Canadian Contractor

Renovator and custom home builder Evolve Builders Group pays a ‘living wage’

Guelph builder decides Ontario's minimum is not enough

May 13, 2019
By Robert Koci

GUELPH, ON — Evolve Builders Group of Guelph, Ontario has established itself as the first building company in its community to provide not only sustainable buildings, but sustainable wages as well.

In partnership with the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Reduction has established $16.90 per hour (for non-student hires) as the baseline for a living wage in the Guelph Wellington region, the minimum wage Evolve now pays all its employees.

Ben Polley, president of Evolve, says entry level wages for carpenters in the area are routinely offered at provincially mandated minimum wage of $14.00 per hour. “We had to first increase wages for some of our staff to meet the certification requirement but with the calculation (provided by the OLWN to establish the living wage for the area) as a benchmark and our desire to grow sustainable careers for all our staff, we are very happy to have provided these raises.”

“We expect that, by becoming a Living Wage employer, we will attract more talent from a limited pool of workers in the area,” say Polley.


For more information on the Living Wage initiative, or to apply for a Living Wage Employer designation, go to

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