Our History

  • 1938

    W.A. AKHURST COMPANY LIMITED

    After 30 years as the Western Manager of the Canadian Fairbanks Morse company, W.A. Akhurst starts W.A. Akhurst Company Limited.

  • 1938

    FIRST INVOICE

    On May 31, 1938, W.A. Akhurst produced the first invoice of W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited to Buckerfields Limited.

    1938

  • 1939

    AKHURST LOGO

    Akhurst got started by distributing the popular Esterer Gang Saw. This was the inspiration for our logo today.

  • 1945

    H.W. AKHURST JOINS AKHURST MACHINERY LTD.

    H.W. (Spud) Akhurst, son of W.A. Akhurst joins Akhurst Machinery Limited after serving in the Canadian Navy on board the HMCS Alberni which was sunk by a torpedo in the English channel in 1944. Spud was one of the 31 crewmen that survived the sinking which claimed the lives of 59 men.

    1945

  • 1945

    FIRST CAR

    Mr. H.W. Akhurst with his first means of business transportation. A 1945 Morris Minor.

  • 1946

    SUN BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER

    In May 1938, W.A. Akhurst incorporated W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited. Mr. Akhurst moved his office from his home to the 17th floor of the Sun Building at 500 Beatty Street in Vancouver, BC. In 1946, the company moved to the 19th floor where they eventually took over the majority of the floor. This historic building has survived the massive redevelopment of Vancouver.

    1946

  • 1950

    SECOND GENERATION

    Following the passing of W.A. Akhurst, company ownership was then passed to Spud Akhurst.

  • 1955

    LARGER VANCOUVER FACILITY

    In April of 1955, W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited relocated to a larger facility with a showroom and warehouse at 215 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, occupying 1/3 of the building at that time. The company would eventually take over the remaining 2/3 of the building in October of 1969.

    1955

  • 1957

    BRUCE AKHURST, SOAP BOX DERBY CAR

    Bruce Akhurst, son of H.W. Akhurst, in his company-sponsored Soap Box Derby car in front of the first company station wagon in 1957

  • 1960

    ALBERTA BRANCH

    Looking to expand his business Spud Akhurst opens a facility in Edmonton, Alberta in order to service the prairie provinces.

    1960

  • 1961

    NATIONAL COVERAGE

    In 1961, H.W. Akhurst got together with Ralph Johnson (formally President of Mill Equipment and Distributors Limited) and agreed to form Akhurst Machinery Limited to sell woodworking and mill machinery east of the Manitoba-Ontario border. With this agreement, the Akhurst organizations could give national coverage.

  • 1961

    ONTARIO BRANCH

    Opening of Toronto Branch under name of Akhurst Machinery (Eastern) Limited

    1961

  • 1965

    AKHURST-UBJ MACHINERY LIMITED

    In December of 1964, Mr. Upton, President of Upton Bradeen & James Limited (U.B.J.) was retiring and the company was having financial difficulties. They asked H.W. Akhurst to go east for a year and act as Vice-President and General Manager. Mr. Akhurst spent 3 weeks in the East and 10 days in Vancouver. In appreciation for Mr. Akhurst’s efforts, it was agreed that as of January 1, 1965, U.B.J. would confine their business to the east of the Manitoba/Ontario border. Akhurst would take over all their machine tool machinery and supply lines in the west. The name of W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited was changed to Akhurst UBJ Machinery Limited. The eastern branches assumed the name of Akhurst Machinery Limited.

  • 1965

    QUEBEC BRANCH

    Opening of Montreal Branch under name of Akhurst Machinery (Eastern) Limited

    1965

  • 1969

    NEW ALBERTA BRANCH

    Purchased and moved Edmonton Branch to the current location of 9615-63rd Ave.

  • 1970

    NEW BRUNSWICK BRANCH

    Opening of New Brunswick Branch to cover all Maritime Provinces.

    1970

  • 1974

    LARGER VANCOUVER FACILITY

    Akhurst constructs and opens a 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse, showroom, and offices at 216 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, which was right across the street from their existing facility.

