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Road to Frankfurt. Meet the GBPA2020’s outstanding PTC showcases: GIBSON’S CLEANERS (Canada)

CINET’s Global Best Practices Awards Program is advancing at a fast pace, towards the Final in Frankfurt, during Texcare International (June, 22nd, 2020). For the coming period, we will present you week by week, the most outstanding PTC showcases that have joined GBPA2020.

Gibson’s Cleaners team, celebrating the performance of winning the Canadian Overall Best Practices Award together with Peter Wennekes (on the left), President/CEO of CINET and Sidney Chelskey (2nd on the left), Executive Director of CFA.

GIBSON’S CLEANERS. A continuous focus on excellent customer service

Gibson’s is recognized by its customers as the most responsive and highest performing dry cleaners in the Greater Toronto Area. Gibson’s service concept is grounded in its values of thoughtfulness, accountability, and responsiveness.

Gibson’s is an international leader in the dry cleaning and fabricare industry. The company continues to anticipate the needs of the current and future customers to offer the most responsive and superior customer service experience. Last year, Gibson’s leadership team created a three-year strategic plan and aligned on business goals. With this top of mind, the leadership team is currently implementing key business objectives. Examples include launching a pick-up and delivery mobile app for customers on the go, offering customers the option to have no plastic on their order, partnering with non-for-profit organizations like Dress for Success, and organizing team education and training sessions. Gibson’s continues to build on its business model through expanding its B2B services, providing cleaning services for fashion rental companies and private social clubs. Over the next year Gibson’s will focus on enhancing its digital strategy to capture customers by creating unique campaigns related to specific service offerings (wedding dresses, alterations, etc.).

Serving the modern consumer

For over 90 years, Gibson’s has been part of the west end of Toronto. To the locals, the name Gibson’s means so much more than quality dry cleaning. It represents an involved and responsible community member that is incredibly committed to giving back to the neighbourhood. Whether it is collecting and cleaning prom attire for students in need, distributing clothes to the homeless, or fundraising for a summer camp for children with cancer, local initiatives can count on Gibson’s to play its part.

Gibson’s has three Gibson’s locations, operates two Gibson’s routes, and white labels for two other local cleaners in the Greater Toronto Area where customers can make use of a wide range of services. However, it is not only modern services that make up Gibson’s resume: they also offer shirt laundry service, cleaning of formal wear, wedding gowns, leather, suede, bedding, carpets, draperies and even al kinds of handbags. As befits a Canadian dry cleaner, another special service goes under the name of ‘Hockey Clean’. As the name suggests, the process sanitizes hockey gear and gets rid of the hockey smell. In addition to the dry cleaning of pretty much any kind of material, Gibson’s employs talented seamstresses, for whom no alteration or repair is too much trouble.

Gibson’s was the first dry cleaning company in its region using a fully automated barcoding system, a technology that can track garments in the process based on unique barcodes. The innovation does not stop there; for sorting and packaging, the company uses an automated system that is integrated with the SPOT POS System, which also includes a system for invoicing, the possibility to view the history of garments per customer, and the production of reports for the Production, Accounting and Marketing departments.

Fully automated operation

Educated, happy and safe employees

The fact that Gibson’s gets to present awards for 5, 10, 15 & 20 years of service, should say enough about how the company takes care of its employees. Another award is the “Presidents Award”, presented annually to a team member for thoughtful and exceptional service. Through a weekly communication program, every manager is kept up to date. Managers are also asked to write semi annual self-evaluation performance reviews and to participate in the annual goal setting. Thereby, they are encouraged to follow courses that contribute to their personal or professional growth, paid for by the company. Gibson’s offers several training programs; next to an Orientation Training Program, there are a Customer Service Representation program and workshops. Employees of the plant follow a Production Training Program and in addition there is the opportunity to take part in the Ontario Environmental Dry Cleaning Certification Program and the DLI Dry Cleaning Certification Program.

Another important training is the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training. Equally as important is the WHMIS compliance, and there is more in place to ensure the safety of the employees. The company has a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and there are four team members with First Aid Certification. Every month the JHSC has a meeting and conducts audits at the plant and stores. Furthermore, there is a board for communication on Team Health and Safety Issues. Plant employees also receive an annual Safety Shoe Allowance.

Best service delivered by happy employees

Responsible community member

Gibson’s is a community leader through its partnerships with several non for profits in the Toronto area. For many years Gibson’s has been a significant supporter and helped to organize the McConnell Classic, a golf tournament which raises money for Camp Oochigeas – a camp for kids with cancer. The tournament has raised over one million dollars for the camp and sent over than 450 kids to camp. Exclusive partnership with “Dress for Success” – a well-known charity in the Toronto area – to collect gently used office wear to those in need. The company is also involved in an entrepreneurship program partnership with local schools to educate high school students on business education.

