John (Jack) Paris, the founder of Paris Marine, was a Ford mechanic in Weston Ontario in 1945. Tired of that type of work, he moved to Peterborough to become a debit collector for London Life Insurance Company.
In 1946 he started Jack Paris Marine and Real Estate, located in Young’s Point, Ontario. He moved to the dealership’s current location in 1958 (see picture above), and built a modest home and showroom on 2 acres of property. He sold wooden boats made by Chestnut Canoe Company from Fredericton, New Brunswick and Sea Skiff boats made in Pennsylvania. He was also a Johnson Outboard dealer. Bill Paris was 11 years old at that time, and rebuilt his first motor: a 25 hp Gale Buccaneer that had sunk on Chandos Lake. Bill worked with his father to rig the wooden boats with Johnson motors while he attended high school.
Jack decided to sell the business in 1973 to a buyer from Toronto, but at the last minute the buyer reneged. Jack and Bill worked together to find a way to keep the dealership in the family, and along with his wife Jan they turned the small business into the largest marine dealership in the Kawartha Lakes eventually expanding the operation to Belleville and Kingston.
Bill and Jan’s youngest daughter Deborah grew up working in the dealership. With hands on experience in all departments it was no surprise that she purchased the dealership from her parents in 2005 just shy of her 30th birthday.
The dealership continues to grow each season. Deborah’s husband Joe joined the dealership in 2013 after retiring from a 25 year career in the US Military. “It’s wonderful to see” commented Joe, “generations of customers returning to the dealership year after year, it’s a wonderful tribute to a successful family run business.”
Deborah adds “Our family tradition runs deep and we look forward to showing you the difference our dealership makes. Let us help you make the most out of your time on the water together. We have everything you need at the lake.”
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