Ton Holten began his career as a long distance truck-driver in the Netherlands in the mid-1960s, moving cargo throughout Europe and sometimes to and from parts of Asia and Africa too. Due to his dedication to hard work and building a solid reputation for excellent service, Ton grew his transport company, Holten Internationale Transporten B.V., into a very successful forwarding business.
Armed with the respectful connections he made with tile manufacturers over the years as a transporter (and a new ambition), Ton moved to Canada with his wife and two young sons to try something different. In 1981 he opened the first Tilemaster store in Aurora, Ontario with the intent to introduce Toronto's suburbs to the beauty of Italian, Spanish and Dutch ceramic floor and wall tiles. In 1981, however, suburban citizens weren't really ready yet to splurge on fancy, large-format 12" x 12" Italian floor tiles for their kitchens. Still, Ton persisted with his vision and eventually the European tiles that he imported to Canada were replacing the wood, carpet, vinyl and linoleum floors and dated 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" wall tile finishes that were prevalent back then. At this time, Tilemaster was also making an impression in the commercial market with its unique tile products. Great relationships with prominent manufacturers were established.
With a strong reputation for customer service, product selection, value and for being original in many ways, Tilemaster evolved into a foremost tile importer/distributor/retailer outfit in York Region.
In 2003, Tilemaster moved down the street to a much larger building that comprised a 9000 square foot showroom and a 30,000 square foot warehouse.
2006 saw the second store open in Barrie, Ontario; it became an instant success with homeowners and professionals.
The third store opened in Kitchener, Ontario in 2011 in a 40 year-old 26,000 square feet building. This showroom is furnished with the same European tile display units as the other stores but with more modern design details to appeal to the progressive clientele in the tri-city area.
In 2012, Tilemaster's Aurora showroom expanded to 14,000 square feet to better showcase the ever-growing selection of floor tiles, wall tiles and mosaic tiles from around the world and its vast range of accessory products.
A 50,000 square foot building was opened in Aurora for use as a central warehouse and operations office. With this new warehouse and Ton's experience and strength in logistics from his transportation days, Tilemaster can ensure that each showroom and warehouse is capable of meeting the customer's needs.
Today, along with a management team, Ton is still a driving force at Tilemaster. You might even see him driving one of the big trucks when he wants to get out of the office.
There is always something new on the horizon for Tilemaster in regards to sourcing tile products and solutions. What will never change is Ton's dedication to hard work and keeping a reputation for excellent service; qualities that he has instilled in everyone at Tilemaster.