Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Founding CEDAIn Canada, electrical distributors first came together under the banner of the Canadian Electrical Distributors Association (CEDA) on March 29, 1934. Sadly for many of us, those men of goodwill as they were once described by Christian Major have passed on but the foundation they built lives on in this dynamic industry. Where are some of those original CEDA members today?

In his diary, my father Jack Kerr noted the following: “Ham Gardiner exercised magnificent foresight in forming CEDA. Back then with Canada Wire and Cable in Regina then described as an electrical distributor, we sold Burlec, Burndy, Canada Line material, Leavitt-Naugle telephone poles, Solex lamps and Canada Wire and Cable products.”

To put our history into perspective, here is snapshot from those early days as compiled by Stanley G Wild.
1934 was not a pleasant year. The Canadian economy was still in the savage grip of a depression unmatched in history, driving businesses daily into bankruptcy and forcing many men to ride the rails in search of work. The dollar plummeted to an all-time low, unemployment to an all-time high. Yet, things weren’t all that bad. Roosevelt’s New Deal promised prosperity across the border, the formation of the Bank of Canada promised to control money here. Amelia Earhart had just become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic… and a small group within the Electric Club of Toronto met after one of their luncheons and decided to form The Canadian Electrical Distributors Association (CEDA). The charter, on a national basis, was issued by the Government of Canada on March 29th 1934.
The original members of CEDA were
•    James Wilson Moncur
•    Harry Lawrence Wilson
•    Gordon Charles Yake — Independent Electric Scarborough
•    Hamilton Houston Gardiner —Masco Ltd.
•    H.R. (Hendy) Henderson — Woodstock Lamp
•    C. J. Duggan — Superior Electric Supply
•    N. Buckler — Regent Electric Supply
•    R. A. Chadwick — Chadwick Electric Co.
•    K.H. Kern — Ellis and Howard

Under the original letters patent establishing the association, CEDA was permitted to do those things and carry on those activities that would

1.    Raise and maintain the standard of business
2.    Promote the interest and concerns of its members
3.    Gather statistics beneficial to the group and the general public

So where are these companies today? Looking back always gives us a great perspective. Here is a quick overview of the three remaining members.

About Independent (from their web site)

Independent Electric Supply Inc. http://www.independentelectric.ca (I.E.S.) is a wholly owned and operated Canadian company, which has been distributing electrical products of all types since 1921.

From its roots as a primary supplier to the hardware community, supplying everything from appliances, lighting and full line electrical supplies, I.E.S. has stood the test of time and grown within the industry it serves.

We have three convenient locations in Scarborough, Barrie and Rexdale. Today we represent over 250 manufacturers with significant inventory levels at our warehouses.

With our fleet of 11 trucks we offer same day free delivery for orders received prior to 10:00 a.m. We also have emergency rush delivery and after hours service (416-443-4222) available at reasonable rates. If you call us before 5:00 p.m. then we can place your order into the Lock Box at the side of our building free of charge.

Our various departments include Counter Pick-up, Order Desk, Quotations, Lighting Division, Industrial Division, an Outside Sales Force and Applications Specialists.

Our specialty is analyzing customer needs and providing solutions to our customer base which is made up of contractor, industrial, OEM, institutional and commercial markets. Our high focus items are controls, lighting, distribution equipment, energy savings, industrial automation and electrical safety products.

About Chadwick (from their web site)

Over 100 years ago four brothers opened the doors to a rundown building at 13 - 17 Walnut St. in Hamilton and called themselves electrical distributors. The electrical industry in the Hamilton Wentworth region as we know it today had just started. The distributor grew and prospered, aiding many now substantial manufacturers to go to market.

In 1967 the brothers chose to sell the now very successful electrical distributor to Union Electric Supplies Company Ltd. Descendants of the brothers continued with the new ownership, enjoying prosperous and rewarding employment.

On June 18, 1992 at 5:00 a.m. I was called to Union Electric Supply at 13 - 17 Walnut St. and arrived to witness the final mopping up operations of a total loss fire. The final reminders of the original ownership of the first electrical distributor in Hamilton were reduced to a pile of ashes. Out of these ashes rose the desire to reopen Hamilton’s most successful electrical distributor. My name is Craig Chadwick. My company is Chadwick Electric Supply http://www.chadwickelectric.ca.

About Masco Canada

Representing companies and brands that have over 100 years of experience in the Canadian marketplace, Masco Canada http://www.mascocanada.com/home.htm brings relevant, smart solutions for plumbing-related goods to our consumers and business partners. Responsible for manufacturing, product management, product development, sales and marketing, we meet the needs of our uniquely Canadian marketplace.

With manufacturing and distribution facilities based in St. Thomas, Ontario, Masco Canada is a proud Canadian employer to a workforce of approximately 500 people.

Next month — A sketchy beginning

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have great photos, historical anecdotes or perspectives. I would love to hear from you; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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