Help OSPE Countdown 150 Ways Engineering Has Shaped Canada


This year, Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday and Canadians across the country are already counting down to July 1st by honouring the people, places and industries that make our home unique.

A vital thread in the fabric of Canadian society, engineers have played a critical role in weaving Canada’s story to date. Engineers’ innovative thinking, analytical mindsets and dedication to solving society’s most pressing challenges have produced many of the inventions and processes that continue to enhance our quality of life and our international influence.

There is no shortage of defining moments and inspirational reasons to celebrate our country’s history, and OSPE intends to highlight a few more of those very reasons—150 to be exact.

Over the course of 2017, OSPE will be compiling a list of 150 ways that the engineering profession has substantially impacted the development of our country throughout its history.

The list will highlight engineering milestones—past, present and future—from across the provinces, the various regions of Ontario and the diverse fields of engineering.

The list will feature items including:

  • Canadian engineers and their contributions to the profession and to society as a whole
  • Modern and historical examples of Canadian innovations, products, projects and processes involving the work of engineers
  • Canadian engineering companies doing ground-breaking or important work in industries from aerospace, to mining and robotics

Let’s make this a collaborative effort!

In true Canadian fashion, OSPE aspires to create a list that reflects the diversity of our members and the industries within which Ontario’s engineers work. Help us showcase how engineering innovation has and will continue to advance every facet of Canadian society by sharing your favourite examples of Canadian engineering:


Contribute your ideas to OSPE’s #Canada150 list by emailing or by reaching out to @O_S_P_E on social media (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook) with the hashtag #OSPECan150.

You can watch OSPE’s celebratory list grow throughout 2017 by visiting our Canada 150 webpage at

You can also check in with OSPE’s social media channels for engineering-themed #Canada150 facts and informative posts.

Let’s continue to work together to elevate the understanding and appreciation of the engineering profession. We look forward to hearing about the Canadian engineering accomplishments that make you proudest!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Bill Goodings

    Just to add another dimension to discussion of this topic…here is my contribution:
    I believe that Engineers can do more for Canada than just ‘to engineer’..

    We all know that Professional Engineers’ involvement is critical to finding engineering solutions benefiting all of citizens. Canada’s Professional Engineers offer their technical expertise in a trustworthy accurate and unbiased manner for the purpose of informing the public and policy-makers about the scientific and engineering methods appropriate to all infrastructure and other engineering related problems. In short , as with other professions also serving Canada, we solve the problems that our policy makers (politicians) give us to solve, as they go about their business of governing Canada and improving life for all . And so far, Professional Engineers have been very good in performing this important but limited task.
    We must also acknowledge the role of those toiling as politicians in our governments of all levels.. Without their leadership and forward thinking, Engineers would have far fewer engineering problems to solve. I make the case then that the Professional Engineering Community can also lead and not just do the governing bodies’ bidding. (i.e. just engineering). Canada would be even better if there were more Professional Engineers sitting in the seats of political power at every level. These engineers would become policy makes. OSPE might then be able to say ” ENGINEERS HAVE SHAPED CANADA” and not just “ENGINEERS HAVE HELPED SHAPE CANADA”. Many members of Canada’s Legal Profession chose to become policy makers . I think that Engineers would perform even better than they do in that key role.. Just remember the record of one engineer who once served Canada in the seat of power … our own Mr. C.D. Howe P Eng.

    1. Bill Goodings


      Aside from media attention, that OSPE letter also got us a meeting with Minister Murray and his Parliamentary Assistant Arthur Potts to express concern that not a single Professional Engineer or engineering graduate had been appointed to the Minister’s Climate Advisory Group (CAG). The Minister expressed his understanding for our concern and suggested that OSPE advise members to apply for upcoming governance positions—this is the first of such opportunities.

      As such, this invitation to participate in the leadership/governance of the OCCSDC presents a special opportunity for engineers to showcase their value in achieving program success—reaffirming the importance of involving engineers in leadership positions to shape the planning, design, and operation of programs.

      1. Bill Goodings

        ‘CHANCE’ not CANCH

    2. STAFF

      Hello Bill – thank you for commenting. Very eloquently stated. Mr. C.D. Howe, P.Eng., will certainly be featured on OSPE’s growing #Canada150 list!

  2. Darya Duma

    We need a Canadian museum of engineering! We have created so much in this country, and we have given up global leadership positions in many industries for various reasons (AVRO arrow, shipbuilding, research in electricity generation, etc.). As such, the perception of the average Canadian is that we are not global leaders in innovation and technology. This needs to change. Showcasing innovation that has taken place in the past inspires innovation for the future.

  3. Bill Goodings

    My two cents worth after thinking about what Darya Duma has written::
    As a nation, we excel at scientific discovery, but much of the engineering research generated by that scientific discovery that is created here, ends up being exported to other parts of the globe where our ideas and concepts are applied and then brought by others to the world’s market.
    Canada now has the lowest research and development (R&D), invention and productivity improvement rates of all the G7 Nations.
    My point in writing this piece is that I believe that in order for us to continue to have engineering excellence we must have a solid manufacturing base… I believe that this is one important key to creating engineering innovation that is both relevant in 2017 and is useful and commercially successful.
    It is not that Canadian manufacturers need to be convinced to innovate….BUT that Canadian manufactures must continue to EXIST in order to give their engineers and their trades the opportunity to innovate. Innovative engineering will always take place within stable and growing manufacturing communities….it is one prerequisite to their existence . However, over the last 25 years, much of our manufacturing has disappeared and or is lost.
    What can we do to prevent our manufacturing jobs from leaving?….Or maybe more important, how can we encourage the Canadian manufacturing base to stay and to grow and to flourish?
    The flight of our manufacturing capacities to low cost countries often has a lot to do with pursuit of ever increasing shareholder returns…..but at what ‘collateral’ cost I ask? Decisions to create these higher returns by the outsourcing manufacturing to a lower cost country are boardroom decisions . They are designed in order to achieve higher shareholder return targets and are often at the expense of reducing the size of our domestic manufacturing base.
    I would argue that some European countries, which also have higher manufacturing costs ( Germany for one), still have thriving manufacturing bases…..and they also have manufacturing companies which have existed for many years…. who have innovated and transformed themselves over time to adapt to new demands…..BUT these manufactures have not fled from their homeland to set up shop in lower cost countries.

    Why and what is different between Europe countries and Canada? …. Maybe they have learned that over the course of history, no country has ever outsourced itself to greatness…….Maybe they have learned that long term sustainability is more important than short term gain….. Maybe they understand that the greatness of a country or society can only be measured by the environment they pass on for future generations to succeed,…… Maybe, since their society has a history going back over many years, and the knowledge of this history is more basic to them than to us. In my opinion, this must be the thinking of a mature culture.

    How do we create an environment in this country where manufacturing is encouraged, and sound engineering and skilled trades are respected and are found in a thriving domestic manufacturing base? If we set our collective minds to do so, we might help Canada regain its status as a world leader in engineering and manufacturing excellence.
    I think that OSPE and its members may have a distinct role in finding ways to convince all of our governments to assist Canadian manufactures, and hence to assist the engineers working in our manufacturing community to flourish.

  4. Bill Goodings

    my spelling error ….when you see [manufactures]… [manufacturers]

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