Meet Montreal’s Biggest Engineering Firms

By Celia Hameury

   Montreal is a city which attracts many students from all over the world, due to its multiple renowned universities. However, when students come to Montreal to study engineering, what many don’t realize is that this city is also home to several significant engineering firms, where McGill students can find internships and even employment after graduating. Here is a list of five of the most important engineering companies founded and based in Montreal.


Bombardier started out as a snowmobile company, founded by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, in 1942.  Today, it is a giant corporation with over 60,000 employees. It focuses on the aerospace and railway industries, having sold the snowmobile manufacturing line in 2003. On the aerospace side, Bombardier is known for manufacturing the CRJ700 series regional airliners, as well as the Global Express and the Challenger business jet series. It also designed the C Series aircraft which now belong to Airbus. The railway side of the company develops and manufactures trains for many countries around the world, including Great Britain, China and Italy.


Founded in 1911 by Arthur Surveyer, SCN-Lavalin is a Montreal-based firm providing engineering, procurement and construction services. As of 2018, SNC-Lavalin is the largest construction company in Canada, with over 50,000 employees around the world, and offices in over 50 countries. The company works in the industries of mining and metallurgy, oil and gas, environment, power and infrastructure. Some of the company’s major projects include repairs made to the Jacques Cartier Bridge in the early 2000’s and the construction of the Canada Line, an extension of the Vancouver rapid-transit system, in 2009. In 2010, the company was responsible for the construction of the McGill University Health Centre hospital, a project costing over a billion dollars.

Dessau Inc.

Dessau Inc. is a smaller engineering company which offers consulting, engineering and construction services. Despite having only 4,800 employees, Dessau has offices all across North and South America and the Caribbean. Since it was founded in 1957, originally under the name of Desjardins & Sauriol, Dessau has been involved in many large projects including the James Bay hydroelectric project in the 1970’s. This project earned the company national recognition. Other significant projects for Dessau include the Montreal Palais des Congrès built in 2002, Montreal metro system upgrades in 2010 and the University of Montreal hospital and research centre (CHUM) also built in 2010.

WSP Global Inc.

With it’s 43,000 employees and 500 offices around the world, WPS Global Inc. is one of the largest engineering consulting firms in the world. Founded in 1959 and based in Montreal, WPS Global was known as Genivar Inc. until 2014. Today, the company offers consulting services pertaining to a wide variety of engineering industries, including environmental and urban planning, design and management. WPS Global’s principal line of work, however, is energy saving consulting. WPS Global offers customers facility-specific plans and advice on equipment selection.