Elirpa Construction & Materials Limited: A Family of Heavy Construction Services

Elirpa Construction & Materials Limited (ECL) is a 60-year-old company imbued with the integrity, determination and commitment of a soldier. John J. Aprile – the father of ECL's current president, Mike Aprile’s father – returned to Toronto after serving heroically in World War II and found himself, like many other from his Naval company, unemployed. To support his family he purchased a pick-up and he began hauling sand, gravel and cement. He eventually purchased a dump truck and began to build one of the finest heavy construction companies in the area.

Through hard work and perseverance, the firm became a success, and in the mid-1960s John created a sister firm called Pick-A-Mix Concrete Limited, a competitively priced mobile mix concrete production facility to handle the firm’s large demand of concrete from its clients. Now, six decades later the Aprile family has built up its capabilities to offer a wide variety of heavy construction services, including road construction, sewers, water mains, bridge building, excavation, grading, snow removal, recycling and the manufacture of jersey barriers for both public and private clients in Southern Ontario from its base in Pickering.

John eventually turned the company over to his four sons: Michael, Patrick, Danny and Jimmy. Michael runs ECL alongside Danny and Jimmy, and Patrick is president of Pick-A-Mix. The brothers have since hired a third generation of Apriles to work at the firm and continue the tradition of providing quality construction services to Ontario. The company employs roughly 25 personnel and is widely recognized in the region as one of the leaders of innovation in its industry.

Starting a Trend, Helping the Environment

Long before it was cool to be green, the team at EMC has been producing environmentally friendly aggregate. Instead of sending old concrete or asphalt to a landfill, as was the industry standard, the company’s crushing operations can grind down the recycled concrete to either a 19 mm or 50 mm size and is perfect as a road base or infill. This effectively gives clients greater costs savings on projects because it reduces the quantity of new materials that have to be purchased. It also has the added benefit of limiting a project’s impact on the environment as a whole by cutting down on the need for additional trucking, which otherwise would raise fuel consumption and increase wear and tear on local roads at the job site.

The company also runs a recycling program that allows contractors and private citizens to dump reclaimed concrete and asphalt at ECL's facility in Pickering. EMC’s dumping fee is less than local landfills, which gives Elirpa a constant supply of material for its aggregate production.

Impressive Safety Record

The very nature of ECL’s work – crushing asphalt and concrete, building roads and bridges – breeds a dangerous work environment. In response the company makes safety paramount to the overall operation.

According to Michael, safety procedures must be thoroughly ingrained into everything so that it becomes second nature. “We make sure that with every project we consider all of the potential safety hazards to ensure the safety of our employees.”

The firm recently built an underpass under the Canadian Pacific rail in Pickering that had some hazardous conditions. The project took a year-and-half to complete, and was built entirely next to an active railroad. “The conditions there were very wet,” says Michael. “But the project was completed safely and on time.”

ECL’s team of professionals also recently completed a project roughly two kilometers from its facility. “On Brock Road, we were contracted to construct a bridge over a creek. We put it in, when it was originally just a culvert, restoring the valley back to a superior environmental state,” reveals Michael. Looking to the future, Michael is excited about the next generation of Apriles that will be taking over the firm. “We’re cultivating my son and nephew to take over the firm and we’re confident that they will continue to maintain the outstanding reputation that we have developed over the years.”

Through a mixture of dedication, hard work and an impressive roster of successful projects, Elirpa Construction & Materials Limited and Pick-A-Mix Concrete Limited have firmly imprinted the Aprile name in the region as it improves infrastructure for all.