The inevitable question, ‘Why Slave Lake?’ arises early in an interview with new Canadian Tire owner Peter House. House and his wife Colleen moved here from Vancouver in late June to take over the Slave Lake store.
“A lot of reasons,” says Peter. “We’ve been looking for a new opportunity. Getting a little tired of the big city.”
A few months ago the Slave Lake opportunity came up, so the Houses paid a visit to see what was what.
“Slave Lake ticked all the boxes,” Peter says. “We love small-town life. Canadian Tire is designed for life in this area; it’s a perfect fit.”
House’s journey into the field of Canadian Tire ownership was somewhat unusual. He was in an East Coast law firm, doing legal work for Canadian Tire back in period of rapid expansion in the 1990s. Growing up in St. John’s, he says, “I was always a fan of Canadian Tire. In 2004 I decided to make a career change. We bought into a store in Deep River Ontario.”
That’s up the Ottawa River. The Houses moved lock stock and barrel there with their three kids and ran the store there for 2 ½ years. Then it was off to a new adventure in Richmond B.C., which lasted a further 13 years. Now the move to Slave Lake, while their children – now grown – remain in the Vancouver area.
“But they’ll be visiting us,” Peter says.
So far, so good for the new store and community. House says he was immediately impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the staff. Things are already going well with the store, but his goal is to make it even better.
“We want to make sure we’ve got what we need when people need it,” he says.
Beyond that, House plans to have Canadian Tire as a positive player in the community in other ways. The sponsorship of the Anglers Cup walleye tournament will continue, for example. Promoting the Canadian Tire Jump Start program in the community is another goal.
“We’re making this our home,” he says. “We’re committed to this community.”
Outside of work, Peter says he and his wife have always been boaters, though they don’t have much experience with the fresh water variety of fishing, yet.