Welcome to our blog!
We are so excited to share our stories, tips, trade secrets and more with all of you! Some of you may know us and our history, but for those of you who don’t, here is a look at our journey as a company.
The Beginning – 1949:
- Gervais has always been family oriented. Our original owners, Al and Mary Gervais, founded Gervais in 1949. “We have been attending your parties and dancing to your tune” ever since. During this time, Al still kept up with his job at Canada post. Once the business outgrew the back of the hardware store they had been running it from, Al ran Gervais out of his house on Coldstream Ave in Toronto. Back in the day, you could see Al driving around in the family station wagon making his deliveries. Al closed down the rentals in 1975.
Alfred Gervais standing in front of the Embers.
The New Leaf – 1985:
- For almost 9 years, Al’s company had been closed. During this time, Al kept the name registered in the hopes of reopening. Al found that hope in a young man named George Ogston. George had been a dedicated employee at Al’s restaurant, the Embers Restaurant and Banquet Halls. In 1985, Al decided to sign his shares of the company over to George Ogston and his son, Terry Gervais. George and Terry reopened the business and ran it out of the back of The Embers on Warden Ave.
- Fun fact: George used to wash the rental dishes in the Embers dishwasher after the restaurant closed for the night!
George with his truck licence.
A Gervais original our big pink tent.
The Transition – 1987:
- With our inventory growing and our business expanding, it was time to transition into a bigger building. In 1987, Gervais moved into a new building on Howden Rd. This building marked an exciting new chapter for Gervais. We were growing both our customer base and our inventory. We started the journey further into the rental business by adding tents and show service equipment.
- Fun fact: Here at Gervais, family is very important to us. So important in fact, that many of our current employees actually started their careers at our Howden Rd location. In our office; Harrison, Darek, Laurie, and Sonia are still loyal employees. Our General Manager, Matthew and our Warehouse Manager, Jason, also started on Howden Rd. Our Drivers; Zia, Hussan, Najib, and Farid were with us from the start and are the same, kind faces that you see on your tent setups and other deliveries. Even the neighborhood Mr. Fix it, Winslow is still employed with us today. You may see him at the customer pick-up door.
Who remembers the monkey?
Our Harrison 25 years ago.
The Advancement – 2004:
- With our humble little building bursting at the seams, George and Terry, made the decision to look for a bigger building. In 2004, Gervais moved back to Warden Ave. This time, in the building beside the Embers Restaurant and Banquet Halls. Our location on Warden was a temporary move, while we waited for our new and bigger building on Milner Ave.
Our ever growing inventory.
The Cultivation – 2006:
- In 2006, Gervais made its biggest move ever, to 75 Milner Ave. Our new building is 65,000 square feet of new opportunities and big changes. Over the past 11 years here on Milner Avenue, Gervais has grown, advanced, and bettered itself to become one of the most reliable rental businesses in Toronto. We are proud of our friendly customer service and our attention to detail. Over the last 11 years, Gervais has changed its business model and advanced its customer relations. With many long hours and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, our team’s hard work and dedication to the customer experience has created a safe, friendly, and loving environment for both our staff and customers.
- Fun Fact: Did you know Gervais has a solar roof? The entire top of our building is covered with giant solar tubes. We make enough renewable energy for all our companies needs and even have some left over. This helps us keep our carbon foot print at zero.
Top View of our Building
Our Solar Panels
The Expansion – 2017/2018:
- Our home on 75 Milner is wonderful but because of all the hard work put in over the last 11 years, we are quickly running out of inventory space. Therefore we are happy to announce WE ARE EXPANDING. Gervais will be adding 35 000 square feet to our existing building, in order to serve our customers better. This new warehouse space will help us further grow our inventory so we can make sure all our customers find what they are looking for.
THANK YOU for reading our first blog post! Stay tuned for next week when Terry Gervais writes about his mother and fathers experiences starting up the rentals.