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Serving the North
The George Taylor Hardware Story
by Bruce W. Taylor

Serving the North is the intriguing story of a family who worked together to form a critical part of the development of north-eastern Ontario. Family-oriented, community-minded, George Taylor Hardware supplied the people and the industries with the parts, energy and expertise needed in a fast-growing Temiskaming District from 1901 to its sale in 1968.

This is not just the story of a small local hardware store that grew into one of the largest wholesale hardware merchants in Ontario. It is also the story of the development of Northeastern Ontario and Northwestern Quebec, from small, remote, inaccessible villages carved out of the bush, to large towns that prospered as farms were established, minerals discovered, a railway was built, and industries established. It provides a veritable who's-who of early Temiskaming, intersecting with other histories of the area in a unique perspective.

Bruce W. Taylor

The company eventually grew to have eleven branches (including Larder Lake and Matheson) in Northeastern Ontario and Northwestern Quebec, and an additional four sales offices and warehouses in North Bay,Sudbury, Toronto and Montreal.

Over the seventy-one years that the company was in business, hundreds of local men and women were employed, providing a steady paycheque enabling employees to acquire homes and send their offspring to colleges and universities. Employment peaked at approximately 230-250, not including those at White Hardware which Taylor acquired in 1959. The family atmosphere at Taylor's, and concern for the well-being of employees resulted in a loyal workforce and a low turnover, compared to mining and other northern industries. By hiring capable well-trained employees at all their branches, the company was able to promote its own employees when vacancies occurred.

Taylor Hardware responded to the requirements of their customers by gradually divesting itself of its retail stores, starting in the early 1950s, and repositioned itself as wholesale only. However, by the late 1960s, the writing was on the wall. Taylor hardware was one of the largest wholesale hardware firms in Ontario, however, much larger firms, including Western-Canada firm Acklands, were on the prowl looking for acquisitions to expand their reach across Canada. The end came on December 31, 1967, when R.A.H. Taylor, president of George Taylor Hardware Ltd. announced that an agreement had been reached whereby Acklands Limited was acquiring all of the shares and assets of Taylor Hardware, effective January 3, 1968.

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ISBN-13: 978-1-989615-28-7 | WMPub#1322 | 8½" x 5½"
244 pages; 105 photos and graphics; trade paperback | $19.95

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Table of Contents

3 Acknowledgments

4 Table of Contents

7 Preface

11 CHAPTER 1: London Beginnings

24 CHAPTER 2: New Liskeard Branch

61 CHAPTER 3: Cobalt Branch

89 CHAPTER 4: Larder Lake and McDougall Chute (Matheson) Branches

100 CHAPTER 5: Cochrane Branch

114 CHAPTER 6: Timmins Branch

125 CHAPTER 7: Mines Assay Supply Limited

134 CHAPTER 8: Kirkland Lake Branch

142 CHAPTER 9: Taylor Hardware Quebec Limited Noranda Branch

155 CHAPTER 10: Taylor Hardware Quebec Limited Val d'Or Branch

163 CHAPTER 11: Hearst Branch

175 CHAPTER 12: Head Office

189 CHAPTER 13: Acquisitions & Takeovers

204 CHAPTER 14: Taylor Hardware Acquired by Acklands


213 Taylor Hardware Picnics at Twin Lakes

222 Endnotes

232 Index