Canac Kitchens to close Canadian plant

Canac Kitchens to close Canadian plant

There are 85 comments on the Daily India story from May 29, 2008, titled Canac Kitchens to close Canadian plant. In it, Daily India reports that:

Cabinetry maker Canac Kitchens announced it is closing its Canadian plant north of Toronto with a loss of 1,000 jobs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Daily India.

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james miller

Shelby, NC

#1 Jun 6, 2008
i,m glad they closed i hope the statesville plant closes the way they treat there employees is a shame they give you points for every thing even if you got a doctors note they make bad products someone needs to step in and do something
Josh Cline

Sheboygan, WI

#2 Jul 3, 2008
Canac is a steadily advancing company that offers fine cabinetry. Disgruntled ex-employees offer negative sentiment that is not rooted in reality. I have worked for Canac in Administration since January of 2007 and the company is absolutely amazing and brings stability to the Iredell County area that has taken a blow as factories shrink their workforces. Canac has a committed owner who is doing nothing more than consolidating operations as a vehicle to return to profitability. The Thornhill plant had many environmental issues too, and the orders will be absorbed by the Statesville plant. This is good news to those of us who make a living working here.
Canac plant in Barrie

Barrie, Canada

#3 Jul 16, 2008
Mr. Cline's note indicates plant was in 'Thornhill'- I'm not sure if there was another, but the Canac plant that seems to have closed here is actually in Barrie - it was a very new plant, built and announced in the City of Barrie's Economic news in 2002 - Not sure why it's closed, but having visited the plant it was impecably clean so I can't possibly see any environment issues in that plant - See link -
Canac plant in Barrie

Barrie, Canada

#4 Jul 16, 2008
Clarification - as Mr. Cline noted, there was indeed a Canac plant in Thornhill that was reported to have had environmental issues that the company seemed to be trying to resolve. The Canac I referred to above is actually Canac Northern Designs that closed it's new Barrie plant for some reason - I'm not sure if the two companies are linked in any way..

Sheboygan, WI

#5 Sep 4, 2008
Canac plant in Barrie wrote:
Clarification - as Mr. Cline noted, there was indeed a Canac plant in Thornhill that was reported to have had environmental issues that the company seemed to be trying to resolve. The Canac I referred to above is actually Canac Northern Designs that closed it's new Barrie plant for some reason - I'm not sure if the two companies are linked in any way..
I don't think they are linked in any way.

Charlotte, NC

#6 Sep 25, 2008
Canac informs there Statesville employes that Nov.25th 2008 will be there last day

Jamestown, SC

#7 Sep 25, 2008
that is some bad news

Calgary, Canada

#8 Sep 25, 2008
Josh, you are dilusional, I have worked for Canac for years. The plant in NC has no quality control, they can't match colors even when a color sample is sent. Whole kitchen door orders replaced because the finish flaked off. Doors, boxes, drawers, cabinet backs, shelves damaged or broken in transit or before the cabinet was assembled. I've been in this racket a long time. some damage clearly happened during production because of the nature and location of the damage.

Defects in the cabinet doors were filled and the filler mashed around with a finger with the finger mark still under the finish.

Service doors taking 3-5 months to get.

Kitchens coming out with two types of handles. A 'D' pull coming on most doors but then on the micro or another cabinet a brushed nickel knob.

The drawer runners are put on with 5/8 #5's on an angle do the drawer clicks on the screw head.

This must be the only firm in the free world that has not switched to clip on hinges.

The edgebander buffing wheels were never cleaned, judging by all the glue on the shelf and gable edges. We had to trim it off with a plane iron.

I was told the Canadian plant closed because the Ontario government had issues with the spray facilities. The plant was not able to spray all the parts and components in the time it was allowed to operate in a given day.

Kline, if you were working for me I would fire you. You and the cronies in managemnt have cost Canada and the USA thousands of jobs.

Make sure you pass this on up the food chain. I standby what I say.

Calgary, Canada

#9 Sep 25, 2008
It's me again and I am still on the warpath. I want everyone to think about all the people who are now going to be out of their jobs. I heard that about 1k lost theirs in Thornhill when the plant shut down.
What about all the outlets that carry the product, their investment in show rooms and showhomes in the subdivisions, Now they are not going to be able to get product.
What about the kitchens in transit or are installed and need doors but after Nov 25 May not be able to get them. Will the shops get paid for an incomplete kitchen...I doubt it.
It seem like a lot of the finishing is done by ladies, lots of them are single moms, now what??
Where do they go?? What do they do?

A builder here is possibly going to bring kitchens in for a 124 unit condo currently being roofed, cabs. to be installed in Jan or Feb. That would mean producton in December, Xmas time. That is 124 units now not being sold by Canadians, built by Americans, transported by both Canadians and Americans and installed by Canadians.

We could all win, but we all lost...All of us, Canadians and Americans both.
I heard the NC plant was run by ex GM managers. I wonder what kind of severance package they got.

