The History of The Crupi Group

How one of Canada's leading paving and road construction companies was built by a man with a vision and a team of excellence.

In 1949 Dominic Crupi left Italy, his wife Maria and their three young children, to start a new life in Canada. It would be two years before he saw his family again. Penniless, speaking no English, and with only his tools and determination, Dominic started work that summer on a farm near Milton.

Post-war Toronto was a far less cosmopolitan city than it is today but the wave of immigration from Europe, particularly from Italy, was starting to change the landscape. Toronto was growing and Dominic was soon able to find additional work on small concrete jobs, traveling to each new job by streetcar, carrying his tools in a sack.

His persistence paid off. In April 1951, the date that would become the official founding of D. Crupi & Sons, Dominic bought a small used GMC dump truck. On October 23rd that same year, he drove down to Union Station to collect his wife and three children and to take them to their new home on Oakcrest Avenue. It would be sometime later before Dominic decided that he needed to get a driver's license to go along with the truck.

Dominic continued to do concrete and drain work as well as the risky business of raising war-time houses in order to add a basement. He was also perceptive enough to spot new business opportunities. When his customers began asking him to pave their driveways he bought a 1/2 ton roller in order to do the job properly. From that point on, now six years after Dominic had started the company, asphalt paving gradually became the focus of the business.

Dominic and Maria now had five children. Maria raised the family and helped with the bookkeeping; Cosimo and Mike, the two older sons, joined their father on the job on weekends.

In 1963, Cosimo Crupi joined the firm on a full-time basis; the same year that Dominic Crupi bought a John Deere rubber tired loader for the then expensive sum of $5,200, which was repaid at $27 per month.

In 1965, Mike Crupi, another of Dominic's sons, joined the company. It was also the year that the family deciding they needed somewhere a bit more secure than the nearby Canadian Tire parking lot to store their equipment.  They bought their first small yard on Brimley Road just south of the Dufferin Construction plant, which they would in turn buy some years later. The Brimley Road Yard would also house their first official office, a small building with two desks, a phone, and a filling cabinet. The washroom was noticeable by its absence.

Three years later, Crupi bought land on Passmore Avenue and began making plans for their first asphalt plant - a 5,000-pound Barber Greene batch plant. For the next few months, the family built the formwork for the footings with scrap lumber scrounged from the neighbours. They also built a new shop with an office attached and fully equipped with its own washroom. The asphalt plant opened on August 20th 1971.

Dominic Crupi, although less active, continued to visit the plants and offices almost to the end. Sadly he passed away in May 1989 at the age of 77.

Little could Dominic Crupi have imagined traveling on a streetcar with his sack of tools to another construction job that fifty years later the company he founded would be one of the largest integrated paving contractors in Ontario.

Today, The Crupi Group operates three aggregate operations (including the recently opened quarry in Kirkfield) and four ashpalt plants and has more than 300 employees. The shop originally built in 1968 is now ten times its original size and is an integral part of the company's reliability.

In 1977, Crupi purchased the Brimley location, which was equipped with a 5,000 pound Barber Green batch plant with output of approximately 130 tons per hour. Crupi added the three storage silos at a later date.

The original asphalt plant on Passmore Avenue was replaced in 1979 with a 10,000-pound Barber Greene batch plant with an output in excess of 300 tons and hour. With an intense pride in recycling, six years ago the Passmore plant was upgraded with a mixer to allow for cleaner and more efficient recycling of RAP.

In 1982, the company installed, as part of a joint venture, a third Barber Greene batch plant (6,000 pound batch capacity) at the yard on Martingrove Road. Crupi eventually assumed full ownership of the plant.

In 1991 the plant on Ashbridge Circle was purchased. This 10,000-pound Wibau batch plant has five cold feed bins and one bin for RAP.

In 1985, the company made a strategic decision to integrate its hot mix production with an aggregate operation. Crupi purchased the rights to the Halton Quarry in 1985 and a full interest in its Lee Sand and Gravel joint venture with the Lee family in 1987.

Crupi was also one of the first to recycle concrete for aggregate.  Initially started as a joint venture with Gazzola Paving in 1979, Crupi took over the operation in 1988 and now supplies recycled concrete aggregates from locations in Markham and Scarborough.

In 2004 the Martingrove plant was totally removed and closed. A new state-of-the-art continuous flow drum plant was erected at the new Bethridge location.