Serving Vancouver for 56 Years
Ron Russell has owned his equipment and tool rental stores since 1979. He purchased Kerrisdale Equipment from his father Howard Russell who was a plumbing and mechanical heating engineer, and his friend, Fred Topping, who was a homebuilder.
The two men came from different trades, yet they shared a common ambition to open a hardware business on Kerrisdale’s West Boulevard in 1960. When Ron Russell purchased the business he took it in a new direction with the introduction of tool rentals.
It was never Ron Russell’s childhood dream to follow in his father’s footsteps. Born and raised in Vancouver, he grew up in Kerrisdale and attended Vancouver College. After completing his first year of university (he had dreams of being an architect) his father offered him a summer job and that was the end of his schooling. He has never looked back although he chuckles when he says, “If I had gone into a government job I would have had a pension and that would be nice.”
Kerrisdale Equipment is a success story and under Ron Russell’s ownership the business has grown in size considerably.
In 2001 he opened a second location on Dunbar (next door to the Dunbar Public Library), which replaced a former tool rental business. In 2012 he took the company to a whole new level when he opened a 20,000 square foot Southwest Marine Drive location near Heather Street. Russell reports that homeowners are not as familiar with this location but it is well worth exploring.
He was sad to see the original West Boulevard location close its doors last autumn when the building sold. A direct result of the Kerrisdale closure has been a doubling of business at the Dunbar store. Ron Russell points out, “While homeowner rentals are declining, contractor use is up.” This is directly related to the volume of building that is taking place all over Vancouver.
From air tools and equipment to cleaning and floor care, masonry and tile, painting and decorating, pumps and plumbing, wood working, heavy equipment, ladders, scaffold, landscaping and gardening, lifting and moving, lighting and electrical, welding and much more, Kerrisdale Equipment is very likely to have what you are looking for and if they don’t happen to have it they are happy to source it.
Ron Russell is extremely proud of his skilled and knowledgeable employees who are well versed in how to use the equipment.
Is your lawn mower on the fritz or perhaps your hedge trimmer is not in tiptop shape to tackle the big project ahead? Kerrisdale Equipment’s service department repairs many makes of lawn and garden equipment, small engines, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, generators and more. They also offer a complete sharpening service for mower blades, chainsaws, shears and reel mowers. Bonus: For a fee Kerrisdale Equipment offers pick up and delivery service within the Lower Mainland for both regular and heavy equipment.
There are now very few independent equipment rental stores left in the city as large nationals such as Home Depot have stepped into the market. In fact, only three remain in Greater Vancouver.
Ron Russell finds it a shame that we live in such a disposable world. He says, “Some people will buy cheap tools rather than rent them.” He recommends renting, as you will not be faced with storing, servicing or ultimately disposing of poorly made equipment. More importantly, contractor grade tools and equipment do a superior job.
He forecasts there will be a movement back to being do it yourselfers as costs of trades will become prohibitive for some homeowners.
Very much a supporter of the community, in a humble manner Ron Russell admits his business is a keen supporter of the local Little League, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and a new endeavor, they are lending support to the new Pacific Autism Family Centre currently being constructed in Richmond.
As many small business owners will attest, there isn’t often a lot of spare time outside of one’s work life, however when Ron Russell does get a chance to break away he enjoys a game of golf. He also likes to get out on the local water in his 20-foot boat with his wife and their 10-year-old son.
After 56 years in business what makes him most proud? He replies, “I am proud the business has survived for so long by consistently staying ahead of the game for our customers.”
4522 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2G6