I feel badly for ALL who have and will be losing their jobs. Xmas can be both the best and worst of times depending on your situation.

We lost builder after builder because of a lousy product.

If only Mangement would have dealt with the QC issues, at least those single moms with kids would have jobs at Xmas.

Kline, I am REALLY ticked of now. YOU make sure the incompetent self serving suits see this message.
It's just like the MI Lai massacre, if I spelled it right and our Canadian Airborne. Crappy leadership, leaders get off and the junior ranks take it in the neck.

Calgary, Canada

#10 Sep 25, 2008
...jaws shark theme music..., continued tomorrow,...more Jaws theme music........
corma tezroc

Brampton, Canada

#12 Sep 26, 2008
Mr.Cline, I am sorry to tell you, you seem to be "clueless" to what has gone on with Canac. For the first thirty eight years canac kitchens was a profitable company. Mismanagement from the parent compay in your corprate owned city. Kohler made huge mistakes that they could not correct. corporate engineers would not humble themselves and listen to people that knew the buisness, instead,they tried to absorb process information from the experienced employees and thought that they can develop a system that will run itself.They wasted millions of dollars in this system and failed. It took Kohler approximately eight years to destroy what was a employment source for thousands of people in Canada and the usa.

This was a COMPLETE FAILURE by Kohler.

In the grand scheme of thing Canac was always insignificant to the kohlers.

By the way Mr. Kline, I was an employee of Canac.

Calgary, Canada

#13 Sep 26, 2008
Mr. Tezroc, I have been told more than once by a salesman intimately familiar with the Canac product that Kohler looked on Canac as a cash cow.

One more instance of poor quality control.The replacement or service doors come pre-drilled for hinges, but not all the time. Site service people don't have the 35mm hinge cup drill bit. They didn't check the doors before they took them to site so they find the doors either damaged, wrong shade, color, profile or in the case of the Chateau Rideau,(single cathedral) doors, drilled left for right, which you can't reverse. therefore requiring another trip.

In addition to this recently when I started helping with service on my condo projects, due to the company terminating my service tech; I found the hinge and dowel holes not drilled deeply enough. I picked up a 35mm bit for the hinge cup and drilled down another 1/8", the dowel holes were never deep enough to accomodate the dowels so we banged in the dowels and sheared off what protruded with a chisel. Fortunately the screws are quite short and didn't bottom out before the hinge was down tight. The right dowel hole was ALLWAYS shallower than the left by 3mm +-. I took pics and proveded job or service #s, but it didn't matter. Right 'till the bitter end doors still came in the same way.

There is a saying that there is "always a market for junk". That may be so but now it comes from China.
I am a Canadian born in Britain, don't think for a fleeting minute I like some American policies as they apply to Canada, but,if I am looking for products to purchase I will always buy Canadain or American first.

To everyone else, think of all the others who will be impacted. Paint,stain, and laquer supliers, suppliers of paint cans, labels, packing cardboard, paper mache corners, banding, screws and staples, edgebanding tape, particleboard, maple, cherry, and oak for doors.

Add to that the trucking industry and all it does for us.

The negative spin offs are truly monumental.

Kohler....YOU screwed us big time, I hope you are happy.
I will fly anywhere anytime and tell you to your face.

Calgary, Canada

#14 Sep 26, 2008
Mr. Miller, I don't think it is a good thing to shut down a plant regardless of the reasons. I am thinking of the jobs lost and all the grief that it brings.

We still need to work. Lou Dobbs would agree, I think.

I do respect your concerns.
Designer Ontario Region

Mississauga, Canada

#15 Sep 27, 2008
I myself owned a Canac showroom and finally had to get rid of Canac as a supplier so that I could start sleeping at night! Kitchens taking 18 - 20 weeks to arrive; doors and cabinets missing for another 4 - 6 weeks. I got to the point where I was afraid to answer the office phone because I was only going to be screamed at by a customer who,
rightly so, was getting screwed. They blamed me, but I would try and explain the whole "Kohler" thing to them and that, even having the company name on my front door, didn't help. I couldn't get answers from Canac/Kohler if I tried. If I had my customers call head office to complain, they were given MY phone number and referred back to me. Typical! Americans buy up our Canadian companies, destroy them and then close up shop.
We are a drop in the bucket to the American companies. They closed Thornhill without notice, putting hundreds out of work, with no thought to what would become of those people.(AND: To the post from Barrie: Northern Designs went BANKRUPT. It was NEVER a manufacturing facility merely an outlet for Canac to screw more people.)
I am glad that I got rid of Canac when I did, even though I still have customers from well over a year ago waiting for service. Now when I get them replacement doors FROM ANOTHER MANUFACTURER, they are so happy with them that they want their whole kitchen refaced and the Canac garbage thrown out! What does that tell you about their QUALITY CONTROL???? Canac/Kohler does not have a clue as to the meaning of quality control. I was phoning Kohler, Wisconsin and having to deal with their tractor department in trying to find my service items!!!!!!!!!Good riddance to you, Kohler and Canac. They should be investigating your top management people to see what their severance packages consist of. As usual, screww the underlings but take care of the top! Has anyone noted Wall Street Lately??????????

