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Sometimes Dreams are Unexpected

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When Pierre (Pete) Beaucage Jr. started out 20 years ago, he was completing small-scale renovations. Though his skill and dedication have never wavered, his intent was never to grow his business to the size it is today. However, with an increasing demand for housing in the city of Timmins, north-eastern Ontario, Pete began building homes, simply put, because no one else was doing it. Fast forward to today, and this unintended business direction has led to Pete celebrating 20 years of business under the name Praztek Construction.

For nearly 50 years, the Beaucage name in construction has represented quality, integrity, and progress. Pete has followed in the steps of his father and grandfather by prioritizing superior workmanship and a commitment to service. Over the past 20 years, Praztek Construction has grown significantly and now includes professionals skilled in both design and construction management. Collectively, the team represents over 100 years of construction experience.

As a full-service General Contractor that can design, build, finance, lease, equip and manage anything that can be built, Praztek Construction has been on a rollercoaster of a journey. After Pete had built over 100 houses many years ago, the housing market began to slow down. Praztek Construction then ventured into developing rental properties, with some serving commercial and industrial settings, in addition to the residential market.

Praztek Construction is an indigenous company and, unsurprisingly, Pete holds great pride in being a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses. With an extensive project catalogue built up over two decades, the company rightly enjoys a reputation for quality. However, in the context of being a 100% Certified Aboriginally owned business, there are some jobs which are more meaningful than others. Praztek Construction recently completed work on a housing complex in North Bay called the Suswin House Indigenous Friendship Centre. The company built the complex as a way to help tackle homelessness in the indigenous community. With Pete’s roots stemming back to the Kootenaiu tribe from his mother’s side, projects like these are important to Praztek Construction. “I really think that this Suswin House Indigenous Centre will change a lot of lives. I had the honor to be the builder and make this dream a reality. It was a long process and it was a project that was in the planning stages for at least 10 years.”

As he goes on to explain, the project may have been held up due to global events, but it offered Praztek the opportunity to showcase its flexibility and adaptability. “We actually built this during COVID and the logistics of the project got very complicated, but we managed to successfully complete it with minimal setbacks. We were very fortunate and we really pushed hard to get our product when we needed it. Sometimes we had to change our plans on how we were going to get certain material or source it, but the building is beautiful and it was a pleasure to build.”

Another project Praztek worked on was the Timmins Native Friendship Centre. The area was experiencing a housing crisis, and Praztek was hired as a contractor to design and build 18 new units for housing indigenous seniors. Although Praztek’s official involvement was with construction, the company’s input stretched considerably further than that. Praztek also assisted with the severance and rezoning of the land, along with the architectural, mechanical, electrical, and civil drawings for the project. While working on this project, a relationship based on trust was developed and for Praztek Construction, ongoing partnerships such as these have always been a high priority. To this day, Pete does all the maintenance for Timmins Native Friendship Centre.

“For nearly 50 years, the Beaucage name in construction has represented quality, integrity, and progress.”

Helping out and giving back is not uncommon for Praztek Construction. The company is heavily involved within the local community and is often involved in charitable initiatives such as building 200 brand new apartments, sponsoring hockey teams/school events and more. With all of this philanthropic work, it is no wonder that Pete himself recently received a lifetime achievement award in business.

“I was really honored that I was recognized in that aspect of business, because I do a lot of work outside of Timmins. I have projects in Ottawa. Kingston, Toronto, North Bay, Sudbury, and Sault Ste. Marie. I was shocked that I was even noticed, because sometimes as a business owner you work a lot and you don’t count the hours you do, but, needless to say, you work more than 40 hours. You don’t think that people actually notice all the hard work and the sweat and tears and heart that you put into these projects.” For Pete, the honor is something that stands as concrete evidence that he is in the right field. The saying goes, ‘If you find something you love, you will never work a day in your life.’ While Pete will attest to the long hours and hard work, he believes that being focused and driven by a sense of enjoyment is hugely important. “I only found out the night of the awards that I was successful. I honestly didn’t think I was going to win, but I did; and it was a moment that’s hard to describe. This is my passion. It’s my career, but at the same time I love what I do. It’s pleasant coming to work every day, especially with the team that I have and all the different friendships that we’ve developed over the years with different people. It’s enjoyable to go to work.”

Having started the business at 25 years of age, retirement is understandably some way off for Pete. However, the company is always looking to the future. With the success achieved so far, that future looks to be a bright one. With growth always high on the list of priorities, the company expanded into western Canada after completing a hugely successful job in downtown Toronto. The project was for a government client a number of years ago and involved work that differed from the company’s comfort zone. As he has shown throughout his career, the experience proved to be an educational one with the experience helping Pete realize that Praztek can indeed thrive in areas outside its hometown.

Speaking to Pete, his humility for the accomplishments of Praztek is refreshing. No matter how much the company grows or expands, it is clear to see that the humble beginnings of this company have not been forgotten, nor have the relationships built and maintained along the way. Full of praise for his team, clients, suppliers, community and more, Pete Beaucage Jr. is a man that understands the value of working together. Having developed a successful business with skill, leadership, and compassion, it is no surprise that he has been acknowledge by his peers.

“The thing is that it takes a long time to get to this level. I’m proud of that because I now have the capability to compete with the big guys. It’s probably mind blowing for them too because I am from Timmins. It’s probably very rare that something like this happens. I’m very happy to have built this successful company, the great reputation, and the great connections and relationships that we have. I just want to continue to grow that.”

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