Leaders in Environmental and Transportation Infrastructure Services


Innovation Program

Innovation has always been an integral part of the culture at Tomlinson. Our Innovation Awards program was created in 2012 to showcase the incredible work that our team has done to drive innovation and progress within our organization.  Each year, Tomlinson employees submit their ideas or inventions that they believe with help drive us further.  The best are voted on, and honoured with an Innovation award.

We may have given out our first Innovation Award in 2012, but our team has been innovating since the 1950s. Back then, Ralph saw an opportunity to remove rail ties from the abandoned line across Preston Street where the Queensway now runs. They weren’t necessarily equipped for this job, but, in the Tomlinson spirit, they made it work. Removing the sides from the box of his truck, he headed to the railway with one other labourer to begin the back-breaking labour of removing the heavy ties, then stacking them to what would be almost 10ft off the ground in the bed of the truck. Keep in mind, there was no such thing as CVOR yet. Since then, innovation has fuelled a lot of change within our organization.


The Game Changer Award will be awarded under special circumstances (not necessarily yearly). When an innovation has an extreme effect on the way we conduct business. It is the implementation or execution of a new idea which does not exist anywhere in the industry. When a big idea comes to fruition, the team who identified and implemented the idea will get a major reward for their efforts based on the value it brings to Tomlinson, up to $20,000.


The Ground Breaker award represents implementation of an innovative idea, which may be used more than once. The idea may be used in multiple business units. The submission of this innovation must demonstrate the financial value. The team identifies, implements and communicates the idea to other business units that may benefit from the idea. This award recognizes teams who strive to find new and improved ways of conducting business at Tomlinson. $6,000.


The MacGyver award represents thinking on your feet. Solutions to problems that only exist on a specific project. Considered continuous improvement and a process that cannot be duplicated or reproduced. This award is given to the team who is resourceful to fix things and creative thinking has helped to make a project successful. The criteria for this award is met by implementing a process, system or tool that is unlikely to be duplicated or used elsewhere in the company. $3,000.


The People’s Choice award represents innovative ideas that are difficult to evaluate on the basis of the financial implications or value of the idea. The winner of this award is chosen by a web based digital survey and the most popular idea wins. Innovation ideas that do not meet the criteria for the Game Changer, Ground Breaker or MacGyver award are entered into the web based digital survey. This award allows all Tomlinson employees to submit their choice for the best innovation. $1,000.