T.O. Lazarides and Murray Lount formed Lazarides, Lount and Partners, and opened an office on Scollard Street in Toronto, specializing in structural engineering.
*Photo: Lazarides, Lount and Partners Christmas Party (1955). T.O. Lazarides kneeling in the foreground.
Hurricane Hazel was Canada’s worst natural disaster of the 20th century. The devastating aftermath is what led Lazarides and Lount into the bridge business. The day after the hurricane, they obtained their first bridge project from the DHO (currently the MTO) for the replacement of the Hwy 401 Humber Bridge.
T.O. formed Federated Consultants Ltd., a consortium of specialist consultants, to secure larger, diversified, and more interesting projects. Among the projects completed under this umbrella, was the Lake Ontario Cement Plant in Picton, Ontario, for which Lazarides, Lount and Partners carried out structural and civil engineering. Our work resulted in an industrial dock capable of handling large bulk carrying cargo vessels – an impressive structure in the late 50s!
Murray Lount withdrew from the partnership and the firm was reformed to T.O. Lazarides & Associates, with T.O., Jock Thompson, Dave Figgins, and Cees Visser as its Principals. In 1959, T.O. travelled to Pakistan for project work, and in the following year (1960) decided to leave the firm he had formed. By this time, his fellow partners had also withdrawn from the firm.
T.O. Lazarides & Associates was acquired by Nick Damas and Bob Smith and renamed Damas & Smith Ltd.
N.D. Lea & Associates was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia by Norman (Norm) Lea and Al Andrews. The first major project undertaken by the company was the Upper Levels Highway Widening through North and West Vancouver.
Damas & Smith moved into transportation engineering, and started developing a background in the municipal and land development engineering fields. During this time, the D.H.O. was seeking consultants to complete highway projects – and Damas & Smith were successful in obtaining some of their first highway assignments. The firm also diversified geographically, with an office in Winnipeg (late 50s), London (early 60s), and in Ottawa (in the 70s).
Photo: City of Toronto Archives, Series 65, File 271, Item 1
Damas & Smith merged with J.D. Lee to form DSL Consultants Ltd. In 1984, DSL Consultants was acquired by N.D. Lea and Associates to strengthen its operations in Ontario. The new company was reorganized into four entities under the N.D. Lea umbrella: N.D. Lea Associates Ltd. (Vancouver), DS-Lea Consultants Ltd. (Winnipeg), DS-Lea Associates Ltd. (Ontario), and N.D. Lea International Ltd. for all projects outside Canada.
DS-Lea Associates Ltd. worked directly with chief architect Rod Robbie to provide transportation planning & design services for the underground trucking facilities and 600-space parking facility underneath the field of the dome. Later, DS-Lea Associates Ltd. provided bridge & roadway design, project management, construction administration, and inspection services for the Peter Street, Simcoe Street “Skywalk”, and York Street pedestrian bridges. All three bridges were completed to provide direct connections to the dome and are critical components of the pedestrian infrastructure in the area to this day!
ND Lea expanded its Asian operations to India with the formation of LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd. In New Delhi. Starting with only 5 employees, LEA India has grown to over 2,200 employees operating in over 16 countries.
LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd. was retained as the Project Coordinating Consultant (PCC) for the first Gujarat State Highway Project (GSHP). The team supported the preparation of project reports for 1,500km of state roads and assisted in construction, putting us in an integral position in the development efforts of Gujarat state. This was a significant assignment for LEA at the time and a challenging responsibility.To date, the GSHP is globally recognized as one of the best executed state/provincial road projects.
In 1998 the operating companies in Winnipeg and Vancouver separated from DS-Lea Associates Ltd. in Ontario, selling to the MMM Group a few years later. At the time of the separation the Ontario operation was renamed Lea Associates and subsequently, LEA Consulting Ltd. together with LEA International Ltd. and LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd., the current LEA Group was formed.
LEA Canada started offering services for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and subsequently for Infrastructure Security Systems.
India won its first project in Ethiopia and within a few years, and several projects later, LEA gained recognition as “a foreign consultant with the most ongoing projects” across Ethiopia. Some of LEA’s early and noteworthy work included, Shire – Adi Abun road funded by the World Bank, Jimma-Mizan project by the African Development Bank, and the preparation of Output and Performance based Road Contracts (OPRC) project.
LEA was awarded the detailed engineering design, project management, and construction supervision for the complex Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover project. Once completed, the 10.6km elevated corridor (11.8km including approach and toll plaza) project provided a fast and signal-free road connecting five communities (Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylet, Khulna, and Barisal). These features along the new corridor reduced average travel time between Jatrabari and Gulistan from 4 hours to ten minutes!
LEA was awarded one of the largest transportation projects in the world, establishing mobility patterns and travel characteristics based on over 66,000 household sample surveys distributed across the MMR. The study was given the unique name “TRANSFORM” representing Transportation Study for Region of Mumbai. 2005 was the beginning of this transformation. The project presented many challenges due to its size, complexity, various stakeholders, and the natural environment (flooding).
LEA has been providing transportation consulting services in Uganda since 2008. We have completed 7 projects funded by the African Development Bank and other Multilateral Funding Agencies and have also built a great relationship with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), being one of our key clients. Most recently, LEA is working on number of Roads and Highways projects.
Teams from Canada and India have worked together on a number of consulting assignments since establishing a presence in Oman in 2009. The Supreme Council for Planning (SCP) of Oman retained LEA to prepare a Master Plan for the Al Batinah Coastal Area (2009). LEA’s work has guided a planned development that will benefit the projected 1.5 million residents of the country by 2035. In 2014 LEA completed a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of South Batinah Logistic Hub & Preparation of tenders for RSS Projects. Since 2016, LEA has been engaged in the preparation of a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the Metropolitan Region of Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Our strategic framework will benefit a projected population of over 3.5 million by 2040.
LEA launched operations in Tanzania in 2011. Working for the Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS), we have successfully completed 6 Roads and Highways projects funded by Multilateral Funding Agencies and the Government of Tanzania and are currently working on another 6 projects. In addition to opening an office in the capital city of Dar es Salam, LEA has several project offices across the country.
Since 2014, LEA has been delivering projects in Kenya for various client agencies and the Government of Kenya, funded by the African Development Bank. In Botswana, LEA has successfully completed a World Bank funded project for Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening for the Ministry of Transport & Communications.
LEA expanded its structural engineering services from the design of transportation facilities to include Buildings.
LEA opened its second GTA (Greater Toronto Area) location in the heart of downtown Toronto.
LEA India celebrated their 25th year in business
LEA began operations in Malawi, Rwanda, Timor Leste and Cambodia, completing projects in road design and supervision.
The LEA Group celebrated 65 years of connecting and improving communities around the world. The group has expanded to contain over 2,443 employees in 50 countries around the world.