From a single pickup truck and a small square of land to 20 acres, a full fleet and the purchase of a Bucket List excavator.
W&G Landscaping began in 1996 with Waldemar Mikolajczyk renting a small 40’x40’ square of land on a 20-acre lot in Bobcaygeon, Ontario.
After taking a cash advance to purchase his first pickup truck, Waldemar began to take on lawn maintenance jobs, working hard with the hope of expanding the business.
“The biggest challenge early on would have to be being limited to size and ability of many projects we could take on because of the size of our equipment and our crews.”
Soon after, the hard work paid off and he was able to purchase his first piece of heavy equipment. “My first machine was a Kubota B21, a little backhoe loader. That was a step toward the next level,” said Waldemar.
This next level was to offer Bobcaygeon, and the surrounding area, more services, such as septic installation and repair, softscaping, hardscaping and excavation.
Not only did W&G Landscaping reach this next level, they blew past it and didn’t look back.
“We started with the goal to someday grow up to be a large excavation and operating company and we haven’t stopped yet. Day by day we’re bigger and better than before,” continued Waldemar.
Waldemar took to renting more and more of the 20-acres as the business grew, until finally he made the decision to purchase the whole plot. This plot became a commercial yard, home to a 4,000 sq ft shop with an office and a large showroom.
Working out of Bobcaygeon, W&G had many cottagers looking to purchase small amounts of landscaping supplies, which motivated Waldemar to purchase a small loader for the yard and stock extra gravel, mulch and soil for stop-in purchases.
Bobcaygeon, and the surrounding area, has significant demand from cottagers for landscaping and excavation. W&G has taken full advantage and word has spread about the quality of their work.
“Just last year at Crystal Lake it seemed like every other house down a five kilometer stretch had one of our signs out front,” says Arthur Mikolajczyk, son of Waldemar and General Manager of the company.
Keeping it in the family
Waldemar decided early in his life that he wanted to have his own business. Having grown up on a farm, he had some experience around machines, leading him to find fulfilment in owning a landscape and excavation company.
Growing up along with his father’s company, Arthur would also develop this passion for machines.
“We are a family oriented company. Arthur has been part of it since he was a small kid and having an interest in this type of equipment gave him the ability to become a top-notch operator, which is a huge asset for us,” said Waldemar.
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Purchase of a Liebherr R920
In 2020, with so much excavation, earthmoving and stonework being done, Waldemar and Arthur decided that W&G Landscaping needed a machine that was powerful and versatile.
They decided to purchase a Liebherr R920 Crawler Excavator. The significance of this purchase was immense for the company. From struggling to purchase a pickup truck in 1996 to being able to purchase a brand new, top-of-the-line, machine, it was obvious that W&G Landscaping, and the family at its core, had really made a name for themselves.
One selling point of the machine was that Liebherr was able to pack almost 47,000 lbs of operating weight and 150 hp into a machine with a very compact profile. Working at cottages, around steep inclines and heavily wooded areas is made easier with the R920
“You can get into any kind of jobsite. Tight jobsites are a lot of what we do and being able work around those tight spaces really sets it apart from other machines,” explained Arthur.
“As a kid, there were a lot of Liebherr’s around and I knew I always wanted one. It was on my bucket list,” said Waldemar.
With a black paintjob and tinted windows, W&G’s R920 is very unique. “We get compliments on this machine everywhere we go,” says Arthur.
While observing his son work the controls of the R920, Waldemar, smiling, explained, “If you mix this machine with a good operator, you are in for a treat.”
The next 25 years of W&G Landscaping
Even after all of the success and the purchase of his bucket list item, the R920, Waldemar does not plan on slowing down.
“25 years from now we will focus on being one of the largest excavating contractors in the area, specializing in high end landscaping and excavation. We plan to grow and expand into working on civil projects as well as continuing to run a top-notch excavation company. We will always be adding new equipment to our fleet as you never know what machines you will need next,” explained Waldemar.
“Our new excavator has just been the cherry on the cake this year.”