B.A. Robinson Co. Ltd. was established
in Winnipeg in 1936 by Burt A. Robinson, the third Robinson
supply lighting products to the residential and commercial
construction market. Thomas Robinson started the family
venture into the lighting industry as a chandler (candle
maker) in Montreal around 1850. His son, William Wadby
Robinson moved to Winnipeg, and in 1919 established a
successful lighting agency business which was recognized
as the first to supply pre-wired lighting fixtures in
Western Canada. B. A. Robinson Co. Ltd. was founded in
1936 by Burt A. Robinson, and the company continued to
grow on through the late 30's and 40's.For 37 years, Burt
continue at the helm, growing the business and its revenues.
He would be joined by his two sons, the fourth generation
of Robinsons, in the early 1970's.
In 1973, the company was acquired by Burt's two sons, Ross
and Bruce Robinson. Rapid growth in the supply of electrical
distribution products - and later plumbing and heating
products - to installing contractors allowed the company
to grow. Branches were opened in Brandon and Thompson,
MB, Kenora, ON, and Vancouver, B.C. In the late 1970's,
Robinson Lighting became a free standing lighting showroom
division. With the addition of Robinson Waterworks (now
Robinson Bath Centre), the company has expanded to become
Western Canada's largest showroom-based distributor of
lighting and luxury plumbing products
Several plumbing and lighting businesses were subsequently
acquired, which added branches in Edmonton (1991), Burnaby
(Norburn Lighting - 1991), Calgary (1992) and Kelowna (1997).
The plumbing distribution was expanded in 1994 when BC
Plumbing Supplies was opened in Burnaby.
In 1999, Ross Robinson took control
of B. A. Robinson Co. Ltd. and quickly expanded in British
Columbia with new locations in Vancouver (1999), Penticton
(2000), Coquitlam (2002), Abbotsford (2005), Kamloops (2005),
Winkler (2005), Saskatoon (2006), Surrey (2007) and Regina
(2007). In 2005, McDowell Electric was acquired, providing
a foothold in Winnipeg's electrical wholesale market.
B.A. Robinson Co. Ltd. supplies a diverse range of plumbing,
heating and lighting products throughout Western Canada
and to export markets around the world. What began as
a dream almost two centuries ago has survived world wars,
the great Depression and benefited through effective
Within B. A. Robinson's 20 branch operations the company
employs over 370 employees and is currently experiencing
its most significant growth in value and remains a respected
leader in the lighting and plumbing business in Canada.