Over 50 years of Kerrisdale Tools & Equipment Services Vancouver


Looking back on the history of Kerrisdale Equipment, it’s easy to see which way the business went. Change and evolution have been nearly constant since the operation first opened its doors. The company’s business is the rental, sale and repair of a comprehensive range of small tools and equipment. Today Kerrisdale Equipment consists of three rental centres throughout Vancouver. But it sure didn’t start out that way.

Kerrisdale Equipment started life as a partnership between two men, when Howard Russell and Fred Topping founded the company in 1960. In fact, the flagship store of Kerrisdale Equipment is still located in the same place: West Boulevard in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kerrisdale Village. A lot has changed for the business, despite being in the same location for the last 50 years.

Howard Russell was a plumbing/mechanical heating engineer, and Fred Topping was a house builder by profession. Although the two men came from different trades, they both shared a common ambition to open a hardware business. Through a natural progression, a tool rental business emerged from the hardware retail operation, and Kerrisdale Equipment started down a different road.

The current president of Kerrisdale Equipment is Ron Russell, son of joint owner and co-founder Howard Russell. Russell took a job at Kerrisdale Equipment during a summer break from school. It turned out to be a momentous decision, both for him and for the company as a whole. He never returned to school, and has never once looked back.

After taking some time to learn about the business in greater depth and adapt to his newfound career, Ron Russell eventually decided to phase out the hardware side of the business and concentrate solely on tool rentals. This move proved successful. It was so successful, in fact, that by 1975 Russell was able to buy out his father’s share, with Howard’s full blessing.

By 1995, a decision was made to open another store, this time on Vancouver’s Dunbar Street. The location was acquired from Vancouver Power Tools for $300,000. Since then, the company has captured a larger market share and proved to be an invaluable resource for its customers.

Even with three stores in place, it wasn’t too long before Kerrisdale Equipment needed to expand again. This time the the company opened a 20,000 sq ft facility on SW marine Drive in Vancouver. The location also houses central stores, a workshop facility, and the offices of the senior management team, including the accounts department. The facility gives the organization valuable space to develop and examine other profitable opportunities.

Naturally, the size of the team has increased along with the expansion of the business.

Kerrisdale Equipment were acknowledged by the company’s peers in 2008, when the CRA B.C. local association named Kerrisdale Equipment as the recipient of the Rental Company of the Year award. Suppliers that are also local associate members nominate recipients of this award. The CRA B.C. local asks them to consider a wide range of criteria when making nominations.

One way in which Kerrisdale Equipment has helped its customers was with the creation of a full colour catalogue. Although this is rare among rental stores in North America this compact but effective tool gives Kerrisdale Customers access to valuable information 24/7 and supports the additional information that can be gathered from the company website.

The “we can help” attitude at Kerrisdale Equipment extends far beyond the front door and out into the community. The business is a regular supporter of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and also sponsors local Little League baseball. This attitude helps to foster a perception that Kerrisdale Equipment is very much a part of the community. In turn, that helps to keep customers coming back.

50 years in the making with eyes on evolving into the most innovative and exciting tool rental offering in Vancouver. Continuing the ethos of quality, service and choice, and access to professional advisors for any customers requirement.