John Reyns notes with resignation that his best work is buried, never seen by those who count on it daily. Entire communities are built on his endeavors; the traffic of commerce flows along it; he has paved the way for economic and residential growth.

Twenty-nine years ago when John Reyns, started Cobourg Development Services (CDS), he already had many years of experience in the excavating business, and knew the rules.

Gratitude is a recurring theme with this gentle giant of the roads, sewer, and water sector. He recalls his time in Toronto, where he worked for G.C. Romano Construction for eight years. “I learned a lot from them.”

While laid off by Romano during the winter of 1981, Mr. Reyns brought his own excavator to work for Adeo Excavating digging basement in the Toronto and Mississauga area under the trade name John Reyns Excavating.

A9REE2DAfter a couple of years of digging basements, an opportunity presented itself to work for Terry Hollingsworth, a small sewer and water-main¬† contractor who travelled from Richmond Hill to Bowmanville. “When that slowed down, Bev Johnston of Dunedin, Construction hired me and my machine, working mainly from Oshawa to Brockville.”

“After working for Hollingsworth and Dunedin, I realized that I needed to try to become a contractor on my own if I was going to get ahead.”

The lure of home called, and in 1986 Mr. Reyns returned to his roots and launched Cobourg Development Service Ltd.