In celebration of our 90th anniversary, we've put together a brief visual history of Reliance Foundry. From a small casting operation in Vancouver, BC, we've grown to become a leading supplier of outdoor site furnishings in North America. See below for some of the names and faces that have made our success possible.
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Reliance Foundry Timeline
Since 1925, Reliance Foundry has grown from a small casting operation to an international supplier of outdoor site furnishings. Here's a brief timeline of our 90-year history.
1925–1927: Incorporation and Fred Done
Reliance Foundry was incorporated by four foundry workers and set up at 149 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver, BC. In 1927, they hired Fred Done to build a one-ton electric arc furnace, marking the first involvement of the Done family. Fred purchased shares to become part owner in 1936 and became sole owner in 1943.
1963: Brian and Barry Done
Fred hired his two sons, Brian and Barry, in 1955. The brothers would eventually take ownership in 1963, forming a partnership that would last more than 45 years. Aside from continuing the family legacy, they persevered through devastating fire and declining demand.
1966: Fire destroys casting facility
On May 5, 1966, a fire caused $500,000 in irreparable damages. Newspapers reported more than 200 firefighters fought the blaze, while police officers dealt with a crowd of 3,000 spectators, who were at risk from falling power lines and an exploding transformer. After 41 years, the disaster led to the construction of a new facility in Surrey, BC.
2000: Brent and Brad Done
At the turn of the millennium, Brian's two sons, Brent and Brad, took ownership of the casting facility, then on its last legs. They faced a shrunken market and increased competition from overseas manufacturers. Their leadership would take Reliance Foundry in an entirely new direction.
2003–2005: Final casting and new location
Reliance Foundry poured its final heat—an order of anvils—in 2003. With the plant shut down, the company had fully transitioned to its current role as an international supplier of outdoor site furnishings. The new business model was made possible by the company website, first launched in 1996. Under third-generation Done leadership, Reliance Foundry saw rapid growth, commemorated by the Business Excellence Award from the Surrey Board of Trade in 2012.
2015–Beyond: 90 years and counting
Reliance Foundry celebrated its 90th year on October 9, 2015. The company has weathered industry-related, and global, challenges—yet, with increased scope of operations and new product innovations, it continues to thrive. After 90 years of hard work and opportunity, we can only look forward to what lies ahead.