Sixty-five years ago, an intrepid and hardworking Dutch immigrant realized his dream of opening a lumberyard in the industrial heartland of southern Ontario. Guided by faith and ambition, Peter Turkstra founded Turkstra Lumber upon a set of core personal values. These values continue to guide those of us who work at Turkstra, especially our commitment to “build our future based on traditional values.”
What does this mean?
It means we pride ourselves on delivering quality products and world-class service with integrity and respect. It means we stand behind our products and services and ensure we support our employees, customers, suppliers and the communities we serve.
This is no idle commitment. It requires a level of dedication to doing business in an intentional and deliberate way. There is strength in our history. Our founder left a strong impression on the character and reputation of our company that still resonates two generations later. We believe our sixty-fifth anniversary in business is not only a time of celebration, but an opportunity to reflect on how we got to where we are today, so we can better navigate present challenges and the future road ahead. Always on the Level is the story of one immigrant family business and its impact on the local community.
The book is based on family memoirs, records, memorabilia and a series of interviews conducted with the Turkstra family and Turkstra Lumber’s leaders, employees and longtime customers. It is an account of Dutch immigration and settlement in mid-twentieth century Canada; a corporate history of how one lumberyard expanded into multiple industries and eleven branches; and a story of community development and philanthropy.
Peter Sr. arrives in Burlington, Ontario with brother Hessel and sister Joujke
Turkstra Construction established
Peter Sr. secures loan to start his own lumberyard
Wentworth Street location in downtown Hamilton opens
Waterdown location opens
Stoney Creek lumberyard opens
Smithville location opens
Brantford location & The Mill opens
Turkstra Trusses opens
J.R.’s Hardware opens
Dunnville location opens
Fairfield Windows acquired; later becomes Turkstra Windows
Ridgeway & Fort Erie locations acquired
Carl Turkstra becomes President
Dundas location opens
Peter Turkstra joins business
Niagara Falls location opens
Cambridge location acquired
Turkstra Trim & Doors opens
Simcoe & Woodstock locations open
Lawson Lumber acquired
Designer Showcase established in Stoney Creek location
Turkstra Lumber named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies
Turkstra Lumber publishes Always on the Level to celebrate 65 years in business