The Heighington boys have been running the show at Proctor Marine Ltd. for a long time now. But the man responsible for getting it all started was Don Proctor.
In 1951 Proctor opened a modest shop just west of town on a lot shared with 5 cabins at the Proctor's Motel. Don started out selling Evinrude outboards and Honda scooters. Later came Peterborough skiffs and Chris Craft kit boats.
Sales were strong and the business grew. A larger location was needed and the business moved across the street where Proctor's dad Cecil raised a few mink. The business blossomed and more boat brands were added. Starcraft aluminum boats came to Canada in 1959 and Proctor was one of the first dealerships on board. Traveler fiberglass boats were also sold alongside Chris Craft and Shepherd cruisers. Lawn Boy lawnmowers were offered as well as snowmobiles by SnowCruiser and, for a brief period, Arctic Cat and even Starcraft sleds were sold. The operation grew and the building was expanded. Then additional outbuildings were added.
In 1973 Don found a business partner in Jim Heighington. Jim had worked in the marine business since high school, starting as a fledgling outboard mechanic at Leatherdale Tire Shop in his hometown of Orillia and was at the time managing General Marine in London. When the opportunity arose to partner with Don Proctor, Jim moved his wife Donna and four boys to Simcoe.
The well-established business flourished under the couples ambitious hard work. Jim's solid work ethic and honest personality quickly earned him trust and respect in the local community. Many loyal customers from General Marine in London followed Jim to Simcoe. And several of these folks are customers of Proctor Marine to this very day.
As Jim grew the business rapidly, still more expansion became necessary. The late 70s saw expansion to the service department and in the early 90s a new boat showroom was constructed. As Jim and Donna's sons grew, so did the business. Over a span of about 20 years, one by one each of the boys came to work for the family business. Boat brands came and went, but the family's core focus never changed and the hard work paid off.
When Jim and Donna were ready to step back, they sold the business to their boys who run the business today with a small, tight knit staff made up of family and good friends. Never wavering from the long held family tradition of working passionately and treating customers fairly and honestly, Proctor Marine has been honored with a variety of awards from key suppliers for their strong position in the marine industry in Ontario.