Abell proudly commemorates a century of excellence in the pest control industry this year, marking a distinguished 100-year milestone since its establishment in 1924. This monumental journey stands as a powerful testament to Abell's enduring legacy, characterized by unwavering dedication, resilience, and an indomitable spirit of innovation.
Throughout the past century, Abell has successfully navigated through challenging historical and financial times, overcoming adversities of war, the Great Depression, industry competition, and even a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, the company has emerged as one of Canada's foremost pest control companies and is currently listed by the National Pest Management Association as the 16th pest management company in North America. With a workforce exceeding 600 employees and branches strategically located across Canada and the North Eastern United States, Abell's growth illustrates its ability to adapt, evolve, and remain relevant in an ever-changing world.
This extraordinary achievement underscores the company’s commitment to consistently uphold its core values, integral elements contributing to its enduring success. Established by Earl F. Abell, the company flourished under the leadership of his son Ralph and subsequently his grandson John Abell. Today, under the guidance of Brett MacKillop, and with Elizabeth Abell poised to take the reins in the future, Abell is diligently crafting a legacy destined to endure for generations.
As we reflect on this remarkable journey, we raise a toast to the boundless potential of the next 100 years, celebrating Abell's rich history and the values that have propelled it forward throughout its century-long legacy.
In the next few months, John Abell, accompanied by his daughter Elizabeth and Brett, is set to embark on a comprehensive Canadian and US tour to commemorate the anniversary. During this tour, they will personally visit and connect with Abell employees across the country, expressing gratitude for their dedicated service and engaging in discussions about the exciting future that lies ahead for Abell.
It is with great humility and immense pride that I pen these words about Abell’s extraordinary journey. This significant milestone stands as a testament dedication and hard work of the countless individuals who have woven the fabric of our incredible narrative.
I extend my deepest gratitude to every member of our team, who shared our vision and whose contributions propelled us toward the success we have today. To our valued customers, thank you for placing your trust in us, and to our dedicated partners and suppliers, your support in our collaborative efforts has been invaluable.
As we immerse ourselves in the captured moments from our early years, we are reminded vividly of the extraordinary path we trod. Originating as a small venture with a simple vision and a beautiful entrepreneurial spirit, we now stand at the threshold of a new era. Armed with the wisdom and experiences of the past, we are fueled by an unbounded enthusiasm for the future.
I am grateful for those who have spoken up to guide us toward improvement, whether it be adjusting our processes, refining our sales approach, or instigating instrumental changes in our business practices. Our goal is to maintain and foster this innovative spirit, propelling us to new heights in the next century.
Reflecting on the milestones we've conquered; I am reminded of the incredible journey we've undertaken. This recognition of our history also marks the commencement of a new beginning. Proudly transitioning into our fourth generation as a family business fills me with immense pride and hope. This transition signifies not only our commitment to our legacy but also our preparedness to embrace the future.
The theme of "100 Years of Trust" holds deep personal significance. Trust, in these times of change, disruption, and uncertainty, is a cornerstone that propels us forward. Building robust relationships ensures our resilience into the future, aligning seamlessly with our vision to be a globally recognized brand and a symbol of quality, innovation, and service. The world is evolving, and our readiness to evolve with it is unwavering. We are poised to continue growing, expanding our horizons, and reaching new heights.
The journey thus far has been exceptional, providing ample reason to believe that the path ahead will be equally extraordinary. As we turn the pages of this book, let us not only cherish our history but also eagerly anticipate the exciting chapters that lie ahead.
Founded in 1924 by Earl F. Abell, the Waverly Chemical Company began in the basement and garage of his Toronto residence at 93 Ellsworth Ave. Initially focused on pesticide manufacturing, Earl's innovative approach utilized discarded wine bottles for bulk sales through door-to-door salespeople.
Earl was among the five founders
of the Canadian Pest Control Association,
incorporated in 1943.
In a strategic move reflecting its commitment to progress,
the Waverley Chemical Company underwent a transformative journey,
resulting in a formal name change to "Waco."
1945: Ralph Abell Joins as
the First Full-Time Technician.
1950s - The company informally adopts the name "Abell Waco,"
a fusion of "Waverly" and "Company."
Service technicians Bill McCallum, the inaugural branch manager of the Toronto branch (left), and Ted Bezance, a skilled service technician who joined after returning from the war (right), stand beside an International Harvester truck.
An Abell truck showcases a Seeburg fogging
machine, a versatile tool of its time.
In the 1950s, Ralph Abell actively engaged in mosquito control,
collaborating with Chicago Distributors to exclusively distribute
their foggers and products in Canada.
Ralph Abell, alongside pest control experts,
evaluates cutting-edge soil sterilization machines.
In the 1960s, Abell WACO utilized Tossits, a pesticide designed to
encapsulate DDT larvicide. This registered product
included a surfactant, a compound reducing
surface tension between liquids and gases.
In 1960, Ralph Abell took charge of the
company, assuming the role of President..
During the 1960s and '70s, Abell's vehicles showcased the distinctive
corporate colours of blue and white, exemplified by this Dodge Charger.
In the 1960s, Abell Waco introduced the innovative
pesticide Tossits, uniquely designed to encapsulate DDT larvicide.
1966 -John Abell, at the age of 13, took his initial steps into the
pest management realm. His introduction to the family business
occurred during a visit to the Reid Flour Mill in Port Credit,
Ontario, accompanying his father, Ralph Abell.
1971 - A New Beginning: Abell Waco moves to a new home office.
In 1976, John assumed the role of Office Manager and implemented a computer system
for production and administration. This system encompassed data reporting, inventory control,
accounting, and invoicing, significantly enhancing the company's efficiency.
Previously reliant on an addressograph for invoicing, the transition to the computer system replaced
the time-consuming process of printing monthly tickets with metal plates,
reducing the entire monthly operation to a more streamlined and efficient process.
1983 – John Abell. The Third Generation Takes the Helm at Abell Waco.
1985 - The End of an Era, Ralph Abell Retired
In 2023, Abell welcomes its new President, Brett MacKillop,
a seasoned veteran with 40 years of experience.
Elizabeth Abell recently joined the company, pictured here alongside
her father John, and Grandfather Ralph,
contributing to the proud Abell family legacy as its fourth-generation representative.
John, accompanied by Elizabeth and President Brett MacKillop, embarks on a comprehensive Canadian and US tour in 2024 to commemorate the anniversary. During this tour, they will personally visit and connect with every single Abell employee throughout North America, expressing gratitude for their dedicated service and engaging in discussions about the exciting future that lies ahead for Abell.