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September 22, 2012

Canada's favourite tradespersons as voted by ToolGirl readers!

Here they are - all of the touching, lovely thank yous to tradespeople all over Canada:

Hi Mag

I am nominating my son, Greg Burrows who is entering his second year of carpentry after 4 years of university. To see the pride on his face after building a project amazes me! He loves carpentry! The pride and patience he shows in his trade makes me so proud of him.He is very lucky to find a career that he loves.
Susan Taylor
East Preston



I would like to "nominate" john baddelley out of victoria B.C.  John has the ability to foresee and understand what you are talking about, while you're saying it.

He puts you at ease immediately, and is compassionate and caring in his demeanor.  John helped me out immensely with reno's at my fathers house in victoria when it was determined that mobility was an issue.

Thank you for this opportunity

Dal Cosby

Cambridge ON


Hi Tool Girl

I have to say Kent Leard has taught me a lot as I helped him build his house. He is a great teacher of trade. 


Dale Fisher  

Fall River N.S. 


Hi Meg , I'm nominating Brian Langley! His great qualities in the "handyman field" are ...always being there, knowledgeable,a big smile and fixing it right the first time .Always has a lending hand for everyone .A mechanic by trade but can fix anything.A great guy to know ! He is my very special handyman .

M Corcoran

Prospect Bay, NS



Just a short note about my favourite trades person, his name is Jamie and he is an iron worker with the Irving Halifax Shipyard.  Jamie tells it straight, and is always looking for ways to improve production safely and more efficiently.
Jamie is a boost to moral, with quick wit or a joke.
He is my favourite trades person.
Carole Hope
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3N5


Hi Mag,

I would like to thank my electrician, Scott Henshaw.   One of his qualities I like best is that he thinks through how best to proceed on a project, anticipating needs I hadn't even thought of yet, like suggesting an indicator light on the on/off switch for the attic lights.

thank you,

Catherine Little

Centreville, NS


Hi Mag:

I'd like to nominate my husband, Laurin Kerr.  The qualities that make him a great tradesman are many but to sum it up quickly " he has the ability to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".  He never throws anything away, 30 year old panelling which was removed about 10 years ago, was recently given new life - flipped over, primed and repainted; an old deck was salvaged to make a small set of steps at our lake lot, etc.  He does great things with old stuff.

Yvonne Kerr

Meaghers Grant, NS 

PS:  I love your column - read it faithfully each week.


Ron Powell is honest and calls it as he sees it.

Mark Charbonneau

Eastern Passage, NS


My son (Dale Myrah) is an Industrial Mechanic who also has two years of machinist training. I am so proud of his abilities to troubleshoot complex mechanical problems, his polite perseverance when solving production dilemmas, and his willingness to mentor apprentice trades people.


Brian Myrah

New Minas NS


My favourite tradesperson is my brother Paul who is an electrician. Paul is

very good and neat at his work and will come up with great ideas that may

not be in the plans but are very practical. One example is  putting plugs

under front windows and have them connected to a switch for your Christmas


Mary Theresa Rodgers

Boylston, Nova Scotia


Hi Mag,

One or two sentences?? . . I’ll try . . Here Goes…Gordon Cooze, drywaller, came and donated his time and materials to help put right a major basement flood.  He arrived each weekend (5 in all) to move furniture and clutter, demolish and replace walls, always with a smile and humming a tune, brightening up a dismal task  with is Newfoundland humor and optimism. His work was superb, meticulous, not only downstairs but also the nicks and seams throughout the house.  A Huge thank-you and hats off to Gordon.  

Forever grateful,



Dear Mag

I would like to nominate Paul Arthur Roach of Moshers Corner, Anna. Co. NS.  He is presently a truck driver for TRA and a more loyal employee I have never seen and he is a true role model as a tireless worker. Paul would be considered a jack of all trades and self taught for the  most part (school of hard knocks)  he runs a portable mill, he is an auto mechanic, he takes on plumbing projects, he roofed his mothers house, he mows lawn as a private business, designed and built his own outdoor furnace, he constructed the building which it houses, of brick and lumber, plumbed it and rough wired it for an electrician to certify, has built his own electric scissors for making Christmas wreaths, taught my son how to weld, he truly is a special individual.  He is a tireless worker, (at least 15 hrs a day) he is not driven my monetary gain, many of his deeds are completed gratis, he is a devote family man and I am proud to say that he has become my friend, or perhaps better put, I have become his. Thank-you for the opportunity to nominate Paul.

David Cunningham

Cottage Cove, Anna Co., NS


Hi Mag:  My tradesman is Dave the Plumber from 694 George Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 1K9. Dave subtracts time he spends on the phone from your bill when at your home.  Generally he is troubleshooting another job.  Besides that trait, Dave is an excellent tradesman and professional.   Great article on thanking tradesmen.


Fenton Isenor

Sydney, NS


HI Mag, I read your article this morning, and love it..I have to agree that tradesman /women don't get their true recognition for a job well done..often we hear about the bad jobs and not the great jobs. I would like to thank our young tradesman, Bruce MacKinnon, we live in a very small town, Port Hawkesbury NS, and its very difficult to hire tradesman of any sort. We don't have a lot of extra cash in town, and like all small towns we are suffering, and the closer of our main employer, a pulp mill, has meant a complete slow down on every thing. Anyway, Bruce is just wonderful, he is ONE MAN construction team, working hard to support his family. He is neat, tidy, always happy, and truly loves his job, and the work he accomplishes. I love his answer to some of my questions..." If you really want it, then we can make it work". And how true he is.

I do hope he gets nominated in this contest, as he sure could use new tools..

Enjoy your column

Carolyn Langley

Port Hawkesbury NS


Dear Mag

I nominate my nephew Lucien Landry who he is the only one of 25 grandchildren to follow in his grandfather’s trade of carpentry. A truly conscientious, gifted and artist of the trade.

 JJ Surette

Lwr Sackville NS


Hi Mag, 

To me, from my experience, a great tradesperson is someone who is professional and competent and reliable (and particularly one who responds to a phone call with a visit for a free estimate - I know this takes time - without knowing the "size" of the job (big or small). But still comes - or even responds by saying that they are very busy now, but can do the job later! At least one knows where one stands. My tradesperson nominee is Alan Brown of Charlottetown PEI.

Just a suggestion - I realize you are female but maybe your email address should be "tools@tradesperson.com" rather than toolgirl.com or toolman.com? Hopefully I may be selected although I am from PEI (since I buy the Chronicle Herald regularly).

Thanks for the contest.

David Dickie

Charlottetown, PEI

Another suggestion? Maybe for the grand prize you might consider offering an IRWIN or RIGID or MILWAUKEE or DeWALT or MAKITA 18-volt cordless drill?



Guy Foley is one of the best carpenter/trades person that I know.  He constantly lends a hand to neighbours and friends who need his expertise.  He also does the best rounded corner bead I have seen. 

Jill Moore

Kingston, On


Hi Mag:  I have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Rob Durocher, from Sarnia, Ontario who is a local tradesman (carpenter) who is so very kind and willing to help anyone out who is in need of assistance.  He is extremely knowledgeable in his trade and has a fabulous personality too.  I can't say enough about this gentleman.  You go girl.  Sincerely, Mrs. Alice Frew, 

Sarnia, ON



I would like to nominate Corey, the maintenance employee of my Condo Management company. He is courteous, on time and his work is of good quality, performed efficiently. A gentleman Tradesperson.

Paul Duggan

Halifax, N.S.


Dear Mag,


I wish to nominate Mike Cunningham of Cunningham Construction, Pugwash, NS, as a special trades person. Not only is Mike a gifted carpenter and leader of a well-organized residential construction company, he carries out his duties in an adroit, confident and friendly manner, thus allowing his customers to feel very good about all the choices which have been made and happy about having chosen Mike as the contractor.

John Mullaley

Pugwash, NS


I am nominating Andy Russell. He has high professional standards, and really cares about the quality of his work. He will suggest ways to improve on a plan while also finding ways to decrease costs where possible.


Carole Chittick

Halifax, NS


Charlie Wallace is the ultimate handyman, skilled and meticulous in everything he does. We hired Charlie to renovate our basement, although we only knew him through reference from our physiotherapist. Charlie worked diligently, and is a perfectionist. If he didn't feel satisfied with a particular part of the project, he would pursue it on his own time until he got it right. We came to trust Charlie to the extent of having him work while we were away. Later we came to realize that Charlie's work, be it painting, carpentry, or plumbing, was equal to and, more often, exceeded the quality attained by so-called specialists. Charlie has never let us down.

George Ayow

Scarborough ON



I would like to promote my Nephew Scott Murphy. He is a plumber in Kentville area of Nova Scotia. The quality I admire most is that he hates poor quality work and material. He would prefer to do quality work with good material, than maybe use something provided by the customer to save money but takes longer to install and costs more in long run.


Roy MacKenzie

Milford, NS  


Hey Mag,

I have a carpenter who is amazing. Always on time (very rare these days), a total perfectionist and very reasonable. He's semi-retired and does this because he loves the work!  His name is Larry Gaskell.

Thanks so much - this is a great contest. 

