TR Trades Reproduction was established in 1969 by Ron Tomilson and Jack Richardson, the ‘T’ and ‘R’ of the company name. Two months after opening, Harold Duncan was hired as a delivery driver, and a year later he bought Jack and Ron out. Now at the head of the company, Harold joined the International Reprographics Association and began traveling extensively, visiting hundreds of reprographics shops across North America. He saw how they were operating and what kind of equipment they were using, and immediately incorporated what he learned into his business.
Over the next several years, business was booming. In 1976, TR Trades moved to its present location at 1744 West 4th Avenue, and then continued to expand into the adjacent lots surrounding it. Within a decade, with a footprint of 17,000 square feet, the company owned nearly half a city block!
As pioneers in Vancouver’s reprographics industry, TR Trades was the first to adopt digital printing and the first to introduce clients to high-speed modems. In the early ‘90s, TR Trades purchased the world’s most advanced copier at the time – the Canon Colour T – making them the first in Vancouver to offer high-speed colour copies. As more architects and engineers moved toward colour line prints, TR Trades purchased one of the first large format colour inkjet printers available in Western Canada, and as soon as large format colour scanning technology was available, it too was incorporated into the company’s already impressive workflow.
Harold Duncan announced his retirement in 2010, and his daughters Danielle and Carla transitioned into ownership. Having already spent their entire lives in the industry, they were able to combine this extensive hands-on experience with education, and the company continued to thrive. In 2014, TR Trades proudly celebrated its 45th anniversary, which means 50 years is right around the corner!
At TR Trades, we recognize that our team is our success. With our focused staff, some of which have been with the company since the beginning, we continue a long tradition of being industry leaders. We are still as active as ever watching for emerging technology and trends, always ready to grow and improve. And now that you know the company’s history, we invite you to contact us today and join us for the future!
Early 1970’s – Diazo advertisement. TR Trades poster ad produced on the diazo machine with 2 colours. Note the blueish and red cast—this was printed using the same ammonia-based process used for early blueprints.
One of the first large format copy machines; it accepted originals up to 42" wide and could enlarge or reduce prints. This technology increased production capacity and reduced labour costs.
Hundreds of reams of paper are prepared for a large run of specifications. The Xerox 9400 was developed in order to compete with offset printing, and it delivered. TR Trades purchased three from this line as soon as they were available back in 1992.
“For decades now, the ownership, management, and staff have been so good and are still in our neighbourhood. They all mean a lot to me and have always been a big help.”
June Katz (June Katz Music + Design)All Testimonials →