Company History

Company History

B. A. Robinson's History

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The Beginning

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, the third Robinson generation to supply lighting products to the residential and commercial construction market, and the company continued to grow through the late 30's and 40's. For 37 years, Burt continued to grow the business and its revenue. He would be joined by his two sons, the fourth generation of Robinsons, in the early 1970's.


Passed Down The Line

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 grew the company. Branches 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.


 Recent Expansion

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








Continued Growth

Today, 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 and the great Depression and has continued to grow through effective consolidation. B. A. Robinson operates more than 25 branches and employs over 500 staff across Western Canada. B. A. Robinson is experiencing its most significant growth in value and remains a respected leader in the lighting and plumbing business in Canada.