Vladka MacDonald

Hubley, NS



Hi Mag,

I would like to nominate my son Chris Connolly.  He will work 14 hours a day to complete a job properly.  He takes great pride in his work and always strives to give his customers quality.  If he promises a deadline he will not leave the job site until it is met. 

Thank You,

Nettie Connolly


Hi Mag,

I'm emailing you in regards to the Irwin contest I saw mentioned in your column in the New Homes & Condos section of the Toronto Sun today.  My boyfriend, Chris, is a 3rd year apprentice HVAC technician. He works long hours and rarely takes a sick day because we're saving money to move out from our parents' houses. Chris is a smart, generous and loving person. I would really like to be able to give him something nice, like the Irwin torpedo level or (hopefully!) the Irwin toolbag. Free tools would really help him, as he has spent hundreds - if not thousands - of his own money on tools for work.

Jessica Wroblewski, 

Richmond Hill, ON 



This summer I hired Mike Burns of Dunmore, Antigonish County to build a shop for me. Careful and knowledgeable, absolutely minimal wastage, it's a joy to watch this man work. Meticulous to a fault - ex. all shingles individually tarred before installation, his corners and cuts were always square and the finished product was something to be proud of. The high point of the summer for me was being with Mike as he worked. He's my man!!

 Andy DeGaust

St Andrews, N.S. 


Good morning Ms. Ruffman, I would love to nominate just one trades person however there are three that immediately come to mind. Will Kramer, Carl Noble and Guy Bevalauqua. [not sure if I have spelled the last one right] These three guys teach construction trades at Bendale B.T.I. in Scarborough and do a fantastic job with the students. The the thing that makes them special in my mind is that amount of extra effort they go to with the kids to help them find future employment after they finish school. Additional to this each one has over the years donated there time to helping in the community repairing or fixing things for people that otherwise could not afford to have it done. These guys in my mind are super star tradesmen.

Robert Ball

Pickering ON


We think the Prime candidate for your Irwin Contest would be Ben Wagner. He's the winner of the Provincial, National and International U.A. Skills Competition for Plumber Apprentice. His story is in the K.W. Record on page B1 for Wed, August 22 ,written by Jeff Hicks.

 Thank you

Mary Ann Wagner

Rockwood, ON


I would like to nominate my hubby; Electrician William Chow. He always puts the safety of his customers first and makes sure that all the work is done according to specs. He never cuts corners. He has a an incredible passion for what he does and loves to educate and pass on his expertise to all the apprentices he works with.

Catherine Chow (very happy with my personal handyman!)

Richmond Hill, ON



Our neighbourhood carpenter, Bruce Farquhar, is so reliable. Comes with a smile,does a fantastic job & leaves us all happy.

Shirley Horsburgh

Berwick, NS   


Jim Goodall is the best electrician in Canada. He is a one-man job completion from start to finish. He will estimate, schedule, order material, organize deliveries, can unload trucks, operate any vehicle required for the job, will lay-out daily work assigments, will give those assigments to the electrician who is adept at handling that work, will supervise men and meet with other job supervisors to solve any difficulty that may arise, will complete a project on time , within budget, no corners cut, workmanship of the highest excellance, with every code and inspection passed to everyones grateful appreciation . Well Done Jim

John Goodall

Kitchener Ontario


our landscaper is great. when you are on holidays he checks up on your house , shovels snow if necessary , remove fallen branches , picks up mail and flyers just to make it look like you are still at home

norm thompson

scarborough , ontario 


I proudly nominate my son, Shawn, who in August 2008 started his 1st Job after graduating High School, as a Unionized Apprentice Drywall/Carpenter with CD Drywall And Acoustics. He has learned and advanced quickly; become proficient and skilled; and amassed enough “hands-on labour hours” to become a top 5th year Apprentice who is on his way to obtaining his Red Seal Certification.

D. Bruce MacKimmie

Oshawa, ON 


The great qualities of the tradesperson I know, Gerard Burke, is that he listens to my questions, even if they are a little off the wall. He will try to picture what I am saying (my descriptions which can sound a little crazy) and than come up with he perfect plan :)

Not always will a tradesperson listen to you completely!!

Marcy Gaul


I'm nominating my husband, Jason Gale, who is an electrician by trade. He is professional and friendly. He will give his opinion, and do whatever the customer requests (as long as it is up to code), he strives to make his customers happy.

Julie Gale

Cobourg, Ont.


Hi Mag,

I want to tell you about Greg Redden, he is our carpenter and has always done a great job for us.  I sure hope I got to you in time to enter the contest.  


Donna Slauenwhite

Falmouth, NS


Hi Mag, I would like to nominate a local electrician and contractor Ted Hartman for the Irwin Tools giveaway. Ted and his family have lived in the small town of Slave Lake, Alberta for many years and they run a contracting business together, always seeking to support and employ local tradesmen in their top quality builds. As you may know, Slave Lake was ravaged by a wildfire last spring and we lost hundreds of homes, mine being one of them. Ted and his team have worked tirelessly and with great heart as they help to rebuild not just my home, but the homes and lives of many Slave Laker's. Ted is not just a top-quality builder, he is a top quality guy and we will certainly plan a little something special for his team on National Tradesmen Day!

Andrea MacKay

Slave Lake, AB


PLease be advised my tradesman will be Peter Gardiner, he is always thoughtful and cleans up after himself when finished a job, which I like very much.

Brenda Bakonyi



Dry waller and roofer by trade my cousin in law Evan is a god send! Currently renovating my 1985 mini home and he is the jack of most trades :)))

Together we will in the end have updated every item in the mini home except the frame. 

Jennifer Smith

Williamswood NS


The best ones I know don't look at me like I am stupid. They explain what has to be done and why. That way I can watch and learn!!!

Jane Nauss

Halifax, NS 



 I saw your article in the Toronto Sun and would like to take this time to show my sincere appreciation to Joseph the tradesman. Joseph is hardworking, patient, and pays a great deal of attention to detail. What I admire the most is that he cannot walk by something that needs fixing without stopping to fix it. He cannot lay his head down at night unless the job he has done is something he would appreciate in his own home. He brings laughter and ease to his work and his loyalty and kindness shines through all the workmanship he does. I recently became a resident manager which usually consists of a man and woman however I tread this road without a man. Joseph has taken the time to teach many things like how to cut a hole in a counter top for kitchen sink to sit in, how to use my common sense to solve any scenario that may come my way and most of all not to be afraid to pick up tools and express myself. Because of Joseph I know how a few tools of my own and do not fear trudging down a road of craftsmanship that so many believe is just for men. 

Thank you Joseph.

Hope Cnockaert

Toronto ON


RE:  DONNIE - Crackfiller – from Tantallon, NS

Donnie was a confident, thorough crack filler, yet humble and respectful.  When he finished our job, he was looking forward to spending the weekend camping with his family.  He didn’t try to impress, but left me with a favourable impression.  He was without a doubt an all-round, likeable, calm family man with a warm smile.

Cathy Leiper

Halifax, NS


I would like to nominate Mr Dan Sandford of Kennetcook NS who is a professional dry wall installer,finisher and estimator.He is very knowlegable about his trade and applies that knowledge in a very skillfull manner. His services are constantly in demand and as a result he is one very busy tradesperson.

Bev Patterson

Maitland, NS


Dear Mag:

My electrician, Eric Morine,  is at a ready for anything that I want done. He is consciences, thorough, tidy, and proud of his work which makes me proud to have him. 


Gwen Sweet

Avonport NS


Hi Mag...your request for the great qualities of a tradesman has to be Mike Cole, construction contractor, Amherst, NS, who has over the years bought and fixed up many really dilapitated houses, for which I'm sure the neighboring owners appreciate. Plus, he will often tell me his squirrel secrets when I'm in a jam.

joe maclean

amherst ns


The tradesperson I know the best is my son Eric.He is apprenticing as a Heavy Equipment Technician.He works full time for Sky Tech and maintains his stock car in his sparetime, a hobby he started at 15 when he purchased his first stock car with his paper delivery money.He just turned 21 ,purchased an F250 truck with cash, and makes me proud every day , and is rapidly advancing in his chosen profession.

Mark Yorke



The greatest tradesperson I know is my father, he is the hardest working electrician around. He is constantly learning to better his skills, and it is thanks to his never giving up that I myself am an electrical apprentice working to become a tradeswoman. If i can become half as good as he is, there will be nothing that can hold me back. 

Sherilyn West

Hornby, ON


Our carpenter, Anthony Davidson, has taken on many projects for us in the last five years and is very deserving of some appreciation.  Before moving back to NS, we hired him for renovations and never worried about them being done expertly and as quickly as possible. He wisely works out solutions to problems along the way and communicates well. He always takes a little time to finish a project with style.  He travelled out of town to do renovations on our  cottage and capably  accessed the materials and services required.   He works with his two sons who have learned to love the trade as much as their dad.      

Janice Sutherland 


Hi Mag,

I feel that my son, Tony, is an electrician who deserves some extra thanks. He goes out of his way to provide polite, honest, and expert service to his customers. 

As his mom, I'm doubly proud of this fine, hardworking young man.

Helen Fletcher

Hatchet Lake, NS  


Hello Mag:

My friend Peter James is a plumber by trade who constantly displays his professional and objective approach to all work. Peter never oversells materials or product on any project, no matter how large or small, which is why he maintains a loyal following of clientele.

