Construction work on the
Viterra distribution Facility
in Wadena in 2017
Desire for off-farm income lead to the growth and
development of G. Ungar Construction
What began as a way for Garry Ungar to supplement his
By Pat Rediger
farm income has led to the development of a major
construction company in Theodore.
Cindy Friesen, project manager with G. Ungar Construction Co. Ltd.
(GUC), says Ungar decided to leave his craning career in 1978 to focus on
the family farm and spend more time with his wife, Judy, and sons, Scott
“Garry had achieved considerable success as a red seal crane operator,
working on projects such as the Saddledome in Calgary, Coronach Power
Station and many other projects throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Farming at the time required a supplemented income, hence G. Ungar
Construction was born,” she said.
Ungar started GUC as a farm service provider in the early 1980s, and
over the next few years both the company and his family expanded (they
were blessed with two daughters, Erin and Brennan).
He purchased a CAT D7-17A for clearing bush, burying rock piles
and doing road construction, and divided his time between the farm and
construction work. A few years later he acquired three more D8s; began
a repair shop, Parkland Mobile Repair; and purchased a Delta Union
Tractors franchise, which employed two journeymen technicians with two
mobile repair units.
By the time 1992 arrived, Ungar had to make a decision – stay with the
farm or focus strictly on construction. The farm equipment was sold at
auction, providing additional cash flow for the construction business, particularly
the purchase of their first excavator, a CAT 225 LC, which subsequently
was rented to Prairie Pipeline for a TransGas pipeline project.
Once this contract was complete, the excavator worked seven days a week
in the Yorkton area until freeze up, since it was the only one in that particular
In 1997, GUC bid on a two-kilometre-long by six-metre-high berm
for practise bombing in the CFB Wainwright dunes for the Department
of National Defence, which would change the scope of the company.
Conventional motorscrapers would not work in the sugary sand, so eight
CAT Challengers and pull scrapers were used to complete the project.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF G. UNGAR CONSTRUCTION
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