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From humble beginnings in 1962 to a major equipment supplier today, Stanmore Equipment is now one of Ontario's largest distributors of construction equipment and related supplies.
Founded by Hedley Thomas, Stanmore
began in a small store in the town of Agincourt, Ontario and sold lawn and garden supplies to local homeowners and businesses. From assembling lawnmowers to repairing garden tractors, Hedley developed a strong local
following to the small shop. Always providing good service, and good customer value, it was a trademark of the Stanmore business and it remains that way today. Hedley's wife, Mercedes, assisted with the day to day business
monitoring the books and making sure that the office was kept in order.
It was not long before they had outgrown the Agincourt location, and new property was purchased on Sheppard avenue so the growing business would have more room. With sales of turf equipment booming, Stanmore began to work
on larger equipment and eventually acquired the distributorship for Allis Chalmers equipment. The acquisition of this brand opened up new markets in the construction industry for the sales of forklifts, backhoe loaders,
compact dozers, and compaction equipment. Stanmore was now a full-service equipment dealership offering sales, service, parts, and also rental equipment. With sales reaching new heights, a larger addition was constructed
on the Sheppard avenue site allowing for a larger service department and additional room for inventory of equipment.
The main focus of Stanmore during this time in the early 70s was the sale of forklifts. The Toronto housing industry was growing rapidly and Stanmore was a large supplier of forklifts and related equipment for this burgeoning
industry. Stanmore was a popular destination for many of carpentry and masonry firms that were working in this housing industry. Construction of new homes was now being done year-round and this meant that new four-wheel-drive
forklifts were required to do this type of work in the winter and during the spring. Stanmore continued to market the line of forklifts from Allis Chalmers, but to obtain machines that were four-wheel drive, small wheel
loaders had to be used that had masts added to them. Like any good businessman, Hedley Thomas saw a need for a new type of forklift and began to design and build a machine for the local market. He decided to call his
new four-wheel-drive forklift “Load Lifter”.
The prototype was designed and built in the Stanmore facility and was displayed to many of the contractors in the local market. The response to the new machine was
tremendous and contractors lined up to place orders for the new machine. The Thomas Family decided to move Load Lifter into its own facility a few miles away in Scarborough. Load Lifter became its own company and manufactured
a full line of rough terrain forklifts for markets around the world.
As the city of Toronto continued to grow, so did Stanmore. The flagship dealer for the Load Lifter line of rough terrain forklifts.
Stanmore had outgrown its current facilities, and the Thomas family decided to
search for a new location. In 1985 construction started on a property on Markham Rd located in the Eastern part of the city with its completion in 1987. During this time, Hedley and Mercedes's three sons, Paul, David,
and Donald became more Involved in the business and shared different roles within the company.
As with all successful operations, Stanmore and Load Lifter had outgrown the Markham Rd facility. Eleven acres of land were purchased in the rural community of Stouffville and construction was commenced in 2006. After 2 years of development
and construction, the new state of the art facility opened in early 2008.
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