Thanks and regards,

Dean Shaw

Charlottetown, PE


Hello Ms. Ruffman.

You had asked for short stories about tradespeople. I recently had the unfortunate need to dig out my water line between the well and the house.  Between the fellow on the back-hoe, the plumber Dan, and myself, we found the break and replaced the water line. When the 65' trench was being re-filled, Dan was down in his rubber boots in the muck in the trench making sure that there weren't any large stones pressing down on the new water line.  Most plumbers would have packed up their tools and not gone near a shovel. Dan is a 4th year apprentice who will soon be taking his last 6 weeks of classroom study in preparation for his final plumber's exam. He could well use one of the Irwin Magnetic Torpedo Levels.  So could I. 

Ken MacLeod

West Porters Lake NS


Hi Mag!

I nominate my little brother, Aaron MacDonald - a Carpenter for your contest.  I admire his dedication to his trade, his willingness to learn and upgrade his skills and the long hours and travel he puts in when on a project.  He and his wife  chose to build their home in Nova Scotia so they could live and work here instead of relocating west like so many others.

Lisa Avery



Hey there!

I want to tell you about my friend Scott McMullen. We met about 8 years ago. He was a Home Inspector.  A very good one with all the inspections he wanted. He decided to stop doing this and became a High School construction Teacher.  Now he teaches young students the art of Construction. In his spare time he buys houses, renovates them, and sells them. He gives his students part time jobs to assist with the renovations. 

Bob Albert


Hi Mag,

I want to acknowledge an electrician named Todd Vance of Rennison Electric.  He makes sure his customer's needs/wishes are met in a timely and professional manner.  As well, he offers ideas and options to the clients so they are satisfied in the end.  


Ed Van Kerkoerle

Lucan ON


My favourite and most reliable tradesman is my husband Pat of Pat Boudreau's Plumbing & Heating Ltd.  He is not only a skilled plumber with a kind heart, he cleans up after his work, is honest, reliable and kind to all, especially taking time to talk to seniors and those who are lonely. He is being norminated by me, not for his plumbing but for his ability to work with wood and make the nicest items for our yard including a beautiful deck box, and seated trellis, just because I asked him for one.  He took a plain wheelchair ramp and turned it into a labour of love by lowering the rails and individually hand cutting little hearts into the sliders.  His kindness and caring for all people, not just for me never ceases to amaze me.

Lynne Boudreau

Kentville, NS


I am nominating: Ernie Seglenieks

My husband is a truck mechanic and a wonderful tradesperson.  He is meticulous in his work and always strives for great customer satisfaction.  He would be very deserving of your special thank you to trades people!  What a great day for them on Sep 21st! 

Thank you.

Susanne Seglenieks

London, ON 


My husband Cam is a bricklayer who is very particular doing his jobs and thrives to keep the customer happy. Cam will sometimes do a small job for free because he is an all around good man, and he has been a bricklayer for quite a few years and is very deserving.

Mary Ann Holland

Seaforth, ON


Hey Mag!

My tradesperson Stephan Radowa is the most calm, thorough and knowledgeable person I have working with me. The amount of surprises and challenges we have found renovating my 'heritage cottage' have thrown me, but not his levelheaded resolve. I am extremely fortunate to have him helping me.

Thanks so much,

Allison Vickerd

London ON


Ashley Patriquin is a great welder - he made us the best clothesline pole ever, and has even made adaptions for a amputee friend with a "hook" hand so that he can row a canoe, attach bar-b-q tools, etc.

Thanks.  Great column.

Ruthie Patriquin

Oxford, NS 


The tradesperson I know is my 19 year old son, Blake, who has been

working for FGC Construction in Sebringville for the past two years.

He is registered in the Ontario Apprencticeship program, loves working

outside, learning how to use new equipment and tools, keen to work on

bigger projects and thinks working from 6:30 in the morning to 7 in

the evening is not out of the question and someday, when he is a

registered carpenter, will be a great addition to Ontario's skilled

labour workforce.

Thanks for recognizing hard working people.

Caroline Shewburg

Mitchell, ON


Hi Mag,

My name is Tracy Harris and I am nominating my husband Barry (Millwright).  I am nominating him because in his career/workplace/home he is a very smart person.  He sets very high standards for himself and lives by it.  He has very good troubleshooting skills.  He can listen/look at something and almost know right away what it could be.  He is a very safe worker, he has been recognized with an award from his workplace.  His other quality is he likes to keep up-to -date on the lastest equipment/processes...move with the times.  




My husband Dave works hard to support his family.  He braves all weather to get the job done!

Christi Cole

London ON


Hello Mag

I would like to nominate Andrew Foulds, the Carpenter extraordinaire who recently installed our new kitchen cabinets. Andrew is such a craftsman it was a pleasure to watch a master at work. He is professional, considerate and humble. I would love to acknowledge that he is special and appreciated.

ps I love your column too  

Beryl James

London ON


Hi Mag:

I would like to nominate tradesperson,Joe Medeiros, 2031 Tyson Walk, London for the Irwin Toys Contest. My husband is a carpenter, but to have a tradesperson like Joe lend a hand in a recent renovation was invaluable.  Joe has spent more time at our house in past few months helping us with retaining walls, installing a new bathroom, patio work, concrete work, construction than he probably has spent at home.   Not only did he sometimes bring food over when he came, but he never left until a task was finished....even when my husband wanted to stop. Joe very much deserves the recognition and he not only is our first "go to" person for help, he has also become a good friend.


Leanne Beattie

London, ON



The special tradesperson I would like to show my appreciation for is Robbie Patterson, who is a carpenter (& also my son). He has always shown an ability & an interest in building things. He has a great work ethic & works well with other tradespeople, but also works well on his own. He is always keeping himself busy doing improvements at the home he bought 3 years ago and helping out old school pals with their projects. In the dozen years since he completed his training, I could fill pages with the number of tasks he has undertaken (with patience) for his Mom & Dad :)  It would be a wonderful surprise if he could be "gifted" by Irwin Tools!

Bev Patterson

Scotsburn, Nova Scotia


Mag Ruffman,

I'm nominating Rick Chambers...he stripped our house to the outside sheathing  then rebuilt it. He also built our  24' x 20'  garage  from the ground up. So besides being a qualified sheet metal journeyman he has the knowledge and capabilities of many other trades.

Sincerely,    Joan Chambers

Tillsonburg, ON


I would like to nominate Jason Bouchard of JDB Renovations, in Burlington. He is a renovator extraordinaire.  Not only does he do amazing house renos, kitchens, bathrooms and everything in between, including shopping for accessories, he can be counted on to tackle projects that others would turn away.  He poured footings for my cottage deck in November to meet an insurance deadline and used the outhouse for a few days while renovating my cottage bathroom! I can always count on Jason, no matter what the project.

Elaine Slatter

Burlington, On



I nominate Clifford Snair he is a Burner Tech, plumber, and steamfitter.  At the age of 69 there is no job too small or large.  Especially if there is a challange to overcome.

Alison Snair

Black Point, NS


Hi Mag,  I saw your recent article and thought I would drop you a line about my favorite tradesperson.  His name is Richard Abel from Falmouth, Nova Scotia.  Richard has done a number of jobs for us as a construction contractor.  He did a full renovation on our basement.  What I love about this man is his personality is always pleasant no matter what snag he might run into.  No job is too big or too small and he is  just so easy to work with.  He is very competent in his carpentry skills and I have absolute confidence in any job he takes on.  Whether it is putting in a new electric garage opener, placing meshing over the eves, creating a subfloor, trimming and replacing windows and doors or laying studs and making new walls he is the bomb.  He is our go to guy for everything.  I know I am over two sentences ( me bad) but he is great.  


Esther Mosher


My husband John is the greatest tradesperson I know.  His knowledge is phenomenal, his workmanship is superb and he always makes me exactly what I ask for and does it right away.  What more could I ask for, and I thank him every day. 

Thanks for a great contest.

Betty Huygen

London, Ontario


First of all Mag, let me congratulate you for taking time to salute our tradespeople. They are often not given credit for their day to day contribution. I would like to nominate my auto mechanic, Keith Snair, from the Canadian Tire Store in Clayton Park, Halifax, NS.

For a number of years I have taken my automobile to Keith and he has always been honest and efficient in every way.

Ron Moncrief

Tantallon, NS  


My favourite tradesperson is my husband Rene. Although your article did not mention the construction labourer they play a very important role on any job site and I have heard nothing but praise for my husband from his foremen, former employers and his co-workers. I know his worth because he takes such good care of our home.  Thanks for standing up for the tradesperson they really don’t get the credit they deserve for taking on usually dirty and sometimes dangerous jobs.

Best regards,

Sheryll St Germain

Milton, ON  


One great quality of Randy with Lend a Hand is that he makes sure to do the best job every time. He doesn't take short cuts 

Jason Clements

London, ON


My ex-student, my neighbour, my local municipal councillor, but most importantly my plumber. A "jack-of-all-trades" person who has built his own plumbing business to what it is today. He completely remodeled my bathroom one year while I was in Florida. He installed a new high-efficiency gas furnace three years ago. At the same time replaced our water heater. On numerous occasions, he has cleaned a clogged drain. (no charge once) Just 3 days ago, I left a message on his answering machine. He returned my call after 10 p.m. and was here at 8:a.m. the next morning to repair bathroom drain. Rates are very fair, high quality workmanship, and service is awesome.