Calgary, Canada

#16 Sep 27, 2008
Well said Designer, I hope you are doing OK!!

I am still job hunting, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I may have to move.

Scarborough, Canada

#17 Oct 9, 2008
We have been trying to get Canac to complete our kitchen properly for over a year. They have already delivered three sets of sub-standard doors, and it is safe to say they have zero quality control of their product. They have promised a new set before shutting down. It is not amazing at all that they are shutting down. Good writtens to a company that was delivering lousy product. The only sad part is the lost jobs.
BothSidesof Fence


#18 Oct 10, 2008

I was both an Associate carrying the Canac line BEFORE Kohler bought the company to switching to work for Corporate when Kohler invested millions into the GSD program and failed.

Ralph Howard, the current Canac President is the 10th president that Kohler hired to manage Canac since they purchased the company in 1996. Ten Presidents in 12 years, what does that say?

That tells you that the closure of the Canac division isn't related solely to the economy slump as all the news releases are stating, but rather mismanagement by the Kohler Executives and their inability to run a cabinet manufacturing facility from the ground up.

Grandpa Kohler didn't start the Canac company and therefore David Kohler had to figure crap out on his own and he just plumb couldn't do it. I worked at corporate level coming from being a Canac Associate 4 years ago BEFORE we hit the economy slump and Kohler still couldn't get it together.
I was fired for telling Kohler executives that they've basically got people at corporate level there pushing a pen, earning their paycheck but not really doing the job they were hired to do and the management team, GREG COLLETT , the so called 'Genius of the GSD...WHAT a joke. He produces a manual for the new GSD program that I wouldn't give a D grade to coming from a high-schooler producing this as a school project. Then they wanted me to take this manual and sell to the dealers for well over $10,000 to use 'their new software'. Maybe you guys at Kohler should have invested the money in the quality control rather than a software program that never got off the ground for how much you invested in it.

In other words, this company is closing because people like Greg Collett and Jim Leisure were allowed to run the Canac Division in Toronto and basically run it into the ground until they pull Jim Leisure back out and send him back to Wisconsin to Kohler, then leave yo-yo's to run the company.

CAN we say idiotic. I'd have never survived there if I wasn't fired for calling lazy people out on their inability to do the job they were hired to do. Then again I'm not cut out for corporate red tape crap pushing pens all day till I can go home. I was hired to do a job and couldn't do it effectively with these idiots and spoke out on it thinking I was capable of making change for the better. Some change....Guess you should have kept me around Jim and might still have a division that you invested millions in instead of using someone like Greg Collett. Why do you think he didn't like me....hello....I saw right through him and his apparent..'I'm here to collect a paycheck, take these assholes for all they have for the next few years and then retire'.
THAT is why Canac is closing down. How many of these so-called Canac executives did that?

I say that Kohler should have done what it could have to preserve this company, and trying to sell it privately, that is complete BS. NO one even knew that Canac was for sale because ultimately it makes more sense for Kohler to take the billion dollar business loss over next 3 years on their taxes, than sell the company for .10 cents on the dollar to someone wanting to preserve the jobs.
Kohler ran this company into the ground and is now able to take a business loss, government is really doing it's fair share of preserving jobs for the US economy when they allow a company more profit to close rather than sell.
Congress needs to change this - it's called raping a 40 year old business for a huge business loss to avoid paying taxes on the income you made on a company you did manage properly.
just the facts

Newmarket, Canada

#19 Oct 15, 2008
As a former Canad Employee, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!!

Toronto, Canada

#21 Oct 21, 2008
I'm pissed.
8 Weeks ago, I paid top dollar for additional cabinets to finish an installation. I bought canac so that I could add on components at any time and feel good about it.
I just got a call from the supplier saying that Canac cancelled the order and that they would not be giving me what I need.
So ... now I have an angry wife, a half finished kitchen and a bunch of work to do to try and complete this.

Any disgruntled employees want to sell me some Hazelnut stain, I'd apreciate it. No joke.

Calgary, Canada

#22 Oct 22, 2008
I can get you haz. stain. I need to know if the cabinets came from Canada or the USA, they are different shades of the same color. The product comes from Chemcraft and they are here in Calgary. I know the person familiar with the product. From whatI understand Statesville diluted the stain so you may have to experiment with it to get the color to match. 4 litres should do the trick, it would have to be shipped by ground I think. We may be able to source it in your area.

Like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, check inside the door, look on the frame and see if there is a bunch of dots like braille. that means it came from the USA, they also use a water base top coat rather than lacqer which was used in Canada.
Are the doors shaker or another profile? I can get you doors in 2 working weeks and with a color match I could have them finished and drilled as well. Hinge drill patterns differ from the USA and Canada but I can deal with that as well.

Let me know if I can help, I appreciate your concern.

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