We at Montigo are proud to be celebrating 32 years in the fireplace business. From our humble beginnings as a distributor of wood-burning fireplaces, we have grown into one of the leading manufacturers of gas fireplaces in North America!
In 1976 our president and founder, Dan Binzer, identified a demand for wood burning, zero clearance fireplaces in the new construction market. That year, he launched Fireplaces Unlimited in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. Business boomed as the local economy grew rapidly.
After several years of strong growth with wood products, we identified a demand for gas-fired appliances. The company began engineering and manufacturing the first ever Sandpan Logsets for installation in zero-clearance wood-burning fireplaces. This sandpan technology provided what was undoubtedly the most beautiful and realistic simulation of a wood fire on the market. By placing these logsets inside factory-built, wood-burning fireplace shells, Montigo created some of the first zero-clearance gas fireplaces.
The Montigo brand name was born in the early 1980's, as we focused more and more on the manufacturing side of the industry. As the demand for gas products grew rapidly, the company was split into separate manufacturing and distribution arms, and the name Canadian Heating Products was born. The two companies became separately managed businesses that worked together to identify and meet the unique needs of the multi-unit new construction market.
Between 1985 and 1989, we focused our efforts on the development of our first Direct Vent fireplace. Direct Vent technology was a relatively new concept and it took four years to design and test our first Direct Vent model the Montigo 36DV.
Over the years, we continued to grow with the gas fireplace market, and then had moved to our previous facility. With this growth fuelled expansion in every department, and helped to establish the Montigo brand name. The gas fireplace market was maturing, and the consumer demand for more heat-efficient products rose. Thus, we refocused our efforts into developing more heat-efficient products. Our customers watched our gas-fireplace line develop with both direct vent and b-vent models available, including the EP28 and early Modular Series.
In 1994, we took another major step forward when Montigo Delray Corporation was established in Ferndale, WA. The new Ferndale facility was to share the manufacturing with Canadian Heating Products, and provide a base through which to establish the Montigo brand in the western states.
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California, became our key markets, and from there the Montigo brand moved east across the US and Canada. We acquired representation in many regions and introduced Montigo to new markets in every state and province in North America. Montigo was quickly becoming a truly multi-national company.
The product line has continued to mature and evolve, and around 1998, the DelRay line was launched. DelRay included a variety of specialty products and it was marketed specifically to the retail market. Recently, DelRay was amalgamated with Montigo to capitalize on the strength and reputation of the Montigo name.
The demand for Montigo Gas Products continued to spread across North America, and the need to expand our facilities further was imperative. In 1999, Canadian Heating Products opened up a regional warehouse in a neighboring city to Toronto, Canada. Business grew in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes as the product became more readily available in that market. In 2001, three new regional warehouses have been opened. Montigo Gas Products are available from shipping points in Colorado, Illinois, and most recently in Regina, Saskatchewan. In the past few years, the markets in these areas and along the Eastern US have opened up. The newest evolution in Montigo's history is to strengthen distribution across North America.
Over the last 25 years, Montigo has evolved from a service and installation company to a world-class manufacturer of quality gas products. In our current facility and along with all our divisions, at Montigo we offer the gas fireplace industry's most comprehensive line of single-sided and multi-sided fireplaces, freestanding stoves, masonry fireplace inserts, and direct vent pipe systems. We pledge our efforts towards manufacturing a product of superior quality that has been synonymous with the Montigo name.