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About Us - History

A century of family tradition

Founded in 1911, at a time when a handshake or your word sealed a deal, J.L. Guay "our pioneer" sets off to seek fortune in Western Canada, more specifically in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. He starts out in the construction business and after a few years takes on residential contracts. His first successes are modest and eventually his business develops in Alberta, Manitoba and in his adoptive province. Originally from Quebec, a place for which he still felt nostalgic, he returns in 1932.

J.L. Guay Ltd. then specializes in work on behalf of various religious communities. Benefiting from it's know-how and reliability the company then diversifies its activities to include schools, colleges, hospitals, apartment buildings and public works projects.

In 1962, under the direction of Fernand "the visionary", the 2nd generation, the company makes its first foray in real estate and builds the "Le Laurier" apartments which has one hundred units, across from the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. Around the same time period, Mr. Guay is instrumental in the arrival of the first Holiday Inn hotels to Quebec. Following the development of three hotels, he then sells his shares to his partners (which will become Atlific Inns).

In 1968, the company undertakes the development and construction of Édifice "Le 200," an office building with a total area of 400,000 square feet, on Chemin Ste-Foy, and to this day it remains one of the largest of it's kind in the City of Quebec.

In 1972, the company purchases the "Beekman Towers" in Miami, a building with 125 apartments directly on the ocean, transforms it and manages it as an apartment/hotel. In 1973, the promotion and construction of "Place de la Capitale," a 240,000 square foot building consisting of office space which becomes one of the most prestigious buildings in Quebec City. In 1977, J.L. Guay Ltd. ceases it's construction business and devotes itself entirely to real estate.

In 1983, Christian, representing the 3rd generation, joins the company. Two years later, the company purchases an office building in downtown Montreal on Drummond Street (now the CAA building). In 1986, the company changes its name to Devcorp Inc. Thereafter, the company acquires numerous buildings in Montreal and Quebec City. In the mid 90s, the company will significantly reduce the number of its properties to concentrate on third-party management. Then the creation of Placement Valguay Inc. who makes the “non" real estate investments of the group and is the owner of Gestion immobilière Devcorp Inc.

In 2005, the company achieves the most important transaction in its history by selling its landmark building, Édifice "Le 200" to Whiterock Reit (now Dundee Reit) and obtaining the long-term management of the trust company’s portfolio (six buildings) in Quebec City. In 2008, the company creates a consortium which acquires the "Place Québec" complex in Quebec City. We have now successfully navigated through 20 recessions over the past century.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change"
- Charles Darwin (1809-1882) British scientist