A highly respected trades person....Larry McGrath.

Larry McGrath Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Box 1274, Seaforth, ON, N0K 1W0

submitted by

Don Tremeer

Egmondville, ON


Hi Mag.

This is a nomination for Tradesman extraordinaire--Gaetan Theoret.

Also known as "Gaetes",  we have used his multiple talents in doing a myraid number of jobs around our house...........from Bathroom renovations to Garage overhauls. Gaetes is extremely efficient and effective in completing his jobs. A very personable tradesperson, who has a very easy going demeanor and excellent workmanship. Please accept this brief but heartfelt nomination for Gaetan as part of youir Irwin Tools giveaway.

Take care,

John Benbow

London, Ontario,


I have employed many contractors and tradespeople while working on projects both large and small and have enjoyed working along side all of them.  The qualities I find admirable are honesty and frankness (re:cost and time frame), neatness (re:appearance, tools, job site), knowledge of the project and the willingness to share this knowledge and/or advice.

Debbie Gagnon

Port Hawkesbury NS


Hi Mag,

I would like to nominate Dean Henderson for this award. He can always find a solution for a problem and comes when he says he will come. He will come for small jobs that some can't be bothered about. This is very important to seniors.

Thank you.

Sharon Weston

London, ON


Dear Mag,

I would like to nominate my son, Ryan Wieschorster for the Irwin Contest.  Ryan has been a Journeyman Sheet Metal worker for a couple of years now.  While apprenticing he was chosen to compete in the Alberta Skills competition, not once but twice where he placed 3rd the first year and then 2nd in the following year.  He was also nominated by his co-workers as Journeyman of the Year within the company he works for.  He has always been keen for detail and I believe he is top-notch.

Thank you.

Carole Wieschorster

Beaumont AB


Dear Mag,

I nominate Gordon McFadyen of "Interior Transformations" as most trustworthy, competent tradesman I know. He is fair, honest and  meticulous in his dealings renovating homes-bathrooms, kitchens,whatever---for many in Southwest Edmonton and beyond. It's indeed a pleasure to nominate this "gem" of a trademan-Gordon McFadyen!


Violet and Donald Cunningham

Edmonton, AB


My husband was approached by a woman who our son Chris Lockwood assisted in building a Tarrion (spelling uncertain) home for.  Her husband was a very difficult client and the woman who was his wife said in spite of the ongoing demands her husband put on Chris he was always patient, polite and professional.  

Peter and Julie Lockwood

St. Thomas ON


Hi Mag, 

I'd like to nominate tradesman, Jason Prettie, a passionate and highly skilled Londoner  just starting his own business,  who recently completed a sunroom renovation in our home.  His unwavering attention to detail and  craftsmanship, was matched only by his honesty and  outstanding ability to visualize the project in both design and execution (his frequent morning delivery of coffee and Timbits scored well with my husband and I!). 


Diane Dear

P.S.  love your column and my husband does too.  Always informative and  puts a smile on our face!!


Dear Mag,

I would like to nominate my husband, Mark Knowles, in your Irwin Tools giveaway. He is a finishing carpenter, a  dedicated craftsman who is very  conscientious and meticulous in all the work he does. He maintains a great deal of pride in his trade, his work, and in keeping the job sites neat and professional looking.


Leigh Ann Edwards

Edmonton, AB


I would like to enter Al Millett's name into your contest. We have had him do a lot of work for us. It was really surprising when we first hired him and he called to let us know the day and time he would be here. That was  a practice he continued. He is always very charming and delivers on time as well as doing excellent work.

William Milligan


My latest favorite contractor is Rick Hamilton of Lawrencetown, N.S. Rick shows up on the day and time he says he will, brings his workers and their sense of humor, he works with me not against me and he details his bill so I know what I am paying for. The work is well done and he is visibly pleased or he doesn't go home till he has got it right. I appreciate that, it is what I am paying for. Oddly, but important to me, he and his workers come to the door remove their shoes and ask about washroom facilities; so many people have told me and I have experienced it myself-contractors use the washroom outside and sometimes you are left with the remains. 

Thank you,

Cheryl Rafuse

Hampton, N.S.


Hi Mag: we had just tried to take some wallpaper off the wall only to find out that originally no-one had put primer on the wall. The person put the heavy flocked wallpaper on with paste and when we removed he paper with steam it took the face off the drywall down to the rock inside. NOW, the savior was a Drywaller by trade and an extraordinarily good mudder, to now have the walls back to perfection,is a wonderful sight. We've thanked him over again.

Ross Werden

London ON



My name is Amanda and I would like to nominate my husband, Adam, for the tradespeople giveaway.  He is currently an industrial eletrical apprentice just waiting to write his final exam.  He has persevered through layoffs, a broken leg, and still managed to get president's honour roll all while raising two young boys.  He is extremely particular about his work and really tries to get everything perfect and is extremely conscientious. 

Thank you for your time

Amanda Stezenko

Strathroy, On


My brother,Greg,is a machinist.Besides working 6-7 days a week for many years,he found the time to go back to teacher's college. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge using skills he has learned being a supervisor for most of the last 20 years.A great step in his career as a tradesperson!!

Randy Forsythe


Hi Mag,

My husband, Roy says that he is my personal tradesperson and I should nominate him. Ever since we have been married (now over 40years), he has built and renovated our homes as well as helping out his sister and mother with their projects. He has great talent but occasionally he needs the odd female input.

Sheila McKeown  


Hi Mag.

What a great contest. I am so lucky to work with a bunch of great tradespeople. One stands out as being a little more special. Her name is Annette and she is one of our journeyman plumbers. We work for The Greater Edmonton Foundation and we provide housing for low income seniors. Annette makes everyone she comes into contact with feel extra special. She remembers the seniors by name and has been with the foundation for over 20 years. She is also our only female journeyperson.

Annette will do whatever it takes to get the job done and ensure our residents and tenants are safe and happy. Please consider Annette as one of the best in the Trades. She definitely has my vote.

Thanks Mag.

Al Harrison

Edmonton, AB


I nominate Bill Melchers of London, Ontario for the Irwin Contest as outstanding tradesperson.  He's efficient, pays attention to detail, extremely proficient at any work he does, always polite and friendly, leaves the workplace neat and tidy, responds quickly to inquiries about the job...in short, a highly skilled tradesman who you can always count on to do an excellent job!

Nominated by Pat Edgerton

London, Ontario


I wish to nominate Ed DeJonge of Ed DeJonge construction as an outstanding trades person. Ed has a great eye for details, and never settles until the job is done right - a true professional and someone I recommend all the time.

Karen Aikenhead

Chatham, ON


My step dad is a brick layer that works 6 days a week 7am to 7pm to get the job done. He is dedicated, hardworking and passionate about his trade.

Ashley Rasmussen

Orillia ON 


hi - my trades people are 3 brothers that 1 started a painting company and hires his 2 brothers to help him out!  Chris Surmanski started Surmanski Painting and gets Garret and Anthony to help him when he needs extra labourers.  They are very professional and neat!  They go the extra km and aren't happy until I'm happy!

Salute to Chris, Garret and Anthony!

Nancy Martin 

London, ON


the tradesperson i know (Wayne Nauss of Lunenburg NS) is a carpenter with his own business and one associate working with him). He is very meticulous and all his work is  done to perfection and he takes pride in every job he does.  he also does it for a very fair price. 

laurie macmaster

halifax ns



Hi-Albert Groot-McLaren(my husband) is simply the best tradesman I know! (millwright/electrician and mechanical draftsperson) He has renovated our 80 yr old home(took 10 years) and our friends homes-built a 'one of kind' cedar plank fence with beautiful details and keeps our cars running smoothly. Best regards,

Barb Groot-McLaren, 

London, ON


Our thanks to Eugene King of King Plumbing & Heating, Crediton, Ontario for his expertise and promptness in his installations.  He always calls promptly and when he states he is coming to our home he comes right away giving us great advice and excellent service!

 Chris and Phil Turner

Exeter  On 


The greatest qualities of a tradesperson I know is honesty on price and quality of workmanship. Connected to this is his willingness in coming to my home in bad weather to repair part of the roof due to ice buildup that was damaging the interior.

That is what you call customer service.

G. Darling

London ON 


I would like to nominate a very special tradesperson for this contest. Christopher O’Brien of River Hebert, N.S.  (Carpenter and General Trades Person). He has done several projects on my house, such as a new cedar shingle roof, painting my kitchen and all the trim, flooring in all 3 upstairs bedrooms and kitchen, tile flooring in my bathroom, and helping me with my deck restoration after a snowfall caused major damage. I am so impressed with his dedication to fine quality work, self imposed high standard of his own personal performance, thoughtful planning in getting the job done right, and honesty throughout. I know I can trust him to do it the right way every time (and by the Building Codes). He also has the ability to dissuade me from doing something quicker or cheaper when I come up with a brain fart about some better way to do something. He has lots of tact and diplomacy and can easily convince me to do it right or not at all. I really trust his judgment and respect his advice. He is a true professional.

