Our Past

Canaropa is the fusion of two words, Canada and Europa. A traditional family business, we remain connected to the roots of our past and our aspirations for the future. Our story reminds us of our core family values, the opportunities we experience and gratitude for the blessings we enjoy. Fundamentally, it is the inner compass that keeps us grounded in everything we do.

Our story goes back to the late 1800’s, to Volos, a city in central Greece. We were entrepreneurs – tobacco traders who owned and operated a modest cigarette factory. Market adversities in the 1930’s prompted the family to relocate to Piraeus, the port city of Athens. There, the family transitioned into customs brokering and the distribution of ironware products. With the onset of World War II, the men of the family were conscripted into the Greek military.

After the end of the war, life in Greece was difficult and businesses endured great hardships. Armed with a business degree, work experience and the dream of new possibilities, Stavros, the eldest son, contemplated moving to Montreal. Together with his wife Caroline, who had previously lived there to study at McGill University, they decided to embark on a journey and start a new life in Canada.

Using his knowledge of ironware products and customs brokering, Stavros quickly recognized the opportunity to supply builders in the city with construction materials imported from Europe. Initially, Stavros worked with two other local businessmen under the banner of “Canaropa Company Ltd.”. Eventually partnering with his wife, they incorporated “Canaropa (1954) Inc.” as the company we are today. Hard work and a little bit of luck enabled Stavros and Caroline to realize their cherished dreams.

With an established base in Montreal, family members in Europe soon followed to help Stavros and Caroline expand the business across the country. First opening a new location in Toronto, then followed by Calgary and Vancouver. Today the business is managed by third-generation family members who take pride in the history and values set by the generations before them.