In 1962 brothers Al and Gordon Kenyon owned a construction company called Kenyon Construction. When they were awarded the contract to build a hardware store, they quickly realized they had to figure out how to make a structural beam. How hard could it be? Just glue some 2 x 4 and 2 x 6's together. Well it was harder than they thought. One of the beams failed and in order to save their reputation as a quality builder, they rounded up a few helpers and got it fixed without anyone the wiser. From that day on, the company produced nothing but quality structural beams. In their 80’s now, the two brothers still see those beams when they go for pie at Lottie’s Restaurant, the former hardware store in Okanagan Falls.
As Kenyon Construction continued bidding projects around BC and the Okanagan Valley, the brothers started to see a demand for laminated beams. They decided it was time to open a glulam facility. A Federal Grant was received for startup, land was purchased, and construction began on the building. Projects were bid throughout Western Canada, and Okanagan Laminated Beams was awarded contracts for many schools, municipal and commercial buildings. Lumber was purchased from local sawmills, including Oliver and Penticton.
And so began the launch of Okanagan Laminated Beams.
During the late 70's, the name Okanagan Laminated Beams was changed to Structurlam Products Ltd., so the company could reach a wider market outside the Okanagan. In the 1990’s, Structurlam was very successful providing product and structures to the Japanese market where quality requirements are very high. To meet these quality standards, the company moved to 3D modeling and extensive prefabrication. At the turn of the millennium, Structurlam aggressively automated its production with the purchase of European CNC technology and rapidly became a leader in the North American market. In 2008, the company invested in a new production facility, nearly tripling its capacity.
Structurlam is now recognized around the world for its quality products and ability to fabricate the most complex designs. However, we have not forgotten our roots, and if you ask Al and Gordon Kenyon what they are most proud of, both will reply "The Hockey Stick" for the Expo '86 World's Fair in Vancouver. Now at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan BC, the hockey stick measures 205-feet (62.48 m) and 61,000 pounds (28,118 kgs) - setting the world record for the Largest Hockey Stick and Puck.