In The Beginning.
More than sixty years ago, Bert Thomas founded a Vancouver Institution and named it Northern Building Supply. On his own, and later with his three sons, Bert took an old sawmill and molded it into one of the city’s most unique privately owned lumber yards.
Bert began his career in the building industry as a teenager. One of his first jobs was buying and selling for Keeley Lumber. With his natural enthusiasm for sales and incomparable work ethic, Bert quickly became Keeley’s best asset.
During the post-World War II boom, Bert evolved into a young entrepreneur. He bought other lumberyards and hauled lumber with his new business called “Northern Cartage”. Eventually, Bert settled down to focus on the growth of his largest yard which would become Northern Building Supply.
Northern has grown to become the city’s largest privately held, single-location building supply outlet.
No Other Place Like It.
Northern Building Supply is a “family” business in every sense of the word. An active participant in the business, Bert Thomas worked six days a week, up until his passing in 2010. His sons: Alex, Gord, and John now oversee the day-to-day operations.
Located right on the Fraser River, moorage is also available and is even home to some of the complex’s other rental businesses. Joe’s Salmon Lodge and North Island Lodge dock there and often rent their facilities to catered parties including Northern’s famous Christmas customer appreciation bash.
Affectionately known as “Northern”, most of the company’s forty plus employees have worked there for more than twenty years. Bert’s grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and other relations can also be found working there.Northern’s complex is vast, located just two blocks east of the Knight Street Bridge off of Marine Drive, its total area spans 3.2 hectares. Never one to miss a business opportunity, Bert accommodated the complex to provide a home for many smaller related businesses. Goods and services available from these businesses range from unique antiques, welding fabrication, millwork, architectural design, and even an old-fashioned letterpress printer.
Northern Building Supply has evolved over the years to become the most trusted name in building supplies in Vancouver. We strive to make sure that:
- All our customers get what they need at a competitive price.
- Our experienced staff provides quality service and knowledgeable advice.
- We provide prompt, professional delivery so that your order is available when and where you need it.
Northern Building Supply is a member of: