A BRIEF HISTORY
Headquartered in Brockville, Ontario, Canarm is structured around its three business units – consumer products, commercial HVAC products and agricultural products. We are privately owned and operated, and we proudly employ over 300 full-time employees.
We began as Danor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., a small sheet metal shop in Gorrie, Ontario. In 1963, the operation was moved to Brockville, where a new three thousand square foot factory was built on a WWII training artillery range on Parkedale Avenue - the site of today's corporate offices. Danor made agricultural metal products such as hog troughs and turkey feeders.
The electrification of rural Canada in the late 1950's and early 1960's changed livestock farming. Pigs and chickens no longer ran loose in the field but were confined to large barns. The need to remove gases, odours and heat from these barns led Danor to add barn exhaust fans to its product line.
Agricultural markets were not regulated in the mid-60's and a boom-bust cycle resulted. In one of these down cycles in 1969, Danor felt they should diversify their fan market to include commercial and industrial concerns. During the process of trying to break into this new market, one of our suppliers suggested we look at acquiring a Montreal company, Canadian Armature Works Corp. This long established (1934) business had electrical products ranging from fans and heaters to compact kitchens and hose dryers.
A deal was struck whereby Danor would buy their operating assets and lease their old three-story, 110,000 square foot facility. Shortly thereafter, we decided that the Montreal facility and the Brockville facility should be combined under one roof. Truckloads of machinery were transferred from Montreal to Brockville during the height of the 1970 FLQ crisis. Many product lines were discontinued in an effort to squeeze into one location.
In 1973, the formation of an Arab oil cartel quadrupled energy prices, and energy conservation and efficiency became a high priority. Many of our customers asked if we had the slow moving ceiling fans that pushed the hot air gathered at the ceiling back to floor level. Manufacturers of three-metal-blade, 56” ceiling fans were found in Hong Kong and we started importing industrial ceiling fans in 1975. A good and growing market was developed for these fans throughout the late 1970's.
However, by 1981, prime interest rates had spiked to 22% and very few commercial concerns were buying. The Far East manufacturers had plenty of excess capacity and were desperate to sell product. By replacing the metal blades with wooden blades and painting the fan brown, a more decorative look opened new markets for ceiling fans. With restaurants and homes our targeted end users, we had to develop retail chains and lighting showrooms as our customers. Ceiling fans usually replaced an existing light fixture in the home so most fans sold at retail included a light kit. We started to match other lighting products to complement the ceiling fan light kit.
Canarm Ltd. was created in 1980 by the merger of Danor and Canadian Armature Works. In 1986, Canarm purchased a Montreal ceiling fan Company and their facility became our main distribution centre for imported products. It also provided us with a local Quebec sales office and showroom. In 1990 we entered the Retail Lighting market, and we now have one of the most extensive lighting lines in North America.
We have built our business relationships in China over the past 25 years. All operations are centralized in Zhongshan China. Our team of professionals manages our engineering, quality and logistics. The infrastructure in China ensures outstanding, consistent quality with on time delivery, whether it be single or multiple sku's per container.
We are honoured to have been chosen as one of “Canada's Best Managed Companies” for 2012, an award given to companies who have demonstrated excellence in customer service, employee relations, supplier relations, growth, and other criteria established by an independent adjudication body. Canarm was previously recognized in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
A growth strategy formulated in 2003 led to a series of mergers and acquisitions over the next several years. In April, 2004, Canarm acquired the assets of Florida Lighting Inc., a Toronto-based manufacturer of decorative and functional fluorescent lighting products. This acquisition launched what is now a fully developed line of fluorescent products that are sold into the consumer and industrial markets.
In January, 2005, Canarm merged with BSM Agri Ltd., a manufacturer of livestock confinement equipment based in Arthur, Ontario. This merger significantly broadened the agricultural product offering and the newly acquired product line became a fitting complement to Canarm's existing agricultural ventilation package.
In May, 2005, the Company acquired the shares of Leader Fan Industries, a manufacturer of commercial & industrial ventilation products based in Toronto. This acquisition broadened our product offering into the commercial market and provided a key distribution point for sales into Western Ontario.
In January, 2006, Canarm acquired the shares of Farmweld Inc., a livestock confinement equipment manufacturer based in Teutopolis, Illinois. This acquisition strengthened Canarm's strategic position in the US hog market and provided additional manufacturing resources to support growing customer demand in North America and abroad.
In June, 2006, Canarm announced an upcoming merger with Delhi Industries, a leading provider of axial fans, blowers, heat exchangers, roof exhausters, and other equipment servicing the HVAC marketplace. Delhi has two manufacturing plants in Delhi, Ontario, and one in Brantford, Ontario. As with the acquisition of Leader Fan Industries, this merger with Delhi Industries greatly strengthens Canarm's position in the commercial/industrial market sector, a key objective in becoming a significant vendor into each of the consumer, commercial, and agricultural markets.
In 2008, Canarm acquired Titus Lighting. Titus was successful in contemporary crystal fixtures. This additon to Canarm brought a more diverse product offering in residential lighting.
Also in 2008, our 110,000 square foot distribution centre in Laval, Quebec was built. This allowed all of our consumer products to be consolidated into one location.
An Epicor system was installed in the Brockville facility in 2009 and rolled out over the next few years to our other locations. This technology tied together our manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide allowing all of our locations to access accurate and timely information anywhere across the globe.
Canarm added a 40,000 square foot of manufacturing space to its Brockville facility in 2011. The Brockville manufacturing facility is a centre of excellence for HVAC products, primarily fans, blowers and air handling equipment.
Canarm has had a long relationship with the Far East, developing our contacts in mid 1970’s, well before most North American manufacturers. Several plants in China produce only Canarm products thus tightly aligning the interests of the factory and Canarm.
Our company is built around the philosophy of supporting our quality products with outstanding customer service. We work tirelessly to earn and then maintain our position as supplier of choice for our customers. If you have any questions about our company or our products, we'd be happy to hear from you.