Ludba Construction has played a significant role in Canora for the majority of the town’s history, both before and after the business was incorporated.
Ludba Construction began as a dray business run by George Ludba in the early 1930s. With his horses and dray cart, Ludba hauled heavy freight loads for CN and other businesses in town, stated information provided by the Ludba family.
His sons later joined the business and the horses were replaced with trucks and loaders. About 1953, Ludba’s business became Canora Cartage and the Ludbas distributed products such as flour, oats and sugar, as well as delivering coal to businesses and homes for heat. The business grew in the 50s and 60s as the Ludbas got into construction and purchased more equipment, continued the information.
George’s son Bob, and his wife Ollie eventually took over the construction business. In 1970 they purchased the concrete plant and became incorporated as Ludba Construction Ltd, and are celebrating 50 years since incorporation, servicing Canora and surrounding area.
Bob’s son Robin, who took over the business in the 1980’s, recalls his first job at Ludba Construction at age 13.
“I was loading 50 lb fertilizer bags for grandpa at age 13,” said Ludba. “I worked for him delivering freight when I was about 14, then shortly after I would run a loader feeding the screener. My brother Geno and I would screen cement gravel for the Redi-mix plant on weekends. In the fall time I would run our large loader on a ditching project and then Geno would trim the slopes with the Cat and scraper.”
Ludba said he started working fulltime at Ludba Construction in May/1979 and has worked in many aspects of the business over the years. He continues to manage all operations and specializes in bin pads, site excavation and clearing, as well as developing lake lots for retirement homes.
Over the years, services provided have included excavating basements, landscaping lots, hauling aggregate, snow removal and many others, as well as supporting and caring for the local community and being deeply involved in community organizations. A highlight in recent years was working on Canora’s Chase Kraynick Memorial Splash Park in 2013, said Ludba.
“It was a good community project with help from many local volunteers to spread the gravel.”
Other projects have included the Town Hall, Curling Rink, Skating Rink and what is now the Richardson Pioneer grain elevator.
It is a true family business, as many Ludba family members have worked in various capacities over the years, including Robin’s son, his sister Chris and her son.
Robin said there have been many interesting projects over the years.
“Providing the Redi-mix for what is now the Richardson Pioneer elevator near Canora comes to mind just because of the size of the job,” said Robin. “The flood protection dykes at Burgis Beach was a challenging job but ended up being very enjoyable while working at the lake. I definitely enjoy landscaping people’s cabin and retirement houses at the lakes. You are dealing with a different design and different-shaped lot every time.”
An important community project for Canora took place on Second Avenue East in 1998. After a couple of weeks of salvage work, Ludba Construction demolished the Canora Supply Store building at the future location of Crossroads Credit Union.
As news of the fiftieth anniversary of Ludba Construction has spread through the community, numerous residents have sent congratulatory messages, including Linda Banga and her family of Canora. Ludba Construction did the landscaping work for their new house and has also hauled dirt and levelled corrals at their farm.
“Congrats Ludba crew!” said Banga. “I think what we appreciate the most about your company is that no matter if the job is big or small you always take the time to make it perfect. Thank you for making our community just a little better.
“One thing that we really appreciate about Robin is his attention to detail and perfectionism when it came to landscaping. Finally, through it all no matter how busy he was he always took time for our son Ty. Whether it was visiting with Ty or giving him a ride in the Bobcat, Robin always makes time for kids!”
Ludba said he enjoys the variety in his work, but there are also significant challenges as time goes on.
“It is getting harder to find good aggregates for our projects. Our decent pits are being depleted,” he said. “Another challenge is having the right amount of employees on the job. One day you don’t need anyone and the next day you may need four men.
“The biggest change is the technology. The equipment has more power and runs hotter, thus producing less pollution. There is a definite lack of homes being built in recent years. There are a lot of new safety regulations to follow.”
Ludba Construction has become well-known in Canora and the surrounding area, working in town and also for numerous area farmers.
“I have worked at Good Spirit Lake, Crystal Lake and Madge Lake,” he said. “I’ve worked in Yorkton and recently in Preeceville. I’ve delivered product close to 50 miles away in all directions.”
Ludba said he has no intentions to make any significant changes in the near future, “as long as there is work and I can physically keep doing it.”
The Ludba Family members appreciate all of their customers for their past patronage and look forward to serving the community in the future.