April 2018 marks 100 years since the first office of Binks Insurance opened in a small office on Sparks Street in Ottawa.
In April 1918, 34-year-old Harry Stuart Binks opened the first office of a new insurance and real estate company known as Binks and Shaw at 130 Sparks Street above Topley Photographic Studio.
Back then street cars rumbled along Sparks Street and the fledgling company spent most of its time offering Fire Insurance through British, Canadian and American companies.
In 1926, Harry Stuart Binks bought out his partner and moved the company to new offices located at 55 Metcalfe Street in the Masonic Temple Building. Harry S. Binks Insurance would remain at that location for the next 30 years.
Shortly after serving in World War II, Harry’s son J. Stuart Binks re-joined the family business and the name was soon changed to Harry S. Binks & Son. Father and son worked together for the next decade until Harry Stuart Binks passed away after a lengthy illness in 1956 at the age of 73. His passing was covered extensively in local and industry media and mourned by the many community groups and clubs that he had lead ad supported over the years.
Growth of Binks Insurance under the steady hand of J. Stuart Binks would continue for the next 20 years and see the company move to larger and larger downtown Ottawa offices. Growth was driven by the deep personal trust that the company was able to build with clients both new and long-served.
In the 1970s, J. Stuart Binks children began joining the family business, starting with his oldest son, Harry S. Binks, who was at one point the youngest insurance agent working in Ottawa. After J. Stuart Binks passing in 1973, Harry would eventually become President, taking over from his mother Nancy. Harry was joined a few years later by Geoffrey H. Binks and Diana C. Binks.
As Binks celebrates 100 years as a family business, both Binks brothers continue to work at the company as does Harry’s daughter, Allison, the fourth Binks generation who has played a role in serving clients.
While the insurance industry today is almost unrecognizable from the industry that the original Harry Stuart Binks started working in at the beginning of the 20th century the company has maintained an unwavering commitment to its original core tenets – earning the deep personal trust of clients, always acting in the best interest of clients, providing exceptional knowledge and value and, aligning itself with the most reputable and dependable companies in the industry.