work both from a construction and product development perspective.
Alongside Richardson Ridge, The Orchard is an ongoing community featuring stunning model homes and linking the Uniform of today with some great past enclaves in the adjacent community of Stonebridge.
Through our exceptional attention to detail in new home design and construction, Uniform has continued a proud tradition of homebuilding excellence in Ottawa, partnering with Hobin Architecture as the custom architect for each and every home.
Improving. Evolving. Growing.
In the 90s and early 2000s, Uniform consisted of a team of about 10-15 employees. We are now over 60 staff members, combining all our office, onsite, service and sales teams. We are so proud to have grown to a company that is closing (on average) 150 beautiful homes every year.
In an effort to further improve the homeowner customization experience, we recently renovated and built a larger scale Design Centre on Centrepointe Drive next to our head office, and began working with an external marketing agency to further build up our brand. As we got bigger, we felt it was essential for us to stay organized and sharpen the company’s already established image.
In late 2016, we established ourselves in the east end of the city with Wateridge Village. This brand new community is located just minutes from downtown overlooking the Ottawa River, celebrating the history and legacy of the Rockcliffe Lands.
Still to Come
We are really excited to embark on some new niche builds in the next two years: including adult lifestyle bungalows, exclusive canal condos and great things coming to Westboro, a neighbourhood that helped us build our name. Uniform is always looking forward to new opportunities, new sites, new products and future generations. To stay informed on what’s up next, sign up to receive updates, news, and access to new releases (before anyone else)!
At the end of the day, Uniform is still a business rooted in family. The team works closely and always in support of one another – we all know each other’s backgrounds, stories, families and friends. The next generation of the MacDougall family is working within the company and growing with the business, the strong instincts and passion from one generation being fostered in the next. A company that was (and is) built steadily through hard work and integrity, Uniform takes its work seriously and cares about the architectural stamp it continues to leave on the city.