Ardent's history is truly a storied one. So much of our history is in the details, dating as far back as the 1620s. See how Ardent began, how we’ve grown, and how our values have sustained us throughout our journey.


We begin our story with Glen and Pat White, recently married, purchasing the family farm in Springwater, Ontario. Here, Glen designs and fabricates his first-ever building, a workshop adjacent to the farm. It becomes clear that Glen has a knack for building things, and with that, Glen makes and sells his first pack barn for a whopping $6,590 after tax. As the Whites settle into life on the farm, they decide to start their family; their first child is born, Jason White.  



This period marks the inception of Glen White Industries Ltd., as Glen recognizes his skills and pursues commercial success. The business makes subsequent steps towards legitimacy and progress with their exhibition at the Tobacco Trade Fair and the construction of the Steelway plant, a 15,000 square foot facility. Glen and Pat also welcome their second child into the world, Bryan White. 


In the early 1980s, Glen White Industries began operating under Steelway Building Systems, diversifying its products to include non-tobacco farm and commercial buildings. Steelway started picking up more significant projects, including the Melbourne Grain Storage Building and an airplane hangar in Antigua, garnering accolades and putting Steelway on the map. Steelway built a 12,000 square foot plant in the Industrial Park in Aylmer, Ontario, to meet growing demand. Innovation also picks up with their new offering, Spaceframe building systems, giving customers a cost-efficient alternative to all-wood buildings.

yellow and black crest logo steelway


In the late 1980s, Steelway begins looking and operating more like a hierarchical organizational structure. During this time, Steelway hires its first engineer, turning the company into a turnkey manufacturer of building systems with in-house capabilities. Inroads are also made for employees with the formation of the Steelway Employee Committee and the introduction of a profit-sharing plan. 


In the early 1990s, Steelway, under Glen White's stewardship, establishes itself as an industry leader. Steelway's buildings are erected across the world in Nepal, Latvia, Lithuania, Ghana, Cuba, Mexico, Aruba and Iceland. Business is good, and the financials prove it, as Steelway sets a new sales record of $20M. Glen White is recognized as an industry leader and dynamo and is elected president of the Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute (CSSBI). 

wordmark steelway red and dark green logo


Steelway celebrates its 20th anniversary with an open house and even more milestones. Steelway completes two massive additions totalling 55,000 square feet and launches the Steelway Material Handling brand to mark the occasion. Participation in the St. Thomas Corporate Challenge is another milestone, beginning Steelway's commitment to the community and fundraising efforts. 



Steelway marks its 25th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 40,000 square foot plant expansion. Another milestone is marked with the creation of ExSteel, devoted to the sale of building components. Hard news arrives with Glen's White cancer diagnosis, during the same period that he is nominated for the Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year award.



Steelway's 30th anniversary was bittersweet, as founder Glen White was laid to rest on November 13th, 2006. Glen's sons, Jason and Bryan, take on the formal title of co-Presidents, carrying on their father's legacy of integrity, passion, and hard work. Steelway forges ahead with a new 12,000 square foot facility and 1,250 square feet of office space. Another significant project comes to a close, with the Halton Hills Combined Cycle Plant (CCP) opening. 

white steelway wordmark 30th anniversary


Steelway marks this period with some big maneuvers. The company purchases and installs the most technically advanced piece of equipment in Steelway's history – a $400,000 robotic welding cell. The White family also acquires Zelus Material Handling, a reputable crane company. And Zelus, in its ambitious expansion efforts, purchases Pro-Crane Hoist Repairs, a crane service company operating out of Oakville since 1985.


Ardent Industries Ltd. was created to tie together the independent brands Steelway, ExSteel and Zelus, allowing for shared resources and culture. Ardent acquires R&W Crane and Hoist in Oakville, Glass Canada, and London Automatic Doors with no signs of slowing down. Steelway Material Handling is also merged into Zelus, marked with a 50,000 square feet manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ontario. To celebrate the creation of Ardent, 'Becoming Ardent' is published, a legacy and anniversary book capturing the story of people, passion, and family.