Colonial Garage & Distributors Limited (Colonial) was founded in 1926 by Gordon Elton. Gordon had left his home in Scotland to seek employment in the United States, but on his way stopped in Newfoundland to visit his brother. Later, Gordon fell in love with a young Newfoundland lass, who just happened to be his brother’s wife’s sister, and as they say the rest is history.
In the early years, Colonial was a simple service and gas station, located on Hamilton Avenue in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Over the next four decades, Colonial Auto Parts expanded with the addition of a body shop in 1945, a machine shop in 1951, and a radiator manufacturing facility in 1963.
Gordon’s two sons, Douglas and William, assumed leadership in the 1960s and continued growing the company. The focus switched to the distribution of auto parts, and today the company is the largest privately-owned aftermarket parts supplier in Atlantic Canada with 11 locations in Newfoundland & Labrador, 2 locations in Cape Breton, and employs over 100 people.
Colonial is known for its exceptional employee knowledge, customer service, and always having what you need when you need it. Many of our employees have been with us 40-50 years and are now educating a new generation of parts persons. As well, we are continually updating our inventory and educating ourselves on the ever-changing industry.
In 2015, Douglas and William passed away within five weeks of each other, as one could not live without the other.
The story continues as third-generation family members and long-term employees continue looking after third and fourth generation customers, as well as new customers who have joined us on our journey. We are excited about the future and are committed to providing our customers with the product they need while maintaining Gordon’s value of honesty and fairness. And yes, our head office is still located at the same spot on Hamilton Avenue, where it all began in 1926. Come be part of our story! Visit us today.