Experience you can Trust – since 1898
With a rich history providing Lumber and Building Supplies to the Ottawa/Gatineau region, Bytown Pro is known for its array of building materials and professional building services. Here’s some history about us.
It was in 1898 that Theotime Bonhomme, with the support of friends, founded the Compagnie Industrielle de Papineauville and commenced sawmill operations in the region. Over the next 30 years, he initiated a broad variety of business ventures including hydroelectric dams, mining rights, a flour mill, and even a dairy which became renowned for its butter.
By 1935, with most of the timber limits being granted to the paper mills of the region, the company began to focus its activities on retailing prepared lumber and building materials – a precursor to today’s enterprise. Sales in the first year were brisk, amounting to $6,000. Interestingly, the milk and flour routes proved quite useful in promoting the new lumber yard. While making deliveries, employees would tell customers about new building materials such as plywood, building paper, and western lumber.
By the late 1940s, the company had opened its first lumber yard in the Gatineau region under the name Gatineau Lumber, and by the mid fifties the first Bytown Lumber yard took root in Ottawa, on Cyrville Road. The expansion continued with a Bonhomme store in the Hull area in the early sixties. By 1972, the many distinct lumber yards and operations, each bearing different names, were merged under a new charter and P. Bonhomme Enterprises was born, with distinct brands in both Ontario (Bytown Lumber) and Quebec (Materiaux Bonhomme).
With the influx of big box stores, our enterprise was able to carve itself an important niche in the building materials industry by creating retail points of sale that were more compact, friendly, and that provided very high subject matter expertise to both contractors and do-it-yourselfers alike.
Recognizing the explosive growth and need for housing in the region, the company rebranded itself as Bytown PRO in 2022, with a distinct focus in providing supply and service to regional builders and developers that is second to none.
From its modest beginning more than 120 years ago, our enterprise has evolved with the times. But through four generations, the Bonhomme family’s recipe for success has always remained the same: win the trust of the customer with hard work and honesty, and your business will prosper.