North Lan­caster con­trac­tor re­turns to his roots

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

Jess Hu­bert has come full cir­cle. Raised on a farm in Québec, the con­struc­tion con­trac­tor re­cently moved to North Lan­caster, where he is ea­ger to be­gin build­ing for farm­ers.

Over the last three decades, his ca­reer path has taken him to the west coast of Canada, where he has worked on a wide range of projects, in­clud­ing many that have made it to the sil­ver screen.

Mr. Hu­bert was born on a dairy and po­tato farm in Ste-Adèle. At the age of 15, he be­gan work­ing as a car­pen­ter’s helper.

He formed TCF Con­tract­ing in 1993, when he moved to Sur­rey, Bri­tish Columbia. “I went to Van­cou­ver on a hol­i­day. I loved the weather, so I de­cided to move there,” he re­calls.

But he moved back closer to his roots last sum­mer, when he and his wife were at­tracted to Glen­garry. When his fa­ther died in Laval last July, “We came back for his fu­neral and we started driv­ing around this area.”

He and his wife had planned to buy a home in Van­cou­ver. How­ever, those plans were re­vised when they be­gan to check out east­ern On­tario real es­tate, and real es­tate prices. “We saw a place in North Lan­caster, with 1.1 acres, a 1,200-square-foot steel shop and a 2,800-square-foot house. When the real es­tate agent told us the price, we did a dou­ble-take,” re­marks Mr. Hu­bert.

Lo­cal homes are a bar­gain when one con­sid­ers that the av­er­age home in Van­cou­ver sells for $1 mil­lion, Mr. Hu­bert notes. “We were re­ally happy to move here,” he says.

The cou­ple is now in the process of open­ing a con­ve­nience store in a sec­tion of the multi-pur­pose build­ing, where his wife will have an ac­count­ing busi­ness.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to work in the farm mar­ket,” says Mr. Hu­bert.

His com­pany em­ploys five peo­ple who work on job sites, plus his wife and mother-in-law, who do the book­keep­ing.

Wide range of ex­per­tise

“We do ev­ery­thing – com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial, res­i­den­tial, ren­o­va­tions, new con­struc­tion, garages, barns, sheds, houses.” Mr. Hu­bert is also cer­ti­fied by the In­sti­tute of In­spec­tion, Clean­ing and Restora­tion Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He has worked on ev­ery­thing from crime scenes to mouldy homes.

Sur­rey and other B.C. com­mu­ni­ties have con­struc­tion chal­lenges that are rarely en­coun­tered in this part of the coun­try. “Out there I was do­ing a lot of seis­mic proof­ing, to pre­pare build­ings for a ma­jor earth­quake.”

The re­gion also of­fers some unique op­por­tu­ni­ties. Be­cause Van­cou­ver is such a hot spot for tele­vi­sion and movie pro­duc­tions, Mr. Hu­bert has been hired to create some fa­mous back­drops. “I have worked on shows such as the High­lander TV series, the X Files, the movie Snow Fall­ing on Cedars, Call Of The Wild, Border­town...It is re­ally fun to be watch­ing TV and I see a wall or a house I built,” he says.

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