Rob Roy

Amherst NS


I am nominating my neighbour & carpenter & all-round renovation guy Kevin Kingma. Kevin works hard, does a great job, is well-liked & respected in our small community town of Mount Brydges. Unlike the cobbler who never fixes his his own children's shoes, Kevin has totally renovated the home that he & his fiancé Dayna (now his wife) bought inside, added a private sun deck, & a 'here's the party' hot tub!  Again all fantastic workmanship, not a grumble, & always a smile.  Kevin contributes to the community each year as well, last weekend he ran the Rockin'Wheel's concert in town raising funds for spinal cord research & awareness.

Liana Pitel

Mount Brydges, ON 


Mike Ciupa is our favourite plumber.  ( He's also our son!!)   Mike worked hard to earn his Plumber's License starting out in the Ontario Youth Apprentice Program in high school and then apprenticing at a local plumbing business in St. Thomas. After that he and a friend started their own plumbing company  called Great Lakes Plumbing and Heating. Mike gives prompt and reliable service to all of his customers. Many of our friends who have called him for service have told us what a great job he does and how well he cleans up after a job!! That is why we  would like to nominate him for your contest.                                                                                                                                                                                

Donna and Bill Ciupa

St. Thomas, Ont.    


Hello Mag:

 I would like to nominate Bryan Serrardo of Pro Home Contracting. We left for vacation having given Bryan, whom we did not know previously, the key to our home and all our instructions. We came back to Canada two weeks later and were blown away, the main floor of our house was completed renovated, walls down, new hardwood flooring, new cupboards, painting, new lighting in kitchen and dinning area etc., all exceeding our expectations .

Thank you

George and Sharann Meek

London, Ontario


Hi Mag:  I would like to nominate Bob Denkers, carpenter.  Bob is a carpenter of many talents; he did all the finish trim work in my existing house and also in the addition we put on about 9 years ago.  He is superb!  He is extremely detailed and a perfectionist and is never satisfied until you are.  He can do anything!!  I have also employed him at my daughter’s house – and there just isn’t anything about carpentry that he doesn’t know!  There is simply no finer carpenter around!  I have no idea what will happen in the future, when these fine tradespeople retire.


Doug Smith 

Chatham, ON  


Hi Mag, 

I had all but lost hope for getting a Plumber at a resonable cost and in short order. Well that was before I met Tony; I got his number from a customer of mine. We had had a cracked Flange on our upstairs toilet and it had leaked and was coming through the ceiling below. I left a message on Tony's cell phone and with in an hour he returned my call. Well we were on his way home and in three hours I had the plumbing fixed and Tony's bill was very reasonable and such so we tipped him extra for such great service.

This is one number I'm not losing. 

Della Doucette

Bedford NS


Hi Mag, We just wanted to let you know of a great 26 year old certified plumber who has been in the trade for 7 years now.  He is an amazing young man who will go out of his way for neighbours especially seniors and anyone who is in need of his help. He is ambitious and very conscientious. He started in the trade at age 18 and was certified by age 22 which is quite an accomplishment for today's youth.

London, Ont.


I would like to nominate Glen Rafuse of Chester.  He is an excellent carpenter whose work was shown in the summer issue of East Coast Living magazine featuring a Chester cottage.  He does precise, detailed cabinetry, as well as all other types of carpentry.  I would be so excited to present him with the Irwin Magnetic Torpedo Level.  I know it would be put to good use. 

Lois Furlotte

Bridgewater NS  


Hi Mag!  What a great eay to aknowledge the tradespeople.  I'd like to nominate Al Mcmillan, who is my favorite handyman because he is reliable and professional and takes a great deal of pride in his work.  He will always find a solution to my many problems.  I also get so much inspiration from you.  Thank you for your entertaining and very informative column in Homes Extra!  

Nadia Nickerson

Edmonton AB


My favourite trades person is Kim Robinson. She is my sister. She was the second woman in the drywall's union, is good at what she does,  calls people back, and shows up when she says she will. 


Tara Kovach

London, ON



My oldest brother Dan is a sprinkler fitter who is on call 24/7 for a large fire protection company; his phone doesn't stop ringing and he will always answer it, no matter what the hour and or the weather condition. He is a workhorse who always gets the job done and he accomplishes it with professional accuracy and speed, as well as embodying an ultra-keen knowledge of the field of fire safety; his hard work can potentially save many lives, he is a hero for the company he works for as well as a hero for whoever is potentially saved from a fire by fire safety sprinklers.

thank you Mag! 

Nicholas Di Prospero  

Toronto ON 


The tradesperson who I have a lot of respect for happens to be my daughter, Christine,  who is a third year apprentice in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) trade. She is not only opening up a world of possibilities for herself but also for other young females as  she is a volunteer mentor in a program called Techsploration  that introduces the teens to the opportunities to be found in skilled trades and technology.

Dawn Marie Urquhart

Southampton, NS


Dear Mag,

We have had 3 great tradespersons help renovate our home in the past few years, and I would find it hard to choose one over the other. The one who does deserve our vote is our son Tim. He is self taught in every project he takes on. More because of the cost to hire someone he has taken on his own plumbing and carpentry work, and has helped us whenever we ask. He will help prepare any project we have before we hire our professional, otherwise Tim will do the work. He has made us extremely proud of his work which he must do besides his full time job, not any easy task when you don’t have the proper tools. Many years ago he made me a copper trellis and some yard art.

We thank you for your columns and your books. I have yet to find your newest book but have bought one many years ago for my sister who was left on her own and she has referenced it many times.

Many thanks

Shari De Maeyer

Blenheim ON


Pride in workmanship and attention to detail.  These are some of the qualities that Adam MacMartin.  He is truly a craftsman. 

Rick Wehrle

Oro Station, Ontario


As a women inspector in the construction industry, I work with tradespeople all the time - not to mention I'm married to an electrician!  With that said, there is one foreman - Johnathan Schmidt of Canadian Industrial Specialties (CIS), Sarnia - in particular who has always stood out to me as very knowledgable and well respected by his co-workers and fellow tradespeople. 

Jillian Wheatley

Komoka, Ontario


Hi Meg:

I am nominating Graham as my tradesperson for the contest. Graham is special for several reasons: he has always arrived at the time we have arranged and never late. The drywall work he has completed in my basement was detailed and done without any imperfections-he even repaired other cracks and holes in other areas of the basement. To top it off he stayed on budget and cleaned up after himself before leaving. I have no hesitations in recommending him for drywall repair jobs.

Joan V. Martin

Barrie, Ontario


Qualities of my mechanic...

He is hard working, very honest, underpaid, a people person, and very understanding of the trade.  He opened up his own business 6 years ago, puts in 60 hours a week,  struggles to pay his own bills, yet will help out any customer that come through the door.  My mechanic is my husband.

Pam Davis

Mitchell, Ontario


Dear Mag,

I know an amazing tradesperson who is definitely worth mentioning; his name is Will Gilgannon, a plumber. His professionalism is demonstrated through his continuous efforts to complete any job quickly, and also with the workmanship I'd expect if he were working in his own home. Helping clients and giving them the highest quality work is his clear goal. 

Thank you for your time, 

Katarina Blum


Hi Mag,

Just a note to say why I am nominating this fine young tradesperson who serviced our home. His name is Rob Loyer; he was such a considerate plumber, honesty was a great quality he possesses. He got our job done with quality work, no mess at all.Explaines why and what he is going to do to repair the situation in great detail.Defaintly one of the best tradespeople we have ever dealt with! Hoping this young man is considered for a win of the level.

Terri O’Grady

Kitchener, ON


I am nominating my son Paul Wilkes as my favourite tradesperson.  He recently completed the Masonry Fundamentals course at Conestoga College and he has started to work with a Stone Mason.  Beyond the fact that he is my son, the qualities that strike me as being appropriate for your contest are: the enthusiasm he has when he tells me about the projects/work he's working on, the pride he takes in what he builds, his focus on learning how to "do it right" and build a quality product

Lynn Wilkes 

London, Ontario 


Hi Mag!

Dave our auto mechanic is the best, I don't think these guys get enough credit. He's honest, knowledgeable,  goes out of his way to help and always tries to make you feel good with a smile on his face. 

Thanks Mag,

Barb McMath

Oakville. Ontario


Hi Mag


I am recommending Michael McDougall  - a plumber. Michael is a problem solver. He approaches plumbing and its inherent challenges with creativity all the while working within the building code. He is very generous with his time. After doing a job for us, he returned free of charge to help us finish something we were installing ourselves. I really enjoy your articles. I laud your sense of humour. You’ve given me some awesome ideas over the years.

 Yours truly

Ann MacDonald


 My 19 year old son Kristian Wilson, has great qualities of a tradesperson. He is actually just starting the carpentry trade and has worked with a local contractor in town and this is how he found his joy of doing carpentry. He has helped me with renovations in my house  and is looking forward to starting at carpenters local 27 in Woodbridge.

