From the opening of our first cemetery in London, Ontario in 1947, Arbor Memorial has had a strong sense of purpose. In a tranquil parkland setting, we offered Canadians of all backgrounds caring, professional support for their end-of-life needs. As our business grew in the years that followed, ultimately expanding to include funeral homes, we maintained our commitment to the highest standards of quality and attentive personal service.
The business that will become Arbor is founded. Establishing a national network of park-like cemeteries with memorials set flush to the ground, the company promotes the pre-arrangement of burial products and services.
Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens opens in London, Ontario, launching future Arbor Chairman Daniel J. (“Dan”) Scanlan on a sales career that will span more than 60 years.
The company continues cemetery expansion across Canada through the 1950s and 1960s.
On August 31, Canadian Memorial Services Limited becomes a public company trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company evolves through several name changes into Arbor Memorial Services Inc. (ticker symbol: ABO.A/ABO.B).
Arbor’s original mausoleum opens at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Toronto.
Arbor’s first crematorium is built at Rideau Memorial Gardens in Montréal. More soon follow.
Head office moves to its current location at 2 Jane Street in Toronto.
Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Arbor’s first on-site funeral home, opens in Winnipeg, providing a complete range of end-of-life products and services at one facility. The company also introduces pre-need funeral arrangements.
The Arbor Award of Excellence is introduced for employees who provide exemplary customer service.
Desjardins Funeral Home in Winnipeg becomes Arbor’s first funeral home acquisition.
Operations expand outside Canada to Florida. (The company subsequently divests of its U.S. properties by 1994.)
Trillium Funeral Service Corporation is founded, enabling Arbor to own and operate funeral homes in Ontario.
Upright memorials are introduced at some cemeteries to meet growing demand.
Two Arbor cemeteries in Calgary dedicate sections for use by the Roman Catholic Church. (An Ontario cemetery makes a similar arrangement in 2000.)
Annual revenue exceeds $100 million.
Ontario’s first on-site memorial chapel and reception centre opens at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in London.
Highland Hills Memorial Gardens, specifically developed to reflect Canada’s multicultural faiths and traditions, opens in Stouffville, Ontario.
Arbor’s first combination funeral home and cemetery sales office designed to create synergies that enhance customer service, opens at Glenwood Memorial Gardens in Edmonton.
Highland Funeral Home, Arbor’s first off-site facility, opens in Toronto and goes on to become the company’s most profitable funeral home.
The Arbor website is officially launched: arbormemorial.com
Arbor introduces The Director, a computer-based program offering customers a more streamlined, interactive funeral arrangement process.
Total company assets exceed $1 billion.
Kelly Funeral Homes in Ottawa becomes the largest acquisition in Arbor history.
The newly launched Arbor Alliance Program enables affiliated companies, associations and groups to offer their employees or members pre-arranged cemetery and funeral products and services.
Dan Scanlan is named Chairman Emeritus of Arbor; David Scanlan becomes Chairman of the Board.
Arbor introduces The Arranger, a computer-based presentation for pre-need and at-need cemetery sales.
The Arbor Memorial Foundation becomes Arbor’s primary vehicle for donating to charities and supporting local communities.
Arbor launches plantoday.ca, a web-based service that provides free guidance on planning end-of-life arrangements.
One Arbor is launched as a key strategic goal for the company.
Arbor Memorial Services Inc. exits the Toronto Stock Exchange valued at approximately $375 million and becomes a private company.
Passing of Daniel J. Scanlan, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Arbor on April 26, 2014.
Arbor Memorial is recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies from 2018-2020. Read the full story today.