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Durham celebrates Canada 150

 4 July 2017     HGO Staff 

DURHAM, Ontario – Durham Furniture gathered its entire staff for a group photograph as part of its celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary year, during which it is also marking its 118-year history as a Canadian manufacturer of solid wood bedroom and occasional furniture.

The privately-held firm is probably the oldest continually operating furniture producer in Canada.

In a statement, the company noted Canada has a rich history of furniture making that dates back to the early 1800s and since its founding in 1899; it has remained a stronghold within the country’s shrinking manufacturing landscape.

All 180 employees of Durham Furniture gathered recently for a group photo to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial on July 1, 2017.

In the early 2000s, a number of significant Canadian furniture manufacturers were lost yet Durham – despite entering and later leaving protection under the Canadian Companies Creditor Act (CCAA) – persisted through the challenges brought on by a growing and rapidly changing global market. Durham is one of the few solid wood furniture makers left in Canada.

“We’re excited to celebrate Canada Day along with our employees who have helped keep Durham relevant in today’s home furnishings market place throughout North America,” Luke Simpson, president and chief executive officer of Durham Furniture, said in a statement. “We’re proud to be among Canada’s resilient home furnishings companies, and we envision many more years of growth right here where we began.”

During the 2008 recession, the Canadian dollar strengthened against the U.S. dollar, in turn causing many Canadian manufacturers’ product lines to be more expensive for the U.S. market. Durham’s ability to overcome these challenges, coupled with its expanding product line and customisation options for its retailers and growing customer base of interior designers, makes its continued success all the more impressive today.

To pay tribute to and celebrate Canada Day – this year marks the 150th anniversary of the British North America Act, which united the then colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – Durham has gathered its 180 employees for a photograph at the factory.

“This is a big deal for us because of how rare Canadian furniture companies have become,” Simpson said. “Despite many hardships that have caused other manufacturers to close their doors, we are still going strong and the future looks bright.”

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