Our Story

Every great legacy has its origin story. Ours began with six people and one shared vision. For over 75 years, clients and communities relied on RVA to deliver progressive solutions for their ever-changing needs. We are industry leaders today because we have sustained their trust and outperformed their expectations throughout our history.

Roderick Anderson started with a vision of delivering engineering excellence to build great communities.


Our start

In 1948, Roderick Victor Anderson founded a consulting engineering practice located at Bay and Richmond Street in Toronto, Ontario. The office started with only six staff, consisting of one professional registered engineer (Roderick himself), four technicians and draftsmen, and one stenographer (Roderick’s wife, Jewel Anderson).


How it all began

In the 1950s, the firm became involved in provincially funded water and sewage systems, as well as urban land development projects and major infrastructure projects that would serve the new Metropolitan Toronto. This decade also saw our first involvement in tunnel design, which is now a core strength of the firm. Our involvement in larger and more complex projects proved that the firm had a solid foundation for a municipal consulting practice.

1960s and 70s

A firm is born

The 1960s were a decade of revolution, bringing changes in everything from politics, to music, and society that had a lasting impact on the world we know today. In 1962, RVA also began expanding its presence into additional Ontario markets by establishing a regional branch office in Welland, Ontario. With the introduction of the new office the staff grew to over 60 members, the firm became officially known as R.V. Anderson Associates Limited (RVA). Roderick Anderson retired in 1974, and Ken Hyde was appointed President of RVA. The firm continued working in infrastructure and land development projects that served Toronto’s rapidly expanding municipalities. By the end of 1977, RVA had more than doubled to over 135 employees.


A growing reputation

In the 1980s, RVA’s reputation for quality engineering consulting services resulted in further expansion in Ontario markets with the creation of an Ottawa regional branch office (1988) and the acquisition of Dennis Consultants in Sudbury (1989). RVA also pushed beyond provincial boundaries into Eastern Canada through a partnership with Touchie Engineering of Moncton, New Brunswick for design and construction of a new wastewater collection and treatment system in Moncton.

In 1989, Ken Morrison succeeded Ken Hyde as the firm’s President and served from 1989 to 2015.

RVA became a local and global leader by consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for its clients and people.


Going beyond borders

By the 1990s, RVA had broadened its geographical reach by providing operational improvement strategies for Mumbai’s (Bombay) wastewater treatment systems and operation and maintenance of the Vapi Common Effluent Treatment Plant in India. Mumbai was a stepping-stone for RVA to enter the international marketplace and expand services offerings.

In addition to traditional infrastructure engineering work, RVA began to develop new technological capabilities in the telecommunications sector. RVA was the lead engineering firm for Ledcor/360 networks for development of a 17,000 km fibre optic network in Canada and parts of the USA. Anderson Operations Inc. was established in 1990 to provide water and wastewater operations services.

In 1994, another regional branch office was established in London, Ontario, and the former partnership with Touchie Engineering in Moncton, New Brunswick resulted in its acquisition, securing RVA’s full time presence in the Maritimes.

Photo of Shawn Scott


Here we grow again

RVA complemented its infrastructure operation capabilities with management services focused on infrastructure asset management, competitiveness in the delivery of public works programs, and private sector participation initiatives. Our technical capabilities were further strengthened within Eastern Canada through the acquisition of Hydro-Com Technologies of Fredericton, New Brunswick (2004) and of Kavanagh & Associates Limited of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (2011).

In 2015, Shawn Scott was appointed as RVA’s new President and CEO. RVA grew to over 400 employees with the addition of new core business lines in transportation planning and traffic engineering services, in addition to ecological services. RVA also developed a full building services group comprised of mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and control, architectural, and structural departments. With these new capabilities, RVA was now able to assist public and private sector clients in the full project life cycle of their transportation projects, from planning to implementation.


In the 72 years since Roderick Anderson’s humble entry into engineering consulting services, the world has undergone waves of change and challenge. But 2020 was unique. With the onset of the pandemic, people around the world had to re-examine what has worked and we need to do differently on a global scale. For RVA specifically, this meant an enterprise-wide effort to integrate our services, technology, and locations to meet the needs of our clients and our people in a world that now lives and works in radically different ways.

We seamlessly leveraged our existing cloud-based and VPN technologies to keep our staff and clients connected, with more options for accessibility and collaboration than ever before. We made tremendous strides in our technological services with a 3D flythrough project and a new cybersecurity program to increase online safety in our new work environments.

We also expanded our ability to serve local markets in Ontario and Eastern Canada by opening branches in Halton, Ontario, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was accompanied by an expansion of our services to better serve our clients’ needs for safer and more sustainable infrastructure, including the introduction of our ecology and hydraulic modelling expertise, and increased transportation services, such as signalization and illumination, transportation planning, and structures.

In 2021, we established RVA Architecture, a new independent service division within the RVA family that is dedicated to developing integrated architectural solutions for clients of all sizes and industries across Canada.

We’re doing more than returning to normal. We’re redefining what it means to “get better,” every day.

…And beyond

Our transformational journey has given us a strategic advantage, particularly in today’s environment. Through times of great disruption, we have continued to deliver the multidisciplinary solutions that our clients and communities needed to respond and recover. And as the world reopens, we’re focusing on offerings that they need in this new environment to evolve and thrive. Over and over, we have seen how human ingenuity have allowed us to preserve, adapt, and flourish. Knowing this gives us the confidence that our organization and communities will rally again; that every upheaval is a chance to do more than return to normal. We can redefine, reimagine, and reshape our world for the better—with an established track record that proves we can make it a reality.

Over 75 years of engineering excellence in Canada

Today, RVA has grown to 10 offices and over 450 experienced professionals, including engineers, architects, technologists, environmentalists, modelers, and field inspection specialists. Through the strength of each individual, we’ve brought over 75 years of engineering excellence to Canada and the world. And we’re just getting started.