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Luigi Mion: A Pillar of the Community
By Il Postino Staff
Perhaps one of Ottawa’s most well-known Italian names, both inside the Italian community and out, Mion has come to stand for reliability and leadership.

The Mion family has built a virtual dynasty of construction firms in Ottawa that have come to serve the city’s needs and give back to the community.

Just last December, Luigi Mion, founder of Central Precast, passed on his business to sons Rudy and John and daughters Anna and Marcella. In his retirement, Luigi also stepped back from his role as president of Villa Marconi, an Italian seniors' home and long-term care facility.

The hard work and dedication that made the Central Precast group of companies great and gave Villa Marconi direction no longer resides in just the actions of Luigi Mion but in his family as well.

The history of the Mion family and their contribution to Ottawa begins back in 1954 when Luigi immigrated to Canada from a small northern Italian town near Undine.

Though he arrived with no money, he quickly found work with the railways in British Columbia but eventually ended up in Ottawa with an old-time friend.

Luigi Mion (centre) receiving an award from the former City of Nepean and surrounded by a proud family.

Luigi started working for Durie Mosaic and Marble but his ambition and drive got the best of him and he soon left to start his own company. Gathering up the minimal amount of necessities, in this case a bag of cement, a wheelbarrow and a telephone, Luigi and his friend founded Central Precast.

By 1958 they had moved from their small garage on Preston Street out to a larger location. By 1963 the concrete business had continued to grow so much that they had to move again. This time they settled at the company’s current location in Nepean.

In 1976 Luigi bought his partner’s share of the company and took his business through an era of quick growth. During the 1980’s, Central Precast started other companies and could offer products from highway barriers to sewer and patio slabs. Central Precast was divided into three companies.

Mion, past president of Villa Marconi, is on hand for the grand opening of the Marconi Centre.

A family business now, the companies of Central Precast are managed by and employ many of Mion’s close family: sons, daughters, his sons-in-law, a brother, and nephews. His wife Ada has given support to the family along the way as well, and now the couple have a little bit more time to spend with their 13 grandchildren.

Luigi has also firmly proven his belief in giving back to the community by helping to fundraise and lead Villa Marconi during the past few years. His companies support local amateur hockey and soccer teams and many charities.

In 1992 Luigi was given the Canada Award for Business Excellence for Entrepreneurship. He has been appointed a Knight of the Order of Merit by Rideau Hall, and has received community awards from the former City of Nepean and a medal for business achievement from his hometown in Italy. On March 2, 2002, Luigi was honoured at the Kidney Foundation’s annual fundraising dinner for his contribution to the organization.

Of all the awards and merits he has gained, most significantly of all Luigi Mion has added his name to the distinguished list of families that have come to be the backbone of the Ottawa Italian community. With his children and relatives taking over the companies Luigi started nearly 50 years ago, he is ensured that the Mion family name will continue to signify of pride and generosity for the community.

This article was originally published in the March 2002 issue of Il Postino.
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