The Hill Companies - Timeline

The Hill Companies have a long and impressive history in business that began when its founding company, McCallum Hill Limited, was created in 1903. Founded by Walter H.A. Hill and E.A. McCallum, the company specialized in real estate development and insurance.

1903-01-01 09:10:04

McCallum Hill & Company Founded

Walter Hamilton Alexander Hill and E. A. McCallum formed McCallum Hill & Company on February 3, 1903. The enterprise initially engaged in both the real estate and insurance business, aggressively acquiring land from the city to develop residential and commercial properties. The land acquisition of the Robert Sinton farm was McCallum Hill & Company’s first real estate deal. Located in south Regina, the land was purchased by the provincial government and is now home to the Provincial Legislative Building. At the time, the property owner was having difficulty determining if he wanted to sell his land and Walter decided to offer a $20,000 cash down payment to help speed up the process. With the only legal tender at the time being the Dominion of Canada one dollar bill, Walter kept a briefcase of $20,000 one-dollar notes on hand on the chance that the owner would choose to accept. Eventually, Sinton decided to sell and Walter offered him the deposit before he could change his mind.

1909-01-01 09:10:04

Saskatchewan Guaranty and Fidelity Co.

In 1909, Western Surety Company opened its doors as Saskatchewan Guaranty and Fidelity Company (SG&F). The firm developed a successful reputation by building long standing relationships with clients such as Ernie Poole whose company, PCL, became Canada’s largest contractor. With all of the success the company experienced the government began to take notice in the late 1940’s. SG&F was pursued as the private sector vehicle the government needed to reduce the government-owned stigma felt beyond Saskatchewan’s borders. SG&F’s stock price soared as the government secretly began bidding for a controlling interest through brokers. As Fred Hill entered the bidding war; the price began exceeding the company’s asset value. The government threatened expropriation and Fred finally recommended that shareholders accept the offer so long as the government took all of the company’s shares. Fred immediately re-established the McCallum Hill foothold in the surety market, chartering Western Surety to begin business the day after SG&F fell into government hands. The loyal customer base followed, bringing their business from SG&F to Western Surety. The government was left to pursue risky and unprofitable business elsewhere while Western Surety grew, delivering sustainable profits to the McCallum Hill organization.

1914-01-01 09:10:04

Regina's First Skyscraper

Following McCallum Hill & Company’s success in the area of residential land development and sales, the company set its sights on the commercial office market. The founders were looking to put their money into something solid that would promise continued prosperity. Observing continuous growth in Regina, McCallum Hill & Company chose to invest in the city that had brought them success and built Regina’s first skyscraper. The building’s initial concept appeared in the Regina Leader in 1912, causing a flurry of excitement in a city of only 30,000 people. Ready to accept its first tenants on January 1, 1914, the construction of the building symbolized the company’s confidence in Regina’s future and was also of important architectural distinction. Designed by New York-trained architects William G. Van Egmond and Stan E. Storeythe building was described as “one of the most modern buildings in the west“.

1977-01-01 09:10:04

Harvard Broadcasting Established

During a time of diversification in the Harvard portfolio, Fred Hill came upon an opportunity to acquire CKCK-TV (later CTV). Although the Hill’s had no experience in the industry, Harvard Broadcasting was established in 1977. The station’s manager Bruce Cowie offered guidance, helping Fred and Paul learn about the television business and eventually became the company’s Chief Operating Officer. The Hill’s used the broadcast license as an opportunity to strengthen the community and uphold industry standards. Looking past the bottom line, the station became known for high production standards and quality public affairs programming. Harvard Broadcasting expanded into radio in the 1980’s with the purchase of CKRM and CFMQ in Regina. Despite the eventual sale of CKCK-TV, after the entrance of Global Television, Harvard’s radio portfolio remains strong and has diversified across Western Canada.

1982-01-01 09:10:04

Harvard Energy Established

In response to the federal government’s National Energy Program, introduced in 1980, the opportunity to form a small oil & gas company came to fruition. Neal Blue, an acquaintance of F.W. Hill, had successfully bid on the Canadian holdings of Tenneco. When he needed a Canadian partner to meet the Foreign Investment Review Agency’s requirements, Blue contacted Mr. Hill whom after much hesitation came on board. Seeking advice from the best legal and tax minds in Canada, innovative structural mechanisms were developed to mitigate extremely high interest rates and a partnership arrangement was created. In compliance with Canadian ownership rules, the arrangement outlined that Harvard would be entitled to one-third of the equity and fifty-one per cent voting control in the new company. The deal was closed on June 7, 1982 and Harvard Energy was established.

1982-02-01 09:10:04

Harvard Investments Established

Harvard Investments Inc. was established in 1982, with the first development being a large industrial project located in Los Angeles, CA. The organization has since transitioned into residential land development and the marketing and sales of home sites. Its residential projects include exclusive golf course communities on thousands of acres, custom home developments and large master planned communities that focus on single-family production housing. Other Harvard projects include industrial parks, shopping centers, office buildings and multi-family developments. The company is currently working on the redevelopment of 565 acres of land that was formally part of the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds in the City of Menza, AZ. Referred to as Pacific Proving Grounds North, the mixed use community will be comprised of 500 acres of residential development and 65 acres of commercial space.

1992-01-01 09:10:04

Hill Centre Towers Completed

Following the completion of the Cornwall Centre, Regina’s downtown core was facing a dramatic revitalization. Harvard, being Regina’s major real estate player chose to take centre stage. Although once heralded as Regina’s first skyscraper, the McCallum Hill Building had reached the end of its long useful life. The Hill’s determined there was no way to maintain the building economically and decided to implode the property on October 31, 1982. The sale of the Grosvenor property, located on Scarth Street adjacent to the site of the former McCallum Hill Building, allowed for the development of the twin Hill Centre Towers. The 21-storey towers were designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of New York and BLM Architects of Regina. The first tower was completed in 1985 with second developed in 1992.

2004-01-01 09:10:04

Eau Claire Purchased

Acquired in 2004, Eau Claire is a mixed-use project that will house approximately 1.8 million square feet of residential, retail, office and hotel development. Eau Claire is situated on the shore of the Bow River on the northern boundary of Calgary’s downtown core. Today, this prime location serves as a highly desirable gathering point for business, travel and leisure activities. Views of the Bow River Valley and Rocky Mountains also add to this location’s residential appeal.

2007-01-01 09:10:04

Paul J. Hill School of Business

A $10 million gift, the largest gift ever received by the University of Regina, led to the naming of the Paul J. Hill School of Business. The investment created a unique $2.5 million relationship with the Richard Ivey School of Business, located at The University of Western Ontario. The faculty now utilizes the “business case study” approach to education for which Ivey has become internationally recognized. In addition to advancing the reputation and expertise of the Paul J. Hill School of Business, Hill established a set of scholarships to help students excel. A $612,000 donation created the Hill Scholarships in Business Ethics. An additional $587,000 had been donated to Campion College, to establish the Paul and Carol Hill Scholars in Catholic Studies.

2008-08-25 09:10:04

Currents Ground Breaking

On August 25th, a ground breaking ceremony was held for Currents. The 700 acre master planned community is located in southwest Edmonton at the intersection of Anthony Henday and Terwillegar Drive. Currents features a 106 acre, 1.3 million square foot hybrid centre with a large format perimeter and an urban village interior. The urban village contains a theatre, urban grocer, fashion retailers and residential space. The perimeter is anchored by Cabela’s, Walmart Supercentre, Home Depot and Canadian Tire. Construction commenced spring 2007.

The Hill Companies - Timeline

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