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Reliance Foundry: About Us, History & Timeline

Since 1925, Reliance Foundry has maintained the best in quality, service and expertise

Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd. delivers the highest-quality stock and custom-designed products for architectural site furnishings, traffic management and industrial applications. Since 1925, Reliance Foundry has built upon a long tradition of metal casting expertise to become an award-winning supplier for high-profile and everyday operations across North America.

Reliance Foundry was first incorporated by four foundry workers in 1925. It grew to become Vancouver's largest working foundry—fulfilling contracts for municipal authorities and companies in the mining and forestry industries. During World War II, employees worked 48 hours per week, casting 10 tons of metal per day to supply parts for the Allied forces war effort. In 1966, a fire at the original Vancouver site forced the company to relocate to a new location in Surrey. By the 1990s, Reliance Foundry began outsourcing production to increase the range of offered products and expand beyond regional services to become a continental supplier. The company moved to its newest location in 2005—and in 2012 was awarded the Surrey Board of Trade's Business Excellence Award.

Historical timeline

1925

1925 – Incorporated as a Company

Sept 6, 1925 – Gastown Lamp Standards

1927

1927 – Largest Number of Employees

1927 – Fred Done Hired

1934

1934 – Second Narrows Bridge

March 1, 1934 – Cameron Pump

1935

1935 – Casting Steel

Fred Done’s Reliance Foundry

In 1936, Fred Done purchased shares from H. G. Ireland and Ray McDougall, establishing a two-man partnership with Mike Engelbeen that would last eight years. Fred, known as a strong-willed person, led the company during a period of world war, economic down-turns and ongoing labor disputes. His determination was a driving force in achieving Reliance Foundry's future success.

1936

1936 – Fred Done Buys In

1940

1940 – World War II

November 19, 1940 – New Employee Contract

1943

1943 – Fred Done Becomes Sole Owner

1946

May 17, 1946 – Foundry Workers Strike

November 5, 1946 – Workers Unionize

November 28, 1946 – Malleable Iron Production Closes

1948

May 1, 1948 – ESCO Proposes Purchase

November 29, 1948 – Union Certification Canceled

1949

Jan 29, 1949 – Employees Receive Bonus

1950

1950 - First Foundry to Cast Manganese Steel

1955

May 1, 1955 – Fred's Sons Hired

1956

February 10, 1956 – Employee Bonus Paid for 1955

1959

August 16, 1959 – New Wages Take Effect

Brian and Barry Done’s Reliance Foundry

Brian and Barry Done succeeded their father at the helm of Reliance Foundry in 1963. Their tenure was marked by a fire that destroyed the original site and the eventual relocation of Reliance Foundry to a location that would last for nearly 40 years. Brian and Barry kept the company profitable through industry shifts and economic downturns. During their time in charge, Reliance Foundry's business focused on producing industrial castings for the forestry industry and drilling manufacturers.

1963

1963 – Brian and Barry Assume Control

1965

February 17, 1965 – United Steel Workers Union

1966

May 5, 1966 – Fire Destroys Original Reliance Foundry

May 9, 1966 – Workers Return to Work

July 28, 1966 – Construction of the Surrey Location Begins

1974

Septemper 9, 1974 – Rick Pasternak Hired

1976

March 15, 1976 – Len Cranmore Hired

March 21, 1976 – Dave Doerkson Hired

1979

1979 – Fred Done Passes Away

1984

July 1984 – Brad Done Begins

1991

February 1, 1991 – Brent Done Begins Formal Employment

1994

1994 – Bollards for Roberts Bank Superport

1994 – Cherie Ferbey Hired

June 10, 1994 – Chris Whitmee Hired

1995

1995 – Steel Wheels for Vancouver's Wooden Rollercoaster

February 1, 1995 – Fire in the Blood

1996

1996 – Website Launch

1997

1997 – Outsourcing to Asia

1999

1999 – Keel Blocks for Esquimalt Graving Dock

The Next Generation

Brent and Brad Done's succession marked a complete shift in the direction of Reliance Foundry. By the year 2000, a large portion of the company's casting production had been outsourced and it wouldn't be long before the brothers oversaw Reliance Foundry's final on-site castings. Through search engine marketing and a strong web presence, they led the business to a new level of success. Their efforts would lead Reliance Foundry to being awarded the Surrey Board of Trade's Business Excellence Award in 2012.

2000

2000 – Brent and Brad Assume Control

2003

2003 – Final Casting

2004

July 29, 2004 – Smallville Films at Reliance Foundry

August 1, 2004

2005

April 19, 2005 – Union Certification Canceled

October 1, 2005 – Current Location

2006

2006 – Schermerhorn Symphony Center Bollards

2007

March 20, 2007 – Conner Done Begins

2008

September 10, 2008 – Barry Done Passes Away

2009

2009 – Bollards for Cirque du Soleil Headquarters

2012

September 1, 2012 – Bollards for Oriole Park at Camden Yards

November 15, 2012 – Surrey Board of Trade Business Excellence Award