Gibson’s works with Extox, a certified provider of clear solutions for all waste disposal and dry cleaning supply needs to handle its recycling of waste.  Extox receives the waste at its facility and tests the waste to determine which process will be the most effective. The dry cleaning waste is sorted into three categories; solid waste, wastewater and filters. Filters are cleaned and processed within our facility using dedicated equipment. The wastewater is blended for energy recovery. The solid waste is physically separated allowing so that the maximum amount of residual solvent is recycled and the non-processable waste to incineration. This physical process provides a ratio of 80% liquids and 20% solids and semi-solids. The 80% liquids are blended and then shipped for energy recovery.

GIBSON’S has won the Overall Best Practices Award  at the The Canadian Best Practices Awards 2019, that took place in Toronto (Oct, 5th) 2019. The company  was invited at the GBPA2020 Final in Frankfurt.

Getting taken to the (dry) cleaners

Click here to read the news article

CINET NEWS: New CINET member: Canadian Fabricare Association

Click here to see the news release

Gibson's Cleaners celebrating 90 years in business

Congratulations to Gibson’s Cleaners which will be celebrating their 90thyear in business. I was privileged to be invited to their annual Christmas Party and was impressed with the effort and care that went into the preparation of the event. Rob and Nancy McConnell used this format to hand out gifts for length of service awards as well as a special President’s Award, which was a family tradition to a long standing employee.

As well, they added a great deal of fun to the event by getting their staff to participate in games that were designed to add to the company spirit.

Below are some of the pictures from the event.   Everyone had a great time.

Changes to the boilers and pressure vessels regulation

The following letter was sent to our Association, and we share it with you. Be sure to go to the link for full information.

Dear Valued Stakeholder,

Ontario has made changes to its Boilers and Pressure Vessels (BPV) Regulation O. Reg. 220/01 under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. The changes affect individuals and businesses who own and/or operate boilers and pressure retaining equipment. The changes come into effect on July 1, 2018.

TSSA is a not-for-profit public safety regulator with a delegated mandate from the Government of Ontario to administrator the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000 and its regulations.

TSSA is reaching out to industry to widely communicate these changes ahead of July 1, 2018. The changes may impact a section of your membership and TSSA is seeking your organization’s partnership in circulating the attached communication to your membership via a channel that is convenient to you including a posting on your website, newsletter and email blast among other channels.

Please contact me for more information regarding how TSSA can partner with your organization or visit the link below for updates on the BPV regulation.     

Best regards,

Mike Adams

Mike Adams, M.Eng, P.Eng, PMP, OE 1st | Director
Boilers Pressure Vessels, and Operating Engineers
345 Carlingview  Drive
Toronto, Ontario M9W 6N9
Tel: +1-416-734-3535 | Cell: +1-647-678-5448 | Fax: +1-416-231-6183 | E-Mail:


Sid Chelsky wrote to Mike Adams: A 50 H.P. boiler falls under the Operating Engineers Act and is the sole responsibilty of TSSA. -- Sid

Mike Adams clarified:

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

The answer is not a simple one, unfortunately.  Recall last October at the OFA conference, where I explained the differences between an OE plant inspection and a BPV boiler inspection?  Plant inspections are the sole responsibility of TSSA (100%).  Boiler inspections are done by TSSA (1%) or an insurer (99%), and result in a Certificate of Inspection (COI).  These are two different inspections.  One looks at the boiler only (COI) and the plant inspection looks at the entire plant to ensure that all ancillary equipment, water treatment, maintenance, operational procedures, etc, are being safely carried out, including ensuring that the boiler has a current COI.  For high pressure boilers, the COI needs to be renewed every year (insurance inspector).  The plant inspections (TSSA) are performed every 6, 12 or 24 months, depending on how well the plant performed in previous inspections.  To further clarify, plant inspections are carried out by TSSA only, independent of insurance inspections.  Again, these are two different inspections.

The change that is occurring on 1 July 2018 is that previously, the COI was supplied by the insurer.  After 1 July 2018, TSSA will issue the COI after the insurer submits inspection information to TSSA and the owner, and the owner contacts TSSA though a new portal to validate the insurer inspection, pay a $40 fee and then receive the COI electronically through the portal. All customer accounts are currently being set up now to minimize the effort for the owner to access the new BPV COI Portal after 1 July 2018.

(Note: this scenario is for high pressure boilers.  COIs for low pressure boilers and unfired pressure vessels have different frequencies and fees: 2 years and 3 years, and $80 and $115 respectively.)

For the Newtex Cleaners example below, the next TSSA plant inspection will occur in 24 months from the last one.  His insurance inspections (COI) will carry on at the regular frequency (assumed high pressure boiler = every year).  If the insurance inspection occurs before 1 July 2018, then no immediate