March 24, 2022
Trevor McNeil | A Passion for His Profession
Trevor is one of our Ontario Land Surveyors (OLS), and in fact, was MTE’s first OLS when the company started offering legal surveying services in 2009. Trevor was the principal owner of McNeil Surveying, a Stratford-based firm that became part of MTE that year. Today MTE has over 40 surveying professionals in our Burlington, Kitchener, London and Stratford offices.
As many OLSs will know, becoming certified is a long journey, but a rewarding one. Trevor took some time to share the details of his path to becoming an OLS and why he is passionate about his profession.
Why did you decide to become a OLS?
I enjoyed working outdoors so I was looking for something that would allow me to be outside. Also, my father, Donald McNeil, was an OLS for over 35 years, so it was kind of in my blood. We had a family surveying business, which I took over from my father prior to merging with MTE.
What were your first steps to becoming an OLS?
I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, which took four years. There is also an articling process (ie. apprenticeship) which takes about two years. And then there are three exams: The Statutes Exam, and the Professional Exam, one written and one oral.
What happens after graduation?
The learning never stops. It’s a long, necessary path as there is a great deal of information and knowledge that has to be learned and obtained. But you meet a lot of very good people along your way that you tend to stay in contact with because it is a relatively small profession.
What was one of your first projects?
Seems like yesterday. I surveyed the former railway line from Brunner to Palmerston so it could be divided up and sold back to the farmers.
What is your most memorable project?
I know we all say this, but it is hard to pick one or maybe it’s because our memory is fading! I’ll just say that there are a lot of memorable projects and people over the past 25 years
Why are OLS’s important?
In Ontario, only Ontario Land Surveyors can perform boundary and easement retracements and provide opinions on boundary lines. As many lawyers can attest to, it is very important to know exactly where the property lines are and location of any easements when constructing buildings, fencing and enjoyment of your property.
What’s your favourite part of being an OLS?
People, the people you work with and the people you meet.
What’s your favourite part of working at MTE?
The atmosphere. We are a growing company, but inside each office we work like a small company. Everyone, regardless of location or expertise, is willing to help and offer their expertise.
What would you say to someone considering a career as a Surveyor?
It is a very rewarding career. After 25 years I’m still learning and seeing the value of my work. I’m encouraged and inspired by others in my industry. I see surveyors, young and old, pushing the profession to new heights through the use of cutting-edge technology. And the profession isn’t going anywhere. We are in high demand, which creates huge potential for the future.
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