  • 1975

    APPOINTED AS REFORM AGENT IN NORTH AMERICA

    Akhurst forms a strategic distribution partnership with A. Rabenseifner & Co of Fulda, Germany to distribute their Reform brand of knife and surface grinders. This strategic partnership still exists today and they have successfully installed more than 1,200 grinders.

    1975

  • 1975

    FIRST REFORM PURCHASE ORDER

    Copy of the first purchase order issued to Reform in 1975, which was framed and given to Bruce Akhurst in 2005, celebrating 30 years of partnership.

  • 1977

    PORTLAND FACILITY

    Akhurst Machinery Limited opened a branch in Portland, OR in 1977 to service the sawmill industry in the Pacific Northwest.

    1977

  • 1981

    BEST BOOTH AWARD

    Spud Akhurst and his staff receiving the Best Multiple Booth Exhibit Award at the Vancouver Industrial Exhibition in 1981.

  • 1984

    COASTAL MACHINERY

    Akhurst Machinery Inc. purchases Coastal Machinery Co. Coastal manufactured high-speed planers and matchers, as well as offered repair services for the sawmill and planer mill industry. This was the company’s first venture into manufacturing.

    1984

  • 1984

    OREGON FACILITY

    Akhurst purchases 15,000 sq. ft. building in Portland to accommodate the Coastal and Akhurst operations, which included administrative offices, a showroom, and a manufacturing plant.

  • 1984

    WASHINGTON FACILITY

    Akhurst Machinery Inc. opens a branch office in Seattle, WA to better serve the woodworking industry in that state.

    1984

  • 1989

    ED LYE

    C.E. (Ed) Lye is appointed as President. Ed previously served as the company’s head controller. This marks the first non-family president in the company’s history.

  • 1994

    THIRD GENERATION

    Upon passing of H.W. Akhurst, ownership was passed to 3rd Generation Bruce Akhurst & Brian Akhurst.  Brothers Bruce and Brian both worked in the company for over 45 years, until their retirement in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

    1994

  • 1997

    NEW DELTA FACILITY

    Move to new Facility in Delta, BC.   In the summer of 1997, nearly 20 years after the construction of our building on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver we moved to our current BC Branch location which has over 28,000 square feet of warehouse, showroom, and office space.

  • 1998

    CANTEK AMERICA INC.

    Cantek America Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Akhurst Machinery) is incorporated in the U.S.    In 1985, we made our first trip to Taiwan to investigate this up and coming market for machinery manufacturing.  In 1988 we started offering this product in the United States. The relationships formed in these early years still exist today and we have been a significant contributor to the development of equipment in Taiwan.

    1998

  • 2000

    ERIC STEBNER

    Eric Stebner is appointed as President upon the retirement of Ed Lye. Eric is the current company president till this day.

  • 2007

    LEADERMAC USA

    Akhurst is appointed as the Leadermac agent in North America. Leadermac is a world-class 4-sided moulder manufacturer.
    R-L: Bruce Akhurst, Michael Chang (CEO, Leadermac), Mr. Chang (Owner, Leadermac).

    2007

  • 2013

    MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY

    Akhurst Machinery celebrates 75 years of business. To mark this milestone, they hosted a party for their valued suppliers and partners and the WMS show in Mississauga, ON

  • 2016

    FOURTH GENERATION

    Ownership transferred to 4th Generation Graham Akhurst, Ryan Akhurst, and Brent Akhurst upon the retirement of Bruce and Brian Akhurst.
    L-R: Ryan Akhurst, Eric Stebner, Brent Akhurst, Graham Akhurst

    2016

  • 2018

    NEW MISSISSAUGA, ON FACILITY

    Akhurst purchased and moved to a larger facility in Mississauga, ON with a state of the art showroom facility, and tripled the warehousing capacity.

  • 2020

    FEX

    2020 NATIONAL FAMILY ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR AWARD

    Family Enterprise Xchange (FEX) announces that Akhurst Machinery Limited is the recipient of the 2020 National Family Enterprise of the Year Award (FEYA).

    2020