Throughout the decades, the company’s history reads like a great adventure based on know-how and a constant pursuit of success.
We invite you to read our History Book and learn more about us.
George A. Hall Cartage was founded in 1921 when George Hall left the family farm in Montreal's west end and bought a truck to make deliveries of milk and farm supplies in the Montreal area. Until 1936, he operated the business out of his home on Harvard Avenue in N.D.G, with his wife, Olive, handling the telephone as the business added more trucks and drivers.
During this time, the trucks were parked in a small rented garage on Oxford Street, south of Sherbrooke and - later - at a location on Mountain Street, south of Dorchester.
In 1938, George's son, Donald, left high school and began working as a driver, dispatcher, and whatever else was required. In December 1938, George fell ill and was ordered by his doctor to spend an extended convalescence in Florida.
George A. Hall Cartage Company Limited was incorporated in 1939 and, with the start of WWII, the demand for cartage increased so dramatically that the company bought several more trucks to support the war effort.
The year 1941 brought George's son, Allan - a star high school athlete - to the company for a short time before he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he was killed in battle over England in 1944 at the age of 22. Donald enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1942 and, after service in Europe, was discharged in late 1945.
Upon his return to the business in 1946, Donald realized the company was in a poor financial position, due to his father’s failing health, unprofitable customers, and the difficulty in operating in a small rented garage.
With this in mind, he turned the company's focus to more successful contracts. He also discontinued service to unprofitable customers and started the search for a new location.
In 1947, the company purchased its first property: a vacant lot on Condé Street in the working class neighbourhood of Pointe St. Charles. A new garage was built on the site by a young McGill Engineering student named John Newman. Two years later, two adjacent tenant buildings were bought and torn down to provide for additional parking and an expansion of the garage.
During the late 1940's, the company started to purchase heavy duty trucks and trailers to transport heavier cargoes of cement blocks, structural steel and wood beams.
During the 1950's, the company greatly expanded its customer base, mainly in the industrial heartland of southwest Montreal. The purchase of several competing cartage and dump truck companies helped fuel the growth. In 1953, eighteen more adjacent tenant buildings were purchased and demolished to provide space for the tank trailers recently acquired to deliver petroleum products. A few years later, another 80,000 square foot property on St. Patrick Street was purchased from Canadian Car and Foundry.
Customers at the time also included steel companies, which imported huge quantities of steel to the port of Montreal. As these importers had no space to store their inventory, the company started a warehouse and distribution division on a parcel of land leased from the National Harbour Board.
This was extremely successful until 1966, when land was needed for the World's Fair in 1967. During this period, George's son Gordon, a chartered accountant, joined the company.
The 1960's saw the company grow into one of Quebec's largest trucking companies, with operating authority to and from all points in Quebec. In order to be closer to the east end oil refineries and another customer - a large manufacturer of cement pipes - the company bought land and built a garage in Anjou. This second location was opened in 1964.
In 1967, with the opening of a new cement plant on the south shore of Montreal, the company expanded into the delivery of bulk and bagged cement throughout Quebec and the New England states.
By the end of the 1960's, the products transported included all types of petroleum products, cement, grain, sugar, flour, concrete pipes and blocks, timber, wallboard, cardboard boxes, steel, pre-stressed concrete beams, cement panels, telephone wire, pharmaceutical products, building materials, and underground storing tanks. Moving jobs, snow removal, and mobile cranes and forklifts were also products and services offered.
The early 1970's saw the company continue to flourish as the local economy boomed. Major construction projects such as the Olympic Stadium and Mirabel Airport required deliveries of bulk cement, steel, and other construction materials. Infrastructure projects in Montreal and throughout the province increased the demand for trucks. The company's fleet was made up of 260 vehicles.
A third generation of the Hall family joined the company when Donald's son, Bob, started working part time in 1973, and then full time in 1976.
When the late 1970's and the 1980's brought major economic and political changes to Quebec, the company had to downsize considerably.
Many customers closed their factories or moved, oil refineries shut down, imports of steel declined at the port. Additionally, goods were landing by container, the demand for heating oil decreased with the switch to natural gas, and all aspects of the construction industry saw major declines.
In 1990 the city of Montreal expropriated the Pointe St. Charles property and all operations were consolidated at the Anjou location. At the time, the company continued to deliver primarily petroleum, cement, cardboard boxes, and finished steel products.
The mid 1990's brought slow regeneration of business, mainly in bulk tank transport which continued in the 2000's until today. The addition of more equipment and the purchase of an adjacent property have highlighted recent years.
The current focus is transporting petroleum products, asphalt, and bulk cement.
Through all the years since 1921, the company has been committed to providing prompt and efficient service at all times. This philosophy will remain firmly in place as Geo. A. Hall Inc. drives towards its goal of celebrating 100 years in business.