In September 2000, we opened our current terminal in Mississauga, ON. The 20,000 square foot terminal had 6,000 square feet of offices and a maintenance facility consisting of 10 bays and a truck wash. Our Eastern fleet continued to grow and by 2005 we had 130 Drivers. Growth was tempered slightly during the recession years, but in the years following we saw our Driver base increase by upwards of 21% annually. Our office staff also grew as business increased significantly.
By 2013, we realized our current Mississauga facility could no longer sustain our growth expectations. Business was strong, and our staff was expanding. In short, we were bursting at the seams and were forced to add a commercial office trailer to accommodate the additional people in the office, which had climbed to 37. We knew this was a short-term solution as equipment parking was also an ongoing problem.
Bison acquired 15 acres of land within blocks of our current Mississauga terminal, which corrected our equipment parking issue. The property was developed to allow for effective parking and is one of the most secure trailer parking yards in the GTA.
In October 2014, we broke ground on our new 19,000 square foot Mississauga office building, on the corner of our existing property. It is a single story facility with all the Bison finishes. It is open, bright, and functional, while containing great Driver amenities. It will also accommodate for significant growth we expect over the next few years.
Highlights include individual Driver showers that are larger than normal, a fully equipped fitness room, and laundry room. The lounge area will be large and bright, with vending machines and food preparation areas. There will also be a corner to relax and watch television in comfortable chairs. A patio off the lounge will be available for those wishing to eat outside or for hosting our summer BBQs.
Driver Development will have a large classroom, a truck simulator, and a computer room dedicated to skill development.
The main office area will accommodate significant growth for our operational, customer service, ABL (Asset-Based Logistics), and sales groups. The many offices and conference rooms will provide a private environment and offices for visitors. The main boardroom will be located in the center of the office. We will be able to host larger groups with excellent acoustics for video conferencing and presentations.
The finishes are colourful and bright with many similarities to other Bison terminals. The intention is to make everyone visiting feel at home and the décor will reflect this.
We will host our customers, suppliers, and Bison friends at our Grand Opening on Thursday, October 15th.
It is a very exciting time for Bison as we continue with our growth plans in the East.