Lawson Projects brings 45 years of experience to new hotel project in Jasper

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Colin Lawson Sr. founded Lawson Projects in 1976, and 45 years later the Calgary company is still thriving — despite current problems caused by the pandemic in the development/construction industry. In fact, the firm remains fully operational today, its staff handling jobs remotely from on site, in clients’ offices or from their home offices.

Lawson sold his interest in the firm to his senior project managers, Lorne Larrivee and Ian McMurray, in 2000, and when both retired in 2016, the current ownership of president and managing director Norm Landry, Dave Bartle, Bruce Yorga and Jason Ragan took over.

All four are experienced project managers and continue to serve clients, as well as bearing the responsibility of running the business.

Lawson Projects has an enviable roster of longtime clients and continues to add new ones who realize the value of having the company manage the teams selected to manage their projects from start to finish. Staff’s prime responsibility is to maintain the client’s best interest throughout a project by applying their collective experience earned from personally working with developers, in design firms and/or construction firms before joining Lawson Projects.


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Besides the owner group, there are eight other project managers on staff, all busy with a variety of interesting work.

Relationships are key and Lawson Projects has enjoyed working with Pursuit, today engaged in its Banff Jasper Collection on a new hotel being built in Jasper.

It is leading the team that includes Dialog, with partner-in-charge Gerry Doering, associate architects Erin Chartrand and Lea Lohnes, and Edmonton-based contractor Johnston Builders.

Doering says he appreciates Landry’s talents, bringing the right balance and his experienced ability to execute projects.

The seventh in its group of Jasper-area properties, the new hotel on Connaught Drive will offer 88 rooms, of which 80 will have full kitchens. For guests preferring restaurant meals, the new structure is adjacent to Pursuit’s Sawridge Inn and connected by a covered bridge walkway.

The overall design reflects its small-town mountain identity using natural materials with an emphasis on big timbers and masonry, but has a contemporary feeling with lots of glass, particularly in the lobby area and pavilion that extends to an exterior event space.

Our mountains have always provided an enjoyable location — one of Landry’s most rewarding experiences was working for Pursuit on the $45-million restoration and upgrade of its character Mount Royal Hotel in the centre of downtown Banff, also working with architect Dialog.

Among its other current work, Lawson Projects continues to assist its longest-running high-volume client, Highfield Investment Group, at its High Plains Industrial Park in Balzac.


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It has provided project management services for a number of the park’s large warehouse buildings, including one of 500,000 square feet that is 80 per cent used by Smucker’s and a 400,000-square-foot Home Depot building. A spec 400,000-square-foot building is also under construction, as is the 1.2-million-square-foot Lowe’s warehouse that will be completed later this year.

Lawson Projects has delivered multiple maintenance and renovation projects for the City of Calgary since 2013, multiple projects for AltaLink, and has overseen a number of warehousing projects for TC Energy in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

Leading a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria in a specified time within any number of constraints, on time and on budget, is a job that depends on a lot of hands-on experience. Over its 45 years in business, that experience has enabled Lawson Projects to become an industry leader.


Last September, I reported that founder and CEO Ted Fleming had relocated the head office of his Partake Brewing, a leader in the non-alcoholic craft beer industry, from Ontario to Calgary. Since then, it has secured distribution with more key retailers across Canada and the U.S. and is now celebrating another major U.S. expansion, coming on the heels of the brand’s recent $4-million Series A funding round led by Circle Growth Partners. Available now in an additional 11 states positions Partake as a market leader in the non-alcoholic beer category across North America.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected].


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