Herbert P. Frid Basc., LLD
The Frid Construction Co. Ltd., Engineers and Contractors was born as a partnership of brothers Herbert and James Fried. At the age of 20, Herbert Frid, began his construction career with Thompson, Starret Co., engineers in Chicago in 1908. By 1910 he was back in Ontario attending the University of Toronto and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 1914, the same year he began the construction company with his brother. Almost immediately, the upstart company would be without his services. Herbert Frid joined the armed forces as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Engineers in WWI, was drafted oversees to the 28th Battalion and served in France with the Sixth Canadian Railway Troops, finally promoted to Major before returning to Hamilton in 1919. In 1926, brother James retired and Herbert Fried assumed the role of sole owner of the Frid Construction Co. Ltd., guiding it through many productive and progressive years.
Operating from offices in the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners Building, the firm constructed interesting and important structures in Southern Ontario. Mount Hamilton Hospital, T. Eaton Company (Hamilton), Adams Furniture Building (Toronto), and the Canada Shredded Wheat Building (Niagra Falls) were early efforts. Other notable projects completed by 1944 included restoration of Fort Henry (Kingston), St. Paul=s Church, Westinghouse offices in Hamilton. During the >50’s=, projects wuch as Oakville Trafalgar, Burlington Joseph Brant and Woodstock Hospitals, Appleby College=s gymnasium and the Physical Sciences Building for McMaster and he constructed offices for major clients such as the Bank of Montreal, National Trust and Bank of Nova Scotia and later projects such as Fort Erie Race Track and the Ontario School for the Dear. Frid Construction was also known for industrial work in providing services to Stelco, Dofasco, National Steel Car and the building of a sewage treatment plant in Georgetown.
Herbert Frid was Chairman of the Hamilton Construction Association in 1926 and of the Canadian Construction Association in 1931. He served the industry well during the HCA’s infancy when it was called the Association of Canadian Building and Construction Industries, Hamilton Branch. During one period of difficult labour negotiations, he successfully negotiated an agreement with the carpenters union. During WWII he chaired the employers= group of the National Conference of the Construction Industry.
In Hamilton he worked with the citizens= committee for veterans’ rehabilitation, was Chairman of the YMCA and YWCA expansion program, member of the Hamilton Health Association Board, the Hamilton Hydro Electric Commision and McMaster University Board of Governors. He was a member of the Hamilton Golf & Country Club and Acadia Lodge AF and AM. He was named Hamilton Citizen of the Year in 1951, and in 1960 Herbert Frid was granted an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from McMaster University.
Fondly referred to as H.P by many, he died in 1966 leaving his widow, Flora (who became company Chairman) and four children: Douglas, David Kenneth (who would assume the president and chief executive officer role with Frid Construction), John and Margaret.
The naming of Frid Street in West Hamilton, where the Hamilton Spectator presently is situated and, where for many years the company maintained an equipment yard, is a reminder of the tangible contributions of Herbert P. Frid. He is truly a leader worthy of induction to the Construction Hall of Fame.