Dave Wilson

Jackson’s Point ON



Bob Brown is a practical experienced tadesman who helps his client by offering senble solutions with a reasonable cost (not the most expensive fanciest opion). Very important, he listens to the client and then offers his suggestions which are supported with logical reasons which helps avoid arrguements or disappointments in the future.

submitted by 

Hugh Laing

Bowmanville Ontario


Hi Mag --

Thank you for promoting this contest and for acknowledging and appreciating the important role that the trades play in making our lives better and safer!  It's rare to see something like this, so I wanted to take the time to send my thanks! I nominate my father, Ron Stork.  In addition to being an amazing dad, he's taught me and countless others a ton!  He's also given freely of his time and skill to help people fix their own or others do-it-yourself/handyman disasters. He's been in construction my entire life.  I spent countless hours at his side as a child completing projects and because of his support and expertise I was able to buy a fixer upper that we've renovated from the main-drain to the roof and everything in between.  Without his support, guidance and expertise there is no way that I would have been able to renovate and manage a vintage home as a single gal!  I've also been able to use this 'education' to further my professional career!  While I am a communications professional, my main files are infrastructure and construction projects - and I'm the go-to at work for all things construction related! My Dad inspired my life-long appreciation and love of construction and the skilled-trades. The skilled trades are under-appreciated; they build and maintain our infrastructure, homes and communities, and their skills maintain our well-being.  I love them!!! (I'm a sucker for a guy in work boots and a hard hat!)  He and I share this love and continue to spend about every second weekend on projects that continue to improve and beautify my 1000 square foot castle. Please continue to shout from rooftops about the value and importance of the skilled trades! Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to cheer for something and someone near-and-dear to my heart.  My Dad and skilled tradespeople rock! 

Tari Stork

Newmarket, ON 


I would like to nominate Fraser Stinson to be one of the recipients of the the Irwin Magnetic Torpedo Level.  Fraser is a licensed certified Plumber who has been a tradesman for approximately five years.  He is 29 years of age. He works hard, has a young family and is currently working out of the city because he couldn't find work close to home.  He is gone from Monday to Thursday plumbing for an apartment building in Barrie, Ontario.  His wife works part-time and they have two small children.

 As his mother, I often think about him growing up, struggling in school and when helping with his math homework he asked me "why do I have to take math, I'll never use it."  Now, being a plumber his work life is all about the 'math'. He is generous to help his friends with their plumbing issues and he spreads himself quite thin when he's home on the weekend.  Between family and doing his plumbing jobs he sometimes gets quite exhausted. I would like him to receive this gift as a way of saying thanks for helping those around him who can't afford to pay him for his kind deeds and to let him know I'm very proud that he became of Plumber.   

Thank you,

Chris Stinson

Port Stanley ON  


I am nominating John Allen of Old South Restorations. In June I called John with several jobs I needed done. John spent approximately one hour accessing each projects.  Within 5 days he emailed me with a detailed estimate of each job stating I could do the jobs over a period of whatever length of time I wished.

Since the whole  quote was within my budget I had him do it all. He started when he said & was finished within his projected time. John’s was the second estimate I got & was helpful as to what was the best & most economical way to do the work. He save me money & did do quality work. As a senior it is so good to get someone who is honest & respectful.

Shirley M Scarrow

London ON 


Hi Mag,

I am writing about a “handyman” who was recommended to me by the paint-section salesperson at Home Hardware Building Centre here in Woodstock ON. I wanted our concrete front porch done with “Granite spreadable stone coating” and asked for advice.  The salesperson suggested Gerry Marier.  He is a retired high school shop teacher and continues on now with his own business ( and busyness!). Since doing the porch, he’s repainted a steel entrance door, repaired 2 cracked backsplash tiles, installed a new more efficient bathroom ceiling fan, necessitating entering our attic through a very small opening in a closet.  He refinished rusting custom-made tub safety bars on a marble tub-surround (nothing commercial could replace them). He has just finished recaulking all our windows on the outside and then we discovered a crack in our nearly 60 year old raised-ranch living room ceiling.  That led to finding a zig-zag of cracks across that ceiling plus dining room and bedroom ones.  He scored each crack, mudded, sanded, primed and painted all the ceilings. He does a fabulous job, paying attention to detail. He is reliable, sets a date and time and is punctual.  His labour rate is very reasonable too! I hope I have a chance to win something for this very humble man.

Joan Garrett

Woodstock ON



I would like to nominate my mechanic tang who' been running his shop for over 25 years on queen street, with integrity and reasonable prices and treats customers with respect.

joe francella

toronto, ON


I am nominating Mark Orr (Morr for You Contracting). Not only does he do terrific work, especially for my elderly mother and her cronies, he is personable, polite and meticulous.  However, the fact that he leaves jobsites is pristine condition at the end of each day puts him over the top!!! 

Larry Brooke

Burlington, On


Hi Meg,

The person I would like to thank is Sylvia Brown, she kept going even when times were  slow and stayed with the program, now she is working as an electrician at the  Irving Shipyard in Halifax with all  her co-worker being men it can't be easy.  


Bob Brown 

Halifax, NS


I would like to nominate my tradesperson Sarah Robinson.  Sarah is a hardworking young woman with a will to achieve.  Sarah is an apprentice auto mechanic who loves her job and works hard each day making things safe for other people.  Hoping you will see what I see in my new tradesperson.  


David Pyke


Hi Mag,

My mother is a great landscaper who obtained her Ministry Certification in 2010. She puts in long hours in the gruelling heat to beautify the exterior of other peoples homes thus improving their homes value. I admire my moms hard work and attention to detail and hope to achieve the same qualities in my future endeavours.

Thanks Mag,


Hi Mag.  I'm probably too late as I'm not writing until Sunday evening, but we have discovered an amazing tradesperson.  His name is Ron Stewart.  He does work for Sears and has installed windows at the front of our house and new French patio doors at the rear.  He is truly a craftsman.  He always goes above and beyond in doing ''extra''.  For example, with the patio doors, he actually went over to Home Depot and bought the wood to build an inside frame around the new doors that matched our fireplace mantel (no extra charges!). We now ask specifically for Ron when we're having any work done.  Ron is a pleasant, laid back guy who will sit with me for a coffee while the glue dries.  We love this guy...he does the best work ever....I'd love to see him get some recognition because he goes about his business way too quietly for the quality he delivers....thanks for listening..…




Dear Ms. Ruffman,

I enjoy reading your column every weekend in the Sunday paper.  In response to your contest for the Irwin tools giveaway,  I would like to nominate a friend of mine. Keith Siemens is a tradesman with a big heart.  He has donated countless hours of work in putting new windows in our local Christian School this summer.  He has also installed new counters in the Staff Room.  Keith is always the one to call when we need help constructing new sets for our school plays and musicals.  He would be very deserving of a new Magnetic Torpedo Level.

Jacquelyn Magnus

Rocky Mountain House, Alberta



Tradespeople posses many great qualities without them the world would fall apart, their would be no houses, buldings, schools, cars etc. They should be honored for all the hard work they do for the community because at the end of the day their the ones who keep our city in shape.

Thank you, 

Lorenzo Muscoiona

Markham, ON


I'm nominating my uncle who's a technician at Shaw cable. He is a hardworking guy who works under the sun and rain. He provides forour family's need. I hope you guys will be able to make him happy by this gesture. ♥

Edmonton, NW


Hi Mag,

Our tradesperson Sam came to take out our only tub, tiles and drywall, re-install the tub and drywall, prepping it for the tub surround Mfg installers all while he was sick with the flu. The installers came and mentioned what a perfect job he did, so I would like to say that Sam is dedicated, cared that we only had 1 tub/shower and it was crucial heading into a long weekend to get it done, showed up when he said he was going to be there and he does his work to perfection always.


Thanks so much,

Marion Forsythe

London ON  


My husband Joe is a fabulous cabinet maker.  His attention to detail is above and beyond.  He is a true artisan and  tries to create perfection in each project.  This brings true admiration from all his clients and his wife and partner.

Nancy Carrigan

Valley, Nova Scotia


Good Morning Mag,

 I’m nominating my husband, Murray. Murray renovated our house, which all the neighbours thought was a tear down when we bought it. (1902) He’s a perfectionist that pays attention to detail and through his labour of love, made the house in to a ‘showcase’!

Bonnie Malcolm 

Edmonton, AB


I would like to nominate Steve Cormier for the Irwin Contest.  He is a super all around person  -  a great Machinist, husband, father and community worker.

Margaret J. Forbes

New Glasgow,N. S.


Dear Mag:

I have a friend who is a carpenter; he has his own business and he is a very hard worker, comes to work on time, does an excellent job doing carpenter work, very very fussy,with his work checks and checks again for mistakes, mess is cleaned up when finished and he goes none stop until job is completed.  Customer is always happy. And my friend can do anything as a tradesman, inside and outside house.  A great guy, Sam.   Sam will be building a deck on our house next spring. 

Debbie Woodworth

Bridgewater NS 



Dan Suplat is the carpenter that I call when I need to have anything done around the house. He is both professional and skilled. People asked me for his name after he replaced my roof because he did such a good job, even cleaning up at the end of each work day. After the Goderich tornado, my neighbour had Dan remove his tree that fell on my roof and replace a section of his fence. 

