Evans, Coleman & Evans, Ltd. was a diversified Vancouver-based building supply company which was described in 1912 as “the principal commercial firm in the Province.”
It was founded in 1888 and Evans, Coleman & Evans remained one of British Columbia’s leading hardware and building supply dealers until well into the mid 20th century.
Robert Butchart was on the Evans, Coleman & Evans Board of Directors from 1910 until 1937.
Here are some advertisements for Evans, Coleman & Evans:
Here are some excerpts from our history of the Butchart Gardens, From Devastation To Beauty: The Creation Of The Butchart Gardens:
“Evans, Coleman & Evans, Ltd. was a diversified Vancouver-based building supply company which was described in 1912 as “the principal commercial firm in the Province.”
Its origins were far more modest. Established in 1888 as a partnership between Ernest Evans, George Coleman and Percy Evans, to conduct business as “general merchants, shipping agents and wharf owners”, the company began on a small scale, using a single wharf, called “City Wharf”, it owned on the Vancouver waterfront to receive coal from Vancouver Island, and then sell that coal on the lower mainland. In 1889, the company bought a steam tug, the Tepic, which it used to tow logs and log booms for lumber companies. That led the firm into selling lumber as well as coal, which, in turn, led the company into “a gradual building up of a trade for the supply of builders’ materials.” The partners’ timing was excellent. British Columbia’s economic boom of 1890-1912 created a strong demand for construction materials which Evans, Coleman & Evans exploited skillfully. By 1900 the firm was British Columbia’s leading supplier of building materials, with wholesale and retail outlets in Victoria, Vancouver and several smaller B.C. cities and towns…….
In 1910 the three founding partners decided to retire. Rather than sell their business entirely, they incorporated a new company, Evans, Coleman & Evans, Ltd. with an authorized capital of $1,000,000. While Ernest Evans, George Coleman and Percy Evans remained the largest shareholders in the new company, they turned over the management of the new firm to a Managing Director, A.L. Russell, who had been one of the key executives in the original firm. To assist Russell, the company appointed a five member Board of Directors, including two of the firm’s founders, Ernest Evans and Percy Evans, along with three other prominent B.C. businessmen: William Farrell, President of the British Columbia Telephone Company, Frank S. Barnard (later Sir Frank Barnard, Lt. Governor of B.C.), whose various business interests included a seat on the Board of the B.C. Electric Railway Company, and Robert Butchart, Managing Director of the Vancouver Portland Cement Company, for which Evans, Coleman & Evans, Ltd. acted as a sales agent….
In 1911, the company expanded its Victoria operations by purchasing a long established Victoria firm, Messrs. Raymond & Sons. This acquisition brought the company a store on Pandora Street, in downtown Victoria, and a warehouse on Pier A, Wharf Street in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The company used this wharf until the late 1960’s.
Evans, Coleman & Evans Ltd. remained in business as an independent building supply company until 1957, when it was taken over by a B.C. cement producer, the Ocean Cement Company. It was subsequently operated as the Evans, Coleman & Evans Division of Ocean Cement until the late 1960s, when that company brought all its operations under the name of Ocean Cement. The B.C. Registrar of Companies still lists Evans, Coleman & Evans as a subsidiary company of Ocean Cement but Ocean Cement does not currently use the Evans, Coleman & Evans name in its public business operations.”
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