Gervais Towing and Recovery has a lasting legacy and proud history in the Ottawa area. When Earl Gervais Sr started Gervais Motors Limited in 1934 he delivered groceries and flowers. He then expanded the operation into automotive service when he purchased the garage on Parkdale Ave. In 1941. He purchased a dump truck and remodeled it into a tow truck. This one truck soon grew into a fleet and he started taking on Ottawa towing contracts. One of those contracts was won in 1946 when the chief of police asked Mr. Gervais to manage all the towing for the Ottawa Police. This was a verbal contract and stood for over 40 years. Gervais Motors was the first towing company in Ottawa to have the police contract. Over 78 years later, we are still under contract with Ottawa Police Services.
Earl Gervais Sr was killed in 1961, while towing a truck on highway 17. He was talking to a police officer on the side of the road when a drunk driver rear ended the police cruiser. He died instantly. His son Ken Gervais was with him at the time and suffered back injuries that still plague him to this day. At that time Ken, his brother George, sister Doris and mother Sarah worked in the family business. They ran the business together until in 1970 when Ken purchased all the shares from his family. He had worked in the business all his life doing everything from pumping gas, bodywork and towing. He then started to expand the business even further by branching out into Gervais Auto Body.
In the early 1970′s Ken started to look towards the future of towing with the use of hydraulics. He pioneered the use of hydraulic tow trucks in Ontario by having one built for our fleet. This only fueled his imagination. He started to design and build a variety of wreckers to help the towing industry. He has been very influential in the design and building of heavy duty wreckers and their introduction to Canada. In the early 1980′s he discovered the Boniface line of heavy duty wreckers. He had finally found a company that built wreckers good enough for his fleet. We became the first towing company in Canada to use and build these heavy under-reach units. At this time Ken became the Canadian distributor and started to sell these wreckers to others towers.
Ken’s son Jamie has also worked in our family business his whole life. He started out helping his father on the trucks and in the shop. He was his father’s shadow around the shop as he absorbed all he could about this business that was one day to be his. When he was 16 he started driving the trucks. He drove trucks and learned that aspect of the business until 1987. Ken and Jamie had decided that it was time for Jamie to learn how the management side of the business worked. Today Jamie is responsible for the day to day running of the towing division.