Valerie Presseault



Hi Mag


I would like to nominate my brother who is an industrial and commercial insulator.  When he brings his 10 sandwiches and 2 thermos's of coffee to work he is saving energy and emissions for everyone.  Just like President Obama said, insulation is sexy.  So please consider my sexy brother who is putting sexy insulation on the pipes and boilers of this great country.  Also if you have any friends available for him Mag, please send sample of their cooking.  Thank-you

steve brady

stoney creek ontario



The tradesperson I'd like to nominate is Brian Van Goethem, a Motorcycle mechanic.  He's the service manager at a family run business in Chatham Ont.

He's not only a skilled mechanic; he's able to teach the younger generaton through the co-op schools programs.

submitted by--Janey VanGoethem

Bothwell ON


Being an apprenticeship consultant, I am familiar with numerous apprentices and journeypersons who are dedicated and do an outstanding job each day. One in particular is a colleague by the name of Mike Kaziechko, who is a journeyman Automotive Service Technician (mechanic) and Parts Technician. Even after a full day of work, Mike is never too busy or tired to help colleagues with their vehicle repair needs. He will even go the extra mile to source parts at a discounted price or find the necessary item/s from an auto recycler. He is frequently called upon to provide advice to staff on diagnostic tips.

Doug Harback

St Albert, AB


Hi Mag,

I’m not sure if this will qualify as an entry into your tool contest, but:

The one tradesman that has made the biggest influence in my life was my late father! He started shoveling coal into a steam furnace that supplied electricity for the town of High River, AB when he was 18. He worked for the town until the generator was taken over by Calgary Power (now Transalta Utilities). He spent his entire working career, 45 years, with them, eventually becoming a certified journeyman Power Systems Electrician and the District Manager for their field office in Didsbury, AB.  Dad was perhaps the most honest and caring tradesman I ever knew. He was always willing to help people get connected to the electrical system and I remember him even hooking up peoples electric stoves for nothing when they moved into town. Things like that were not part of his job description, and he didn’t get paid for that service, but he did it with a smile to help the new folks get settled in. Many a night in the middle of a horrendous lightning storm he would be out repairing lines so people wouldn’t be with our power.

He made such an impression on me that I went on to become an Interprovincially certified journeyman Automotive Service Technician, Heavy Equipment Technician and Welder.

Bob Easton

Grande Prairie, AB     


Dear Mag,

I would like to nominate my nephew Tyler Shubrook as a new member to the tradespeople working environment. Tyler is currently enrolled in the Landscape & Design course at Fanshawe college, 3rd year, and has been working in this field at both Clintar & on his own, Shubrook Landscape & Design & recently moved over to work with Atlantis Pools to broaden his knowledge. From my observation over the past few years, I recognize this young fellow of 21 years of age to be extremely dedicated & determined to succeed.  Tyler is a very hard working & an ambitious worker, working long hours throughout the week, and on the weekends to help pay for his schooling & develop the necessary skills to succeed in his future endeavours.

Thank you

Wendy Shubrook

London, ON


I would like to nominate a carpenter who has done a number of repairs and renovations to my cottage over the past 4 years. His name is Paul Fahie . My cottage is located on the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia- it is about 70 years old. Paul has cheerfully and efficiently replaced the roof , put on new siding , changed the windows ,redone the bathroom,kitchen floor and wood panelling on interior rooms- while making allowances for crooked walls , layers of previous fixups and company coming!He is concientous and thorough in all his work and as well resonable in what he charges.

Lorna Khan



Hello Mag!

I read your article on Friday while I ate lunch with my favourite tradesperson and partner - Chris McIntyre. I recently started working in the trades as an elevator mechanic helper this month and Chris is amazing as he's not only a skilled mechanic, but also a patient, knowledgeable teacher on the job and in class and a helpful person with a great sense of humour. He, like other elevator mechanics, install elevators from the ground up (har har) and keep them running smoothly so people can go about their lives not knowing the level of training, attention to detail, pride in a job well done that goes on behind the scenes. I've learned so much from him a short time, and will continue for many years to come. We were doing a job recently installing machine room guards around moving parts, leveling metal posts and we left behind a magnetic level and I know he would very much appreciate a new one at this moment. I enjoyed your vinyl creations on the site. Keep it up, best of luck,

Adam Potts

Scarborough ON


Hi Mag- Love the Column!

I want to mention Gus and multi-talented tradesperson with a specialty in welding. Not only is he a pro on the job but this summer when the London YMCA Children's Safety Village was short staffed, he volunteered and helped us out. He worked in extreme heat and always with a smile. One Torpedo will go to him and one will go to the Safety Village. Fingers crossed.

Thanks Mag and Irwin Tools!


London ON


Hi Mag, You are my inspiration!! I nominate Ron Watts who worked 6 hours installing my windows and still took the time to cleanup the mess!

Jane Pankew,

Brampton, ON


Hey Mag,

I love my handy person who is always available, so it seems! and is really good at the small tricky jobs that a small business has. Kyle does everything from carpentry to fixing doors, trouble shooting electrical and plumbing problems, and giving great and creative solutions to niggling problems!  Love your column, and can't wait to try that chalk paint!!!

Thanks Mag!

Joan Brennan

London , On


Dear Mag,

I was so excited to read your article on saying thanks to our tradespeople!  I can't tell you how many times we have relied on our amazing plumber Dave Wallace!  He recently came back early from his vacation to spend an entire day in our barn fixing a leaky pipe!  He deserves the most thanks from our family and so many others out there that call on him.  I teach high school in our school to work program, I tell my students the importance of getting a good trade and I can't thank you enough for printing such an important topic that we need to take the time to thank such important people!  I will be sharing your article with my students as we celebrate September 21 and say thanks! You have inspired all of us to pass along the THANKS!   




Dear Mag:

Choosing my "awesome" tradesman was not at all difficult. The team of U.L. Lovett Incorporated, installers of "Solatube" were the best of the best. They explained everything step by step as they went along, they were courteous, friendly, extremely tidy, cleaned up after themselves and did a thorough job in a very short time.   We were very, very happy with them and the job they did for us.   There was no way we could find one tiny little fault with them or their work. I would like to recommend this "duo" as they deserve a BIG  thankyou.

Barbara Dow

London ON


My husband Jim and I are in the midst of renovating our cottage and our carpenter, Bud Ford, is outstanding.  He not only reads the blueprints to check and re-check everything, but has made many helpful, and money-saving, suggestions for changes that we never considered, for example, inserting a wall within the long span of closets, so that one can be dedicated to shirts and blouses, while the other one can house longer clothing.  Also informs us what materials are good value and will stand the test of time, ie, suggesting the use of French doors as opposed to pocket doors, so that shelving can be hung on the wall that would not allow for this if a pocket door was in place.  We are most appreciative of his skills and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that we end up with the best outcome for our limited space.

Chris Sloma


Hi Mag

I would like to enter the Irwin Contest to acknowledge tradesmen. My favorite tradesman is a inter-provincial plumber who also happens to be my husband Keith Dennis.  Keith is a tradesman who is also a supervisor tasked with overseeing many other tradespeople, maintenance and building/system inspections and budgets.  He always strives to make things better, to build things better and to provide the proper tools and information to his co-workers to ensure that they can complete a project to the highest standard. Tradespeople that are involved in maintaining existing structures often have dirty and messy jobs.  There is no end to what they can accomplish through ingenuity and proper tools.  Being able to build or fix something is invaluable in my opinion.  We are becoming a society where technology creeps into every aspect of our lives.  The need for tradespeople who can actually build and maintain systems and structures will only increase however, as older generations of people who habitually fixed things are replaced in the consumer marketplace by generations of people who have lost that set of skills as they upgrading items to meet the latest trend. Tradespeople exhibit valuable skills and we should do more to promote the trades within high schools and community colleges.  There is a generation of children, boys especially, that are genetically geared towards hands-on learning and this is not being fostered within our schools or duly recognized to be just as valuable as more-literacy based learning.  Why is this?  What we need is a national campaign to ensure that these children know their skills are valuable, appreciated and marketable.  Their skills could be more marketable than a university degree.  We should encourage and promote their skills.  We need tradespeople.  They get the job done.

Peggy Dennis


Hi Mag

I'm nominating my BFF"s husband- John Llewellyn. John is a skilled contractor who cares about his clients! John will go the extra mile to help people. He also always has excellent suggestions for my own reno - not one to get in the way of

a woman with a vision- he stands back till I explain my vision and then says "Had you considered (fill in the blank with an, always excellent suggestion). John appreciates his clients visions but has always been willing to take the extra step to make a good project awesome!!!

Sarah Blinn


My son Stephen O’Donnell has decided to become a stonemason and is doing his apprentenceship with a local stonemason who is taking him on, he is going to be 24 and has not know what to do with his life, but now he is doing this job he comes home every night with details on what he has accomplished each day and what he has learned, it is great to see young people get into these skilled trades and his father and I (his mother) are very proud of him and everyday we tell him how proud of him we are, he could sure use some tools for his trade,


Sandra O'Donnell

Acton, ON


The greatest quality of Norman Wiebe is that he pays meticulous attention to detail in his job. He uses creativity and experience to solve problems that arise during his day.

Noreen  Wiebe

Maple Ridge, B.C.


I am writing because my son is in the apprence electrical program   He is learning a lot and likes the people he works with and makes good money.   thanks.

Jean Dalli

Toronto, ON



I know a tradesman that I would like to enter in your contest. He is a welder, just received his ticket this spring. What I see special in this individual is that he does not take safety lightly. He incourages his coworkers to work safely and when he is on the road takes a leadership role in making sure his crew is always safe and not in harms way. He is not afriad to address issues related to the safe operation of a job. His name is Jason and he is my son.

Best Regards 

His dad John.


Nominating: Byron Corbett, Brockville, ON

Byron is a great contractor, handyman, etc.  Built my new deck and was such a perfectionist that when he noticed the deck boards weren't perfectly lined up he took them off and started again! He is trustworthy and reliable - arrives when he says he will and works hard all the way through.  You can't get him to take a break.  He's done a lot for me - deck, new bathroom vanity, crown moulding, painting, the list goes on.  Couldn't do without him and he's very deserving of a treat!

Sarah Starling

Lyn, ON


I would like to tell you about my son Joshua,He is going to Algonquin College taking electrical courses to become an electrician with a goal to become a master electrician.He was in an apprenticeship program,got laid off a few times but still forges ahead with his dream!!  

Brian Bissonnette

Athens Ont.


CertaPro Painters- A great painting company because they care about you , your home and property ,taking every step to do the job unequaled to any other painter. The company under the direction of Scott Mossip and his franchisee Paul Guenette come to your home and give you a fair quote, using top notch products, a time frame cleaning up leaving no mess for you to deal with--and they stick to the quote given!!!!!! No added costs.

Nelda Oliver



My tradesperson is my son who is now a journeyman electrician.  He loves his work and he is conscientious, thorough and tidy in all jobs.  I hear he is friendly and a great worker.  It makes a parent very proud to have supported him through the apprenticeship program and to see him succeed in something he enjoys so much.

C Pankhurst

Tatamagouche, NS  


I recently had a tradesperson work on a bathroom.  He was honest and caring. He took pride in his work and did the very best to please me. He stayed to complete work that he wanted to finish.  I find his work ethics admireable in this day and age. A hard worker, his name is Tim Harmsma of Brockville. Ont






Niagara Falls, Ontario


Hi Mag,

I wish to nominate Jan Meunier of Old School Flooring for her outstanding customer service and expertise in installing the engineered hardwood in our home. Jan went above and beyond in doing a meticulous job treating our home like hers...kudos to her and her assistant Corey.

Roland Neveu

Leduc, Alta.


I am nominating my father, who yes is a trades person and I'm not nominating him because he my father,lol he confuses me with my sisters so he would probably wouldnt get nominated for that reason. But he the best at what he does and anyone will agree. He owns Roddicks Seamless Eavestroughing with his brother. He isnt the cheapest but he knows what he is doing and he will do it right, and if you have a problem or want to change something he will fix it, he not a fly by night and wont do a job and ignore you after the job is done. He has a good reputation in the area and thats whats great about Brockville, its large enough to keep business going but small enough that if you have a good reputation it spreads.    I guess the same goes for if you have a bad reputation. :) please consider Mike Roddick for the level and tool give away, he is a small local business and it would be nice that he knows people appreciate them!!!! 

Thanks Julie Ferguson

Brockville, ON



My husband is a tradesperson. He is skilled and maintains his skill with upgrading regularly. He is dedicated, loyal employee.Honest-respects the companys equipment and vehicle,does the best job he can do and works well with his co-workers as a team.





Hi Mag,

The tradesperson I would like to nominate is Leonard at LJ Home Improvements in Spencerville, Ontario (613)658-2209. Leonard and his wife Bonnie run the business and in the simplest words - as a tradesperson, Leonard has a VERY high personal work standard, is honest, timely and consciencous.  He treats your home with respect, quotes a fair price and overall just runs a great all round small business.

 You're right - the best compliments are the most unexpected.  It's been a couple of years since Leonard did work for us.  Hope he wins or at least knows about this compliment.  He deserves it :) Nice idea for a contest, I so agree we need to acknowledge the important work of our tradespeople.  I think Canada has lost it's compass for understanding the importance of everyone in the workforce.  People do not need three degree's and a mile long list of credentials (although I do acknowledge how hard people work for these too!) to be important.  I no more know how to fix the electrical circut panel than fly a plane and when I need help I want the tradesperson who knows their work and will do the job correctly.  More power to the trades!

Marie Greengrass

Spencerville, ON  K0E 1X0


Hello Mag,

I read your article on Brockville This Week newpaer. 

1.Great Qualities of an Electrician

Safety is the first rule!  The journerperson should has knowledge of electrical legislation, codes, and standards of practice.

Jason Yang

Brockville, Ontario. 



Brian, 28 years old master electrician, the youngest master electrician in our company. He's a detail oriented person, hardworking and warm-heart.

Best Regards,




I am writing to thank a trades person. Jeff Roddick, from Roddick's Eavestrough, helped to install my new eavestrough. We had existing trough that needed to be removed to accommodate a central air system, and Jeff was able to design eavestrough that would be flexible and go around the new pipework. It looks fabulous and we are very happy with the work they did. He was fast, friendly and cleaned up afterwards. 

For the great job he did on our house and I am sure many others I think he deserves the Irwin Level. It isn't often that you get to thank the "guy" that came to do a job at your house, I think this is wonderful! Hats off to Jeff Roddick of Roddick's Eavestrough and his partner, a job well done!

Maryjane Latocha

Brockville ON

K6V 3K5


Hi mag,always admired your expertise,I wish to acknoledge my partner Dale O’HANDLEY who helped to look after my Mom with me for 13 years he did electric,painting,carpentry you name it,my mom passed on four years ago at 103 yrs. so I would say without this man to work around two low income people  and do these jobs,sometimes learning on the job,gosh knows what we would have done. Sincerely ,

marion cranston



My tradesperson is Lloyd Servage. His fingers are now knarled and callous but his heart is pumped and beating in his toolbag. Honestly, that bag is much like the old fashioned Doctor's Black Bag filled with fixing, repairing and renovating.   Yep, he's that smart, kind and compassionate too. 


Mary Anne Bowman

Brockville, Ontario


My tradesperson, is honest, trustworthy and a great worker. He never lets me down.

Mary McNair

Halifax NS   


When I think of a tradesperson I personally know the following comes to mind: A hardworking, dedicated individual whose efforts, honesty and sense of humour make them a treasure that rather than bury I am more than happy to share with the world.

They take pride in their work and it shows in the results. This can be a rare find in this day and age. Thank you to all the hard working individuals in the Trades Sectors.

We APPRECIATE YOU!!!!  I would like to nominate my husband, Jamie Baker ( refrigeration mechanic) He gets up with a smile on his face everyday as he truly loves his job. He works long hours, overtime and on call shifts so I am able to stay home with our 3 children and does it without complaint. His sense of loyalty, strong work ethic and attention to detail make him an incredible mechanic. He is always willing to help co-workers out, as well as friends and family. When I look at him I smile, he takes so many of the qualities that make me love him and make him an incredible father : Strength, honesty, pride, loyalty, dedication, empathy, humour, trust and responsibility and transfers them to his chosen profession making him popular among his colleagues as well as their clients, many of whom request him by name. Even if he doesn't win the contest he is a winner in my books and I am grateful for the opportunity to let him know how much we appreciate all he does for his community and his family! Thanks to him my children are being raised with a wonderful appreciation for all the incredible things tradespeople do for us and the great contributions they make!

Heather Baker

Hillsburgh On 


Dear Mag;

 My favourite tradesman is Rob, of Residental Service, he has rescued me more than once - from my weekend warrior husband's mistakes (whom i have had to take his tools away) . One time, after my husband broke the main water valve off, on a summer long weekend, Rob was there within the hour to repair the valve. I couldn't do without him  -Joann Boyko 

Thanks for the opportunity to praise this guy. 


I am nominating Roberta Hykawy for the Irwin level contest. She is a Communication Electrician with the Edmonton Police Service and shop steward for our union local, both of which are male dominated positions. Her numerous awards and respect by her fellow employees are some of the reasons she deserves the Irwin Magnetic Torpedo level.

Rick Iwanika

Beaumont. Alberta


Dear Mag,

I am happy to read your article emulating our tradespersons, people who make our living comfortable, safe and beautiful.  I will call them the "unsung heroes" of the construction industry. I would like to nominate my 30 year old nephew, Philip Anthony Mancini, to your contest.  He graduated from George Brown College. He is a young all-around construction person.  A precise  cabinet maker.   He renovated his own home and had done wonderful projects and an expertise in kitchen renovation and cabinet making.  He receives outstanding praises from his company and especially from their clients. I would be very happy if he wins the contest and it will be a very welcome surprise to him and his family, his wife just give birth to a baby boy.

Teresita Escribano

Toronto, ON  

Your idea of appreciating them on September 21 is marvelous!




Taylor Alameter

This was extremely helpful in finding help for my bathroom renovations in ontario. It is surprisingly hard to find recommendations for it, and I wasn't having much luck! I really hope I can get my project started soon!


Nothing is better than bathroom renovations in Oakville I spent a good 45g on a new bathroom.

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