Van Tuyl & Fairbank Heavy Hardware

– Since 1865-

VanTuyl & Fairbank Heavy Hardware is closing

It’s with heavy hearts we announce the closing of VanTuyl and Fairbank Heavy Hardware this fall.


“We’ve had a good run of 154 years,” says fourth-generation owner Charlie Fairbank. “For the past century and a half, the store has faced and survived steep challenges – fear of Fenian raids, depleting oil, fire, floods, the depression, two world wars and great leaps in technology. But we have now been hit with a tsunami of change in the marketplace and are unable to survive.”


He notes that retail stores everywhere have been struggling in these changing times, even the larger ones.


John Henry Fairbank opened the store in 1865, a year before Petrolia’s huge oil rush which made it the oil capital of Canada until 1900. He created the store, not because he wanted to become a merchant, but he wanted a secure supply of oil equipment for his wells. By the 1880s, it was the largest hardware store west of Toronto but hard times hit in the 1920s. The grand brick store sold and the business was streamlined to three freight sheds under one roof.


The illustrious history of the store can be found under the History tab of this website.


“We’ve been keeping customers happy through 23 prime ministers,” says Fairbank. “We’ve been blessed with wonderful managers like Theresa MacDonald who brought in countless changes in the new millennium. It’s because of our managers we miraculously survived as long as we have. Surviving 154 years is  an achievement!”


We’d like to thank all our customers … all 15 decades of them!