“All I have to offer is service and quality – so I make a point of doing a little more than necessary.”
-Harvey I. Britton, December 1967
Harvey I. Britton founded Britton Electric over 70 years ago. He lived by a strong work-ethic and understood the importance of customer service, the values on which the Company has grown and thrived. These words are sometimes written too easily. When we can proudly say that some of our customers go back to the beginning, they are more than just words. They stand for the way we do business.
The story of the early years of Britton Electric is not uncommon. Harvey Britton started the Company as a 21 year-old entrepreneur in the basement of his parents’ home — a young man driven to build a successful business and with very little money. His mother was the stock keeper.
In time, the basement became too small. Harvey Britton moved into his first office, located on St. Urbain Street. It was modest and functional, and staffed by a small group of dedicated employees.
Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s the Company grew and gained a strong reputation in the service side of the industry. Then came an exciting new opportunity with the first job in construction. Now needing a foreman experienced in construction, Harvey Britton hired his first one in 1963, Florent Laplante. He successfully managed the project — the first of many important construction jobs for Britton Electric. Today, Florent Laplante, a well-respected icon in the Québec electrical contracting industry, remains very active in the Company as Executive Vice-President.
In 1965 Ernie Shapiro joined Britton Electric and became an invaluable and trusted member of the management team. An electrical engineer by profession, his contributions helped the Company enjoy a period of rapid development. Ernie Shapiro, although semi-retired, continues to play a role in the success of the Company as General Manager.
Major projects followed. For Expo ’67, Britton Electric delivered the power distribution for the minirail, the electrical installations in many of the pavilions as well as an innovative parking lot control system for the Expo-site. We were awarded a total of 23 contracts and demonstrated our ability to handle a highly diversified workload simultaneously without neglecting our existing customers – a trademark that continues to set Britton Electric apart today.
Britton Electric was the electrical contractor for numerous buildings and textile operations in the Chabanel garment district. We became the ‘go-to’ electrical contractor for industrial projects and established ourselves in the field of Plant Set Up.
Following the untimely passing of Harvey Britton in 1978, his son, Perry, stepped in as President. Maintaining and building on the original principles of his father – customer service, first and foremost – he instituted a new business model that secured the Company’s strength in the marketplace.
We recognized a need for specialized skills in the field of high voltage and substation work and particularly, in the more complex technical areas such as relay analysis. The technical talents of our workforce increased and accordingly, the depth and breadth of our service offerings grew. Whether the project is large or small, today we are one of the few electrical contractors in Québec that is ready and willing with the expertise to handle it all.
It is the people, our Company’s most important asset, who were and continue to be instrumental in driving and maintaining the success of Britton Electric.
We have created an atmosphere where our employees – from the administrative and office staff to the electricians on the road and right up through our management team – stay with Britton Electric for many years. We enjoy a remarkably low turnover rate, which brings stability to our Company, and more importantly to our customers. We know our clients and they know us, built on years of doing business together.
From one man’s dream passed onto his son, we are the leading electrical contractor in the province of Québec, a position that we have maintained for over 30 years.
Today, we continue to uphold the tradition of our founder, the late Harvey I. Britton. We are a large Company with the personalized approach of a small family business.