O Canada


Our “well-behaved” neighbor to the north is the second-largest country in the world. Since almost 90% of Canada is uninhabitable, most people live within 100 miles of the U.S./Canada border — a 4,000-mi.-long unguarded border. When we first had the idea of doing a “Canada Issue,” there was a little concern that the articles would be hard to come by, because, traditionally, Canadians don’t brag. But the stories poured in! Who knew these quiet neighbors had so much to say?

We start off honoring Canada with The Seeds of CECA by Matt Irvin. The history of the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA) began in the early 1970s, when many realized a group was needed as a voice in labor and government regulation. When you think of the size of the country, it is amazing that the first 45 representatives who came together in 1975 (many who had never met before) were able to form a strong, lasting bond. I loved seeing pictures of the founders — many I knew quite well. These are the people who helped build the Canadian vertical-transportation (VT) industry of today.

Space permits only a few words on the other 11 stories that came in about Canada’s elevator industry:

Home Sweet Home by Michael J. Ryan: Ontario has been home to The Peelle Co.’s manufacturing since 1964. Ryan says it is due to the high level of the diverse workforce.

Elevator Geek, Alberta Outdoorsman: Scot Harvey, Western Canada manager for KJA Consultants, talks about his unusual path into the VT industry.

From Dubai to Toronto and Beyond by Kaija Wilkinson: CECA member company Royal Décor Steel, Inc. in Markham, Ontario, is involved in many artistic projects.

CECA 2018 by Wilkinson: The 44th CECA Convention was in Calgary, Canada’s Wild West city. Lots of news comes out of the meeting as each region reports to the annual general membership. Their new “CECA Passport” encouraged attendees to visit all 50 exhibitors.

A Heritage Lift Finds Its Former Glory by Ali McGee: A 1908 elevator in Toronto’s Birkbeck Building is restored to look and operate as it did over 100 years ago, thanks to a labor of love by KJA and True Canadian Elevator Maintenance Co. Ltd.

A Modern Lift by Brendan McAreavy: thyssenkrupp is modernizing the elevators, from the early 1900s, in the wonderful Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. Maintaining a delicate balance between old and new is paramount.

A Stroll Through Elevator History by Joshua Nelson: If you have never heard of a “Jane’s Walk,” you’ll love this article on a real walk through old and some of the most notable elevators dating back to 1894.

Darling Brothers by Dr. Lee Gray: Members of the four Darling brothers started their machine shop in 1888. By 1914, they produced a full range of elevators. Their catalog has hyperbole that no one would dare use today. They also touted their independence and being Canadian.

Partnerships, Relationships, Community Commitment: Canwest Elevator & Lifts, one of Canada’s largest independents, was started by a Portuguese immigrant who wanted to be part of a company with a social conscience. The company was originally focused on medical lifts, and now, they install them, too, in addition to modernizing and servicing elevators.

“Ready for the Future” by Wilkinson: Longtime accessibility manufacturer Garaventa Lift opens a 115,000-m2 factory/office facility in British Columbia.

Even our Last Glance had to get into the Canada frame of mind with Calgary Tower Celebrates 50 Years. Once known as the Husky Tower, it was twice as high as any building in the city in 1968.

You’d think it would be impossible to stuff much more into this magazine, but we managed to include several events, including Elevcon 2018 in Berlin and the World Elevator & Escalator Expo in Shanghai. We also fulfilled our promise to feature the Photo Contest 2018 Winners. In our sixth year, we had the largest contest turnout ever — more than 250 photos from 22 countries and 3,765 votes who chose the winners. Every year, I’m amazed at the beauty to be found in our industry.


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Elevator World | August 2018 Cover