Few are the women who run architectural firms. However, it was in the very masculine trucking industry that Lidia Minicucci, president of the firm Minicucci architect, obtained mandates for the design of two transshipment centers.
For an Ontario company, too.
Speedy Transport has just launched the construction of its two new centers, in Vaudreuil-Dorion and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, in the Quebec region.
The investment amounts to 65 million dollars. The two buildings, of the same construction, show a long facade entirely of glass, behind which stretches the warehouse bordered by two transhipment docks. On each side, 20 doors open.
“This is one of my biggest projects!” says Lidia Miniccuci, whose office celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
The inaugural shovelfuls of soil were lifted on May 17 in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and the next day in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
Lidia Minicucci was there.
“I was the only woman,” she comments. There were other women on the scene, but they are not in the field of architecture or construction. »
The photo, in fact, shows her isolated in the middle of nine men.
“Today, I want to climb to an even higher level to get bigger projects,” says the architect resolutely. And I find that difficult. Is it because I’m a woman? I do not know, maybe. It’s still a boys club, you know? »
She has faced this headwind since opening her office in 2003.
When she started out in the profession, the architect worked for fifteen years for major Montreal firms where she carried out projects for major clients. Her entrepreneurial spirit, however, vibrated more and more and she dreamed of becoming a partner.
“Nothing was happening, so I thought, now or never. I started in business at 40. »
She notified the clients she worked with that she was opening her own architectural firm.
“They said to me, ‘Ah! Lidia, that’s fantastic, congratulations! We will follow you, we will come with you.” They were big business customers, but no one came. »
It took him months to get his first mandates.
“I had a great sense of listening,” she says. Clients explained their problems and issues to me. I was telling them: I’m going to fix your problem, and I’m going to do something interesting for you. It started like that, and I built a clientele. »
She diversified her practice in office design, dabbled in residential architecture, designed restaurants, including the new architectural image of the Barbies chain, of which she created five establishments.
“We were going from one restaurant to another, but I found it less and less stimulating for our team. We don’t like to copy and paste, we like to innovate every time. »
The projects have grown. In 2019, among other important mandates, she delivered a six-storey tower for the new offices of BMO Financial Group in Laval.
His office now has ten people. “I’m really a conductor, I let my musicians do it,” she describes. I like to let young people express themselves, create on their side, because I remember that when I was in their place, I liked that my bosses let me show what I was capable of doing. »
She got the mandate from Speedy Transport through a Toronto project manager she had worked with on a medical clinic project. He asked her if she had experience in road transport centers. One of his employees had worked on this kind of project in the past.
“They met us and immediately trusted us. We had two mandates to do at the same time. »
She knew nothing about road transport. “I started walking around, visited a few dock buildings, and both arms fell out of me. I found that pitiful. I said to myself: this is not true, we must improve the working conditions of these people. »
This was the mantra of the project. On each side of the Vaudreuil and Quebec buildings, a strip of glass crosses the warehouse, like a long fanlight above the alignment of the doors, which will generously let in daylight.
The administrative section of the building, largely fenestrated, will house a café and a lounge.
“It sounds banal, comments the architect, but in the context in which these people have to work, you don’t often find that. »
The designers have even provided an interior wall reserved for graffiti, on which young workers can express themselves.
The client, who was looking to stand out, is delighted. Lidia Minicucci is also pumped up.
“It gave me energy: ‘Lidia, don’t give up! We’re ready, it’s not retirement, you’re making big plans, go get bigger ones. And that’s what I’m going to do. »
Either way, Sans-Façon succeeds in breaking through. The Quebec cosmetics brand has just slipped into the shelves of 19 Jean Coutu pharmacies without embarrassment, a feat for a very young company barely two years old. “After many discussions, the Metro Group was open and decided to trust the brand. This is a golden expansion opportunity for Sans-Façon! “, commented its founder Andréanne Marquis, in a press release.
Founded in 2021 in Quebec after two years of research and development, Sans-Façon offers a simplified range of cosmetics and skin products. All are vegan, made in Canada and not tested on animals. The company recently launched a hair oil, the first item in a new series of hair products.
First offered online, the brand appeared in 2022 in 33 Familiprix establishments. In 2015, entrepreneur Andréanne Marquis had already founded Womance, an online store of clothing and accessories for women.
Ono Cannabis blazed $25 million, luckily successfully. After six years of research, the Lévis company has just put its first cannabis products on the Quebec market, developed in aeroponic culture. Ontario will follow next July. Ono Cannabis has just completed phase 1 of its development plan. Its facilities feature nine independent grow rooms, each supporting six annual growth cycles. At the end of phase 2, it expects to reach an annual production of 12 to 15 tons of cannabis in facilities of 40,000 ft2 (3700 m2).
Aeroponic culture? In a way that seems in tune with the effects of the product, the plant is somehow levitating, its free roots suspended in the air, while a gentle nutritive mist gives it the well-being essential for its growth. personal. Aeroponics reduces the risk of pests, diseases, and allows faster growth rates with less impact on the environment, the company argues.
Founded by five entrepreneurs from the Quebec City region, Ono Cannabis currently has around thirty employees.
Norbec is not shy. The Quebec manufacturer of prefabricated cold rooms and insulated metal panels is not afraid to invest 45 million in a new production plant in Strathroy, Ontario. Norbec thus wants to support its growth in the construction market, both in Quebec and in Ontario and in the American Midwest. The new plant will be added to those of Boucherville and Quebec.
The project will create some 70 jobs, bringing the contingent of the Quebec company, founded in 1982, to more than 400 employees. company, in a wording that raises more questions than land.
The average contribution rate for the Occupational Health and Safety Fund (FSST) for 2024 is down $0.02 compared to 2023. At $1.48 per $100 of payroll, it This is the lowest average rate since 1985. “This will be good for the wallets of SMEs in Quebec,” said the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).