The Kemp Brothers
James Kemp Construction Ltd. is a multi generational company, operating today from its long time office and yard at Vansitmart Avenue in Hamilton, Ontario. Started by James Kemp Sr., the company grew to be led by the six sons, namely James, Jack, Ron, Stanley (Bud), Lorne, and Dave. As a vibrant general contractor, the firm built many projects in the greater Hamilton area, and throughout Ontario.
Upon his retirement and with great wisdom, James Kemp Sr. gave each son an equal share of the business. With varied talents and tremendous contributions, the six men led the company through many years of significant growth. Jim was president and chief estimator, Jack did purchasing and looked after Stelco work, Lorne, Bud and Dave were field superintendents and Ron was comptroller. Lean were the early years, but over time as the company grew it prospered. The profile of the company changed throughout the years, first with the passing of Lorne, then as Bud and Jim and Dave embarked on their own separate business ventures, leaving Ron and Jack to steer the company, well into their 70’s.
The company provided construction services to many clients since its’ inception, including: Westdale Lanes, now the McMaster Fertility Clinic, CHML Radio Station, St. Paul’s United Church, the Jewish Community Centre, the Royal Hamilton Legion, Lawfield School, the Kenilworth Postal Station, the Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank, Battlefield Equipment, Simcoe and Erie Group, Hamilton Automobile Club, Rosart Properties, Brown Boggs Co. Ltd., Tridon, Paul Revere Life, the Beth Jacob Synagogue, the Law Building at Queens University, Hill Park, Glendale and Barton Secondary Schools, Patterson’s Furniture, Tyandaga Golf Club, Wellington Square United Church, British Leyland Motors, Sir Wilfred Laurier University, the Federal Building (Ganaoque), Turney Equipment, E.D. Smith Warehouse, Toys-R-Us, and Park Place.
One interesting project was initiated by Ken Soble of CHML, who sought a contractor to build a home in a day and raffle it for charity. Kemp built the home, and coincidently, one of the company shippers bought what would prove to be the winning ticket.
The company and its owners were generous contributors to the community, supporting sporting organizations, charities while remaining committed to association work. Jack was heavily involved with the Hamilton-Halton General Contractors Association, mainly as a negotiator, as well as the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association. To this day, Kemp Construction remains the sponsor of the HHCA Annual Bonspiel.
We recognize the brothers as a team and a family, whose vision and attitude about construction was very much reflective of their father and founding owner. The company would not be what it is today without the contribution of all of the brothers, in their varied roles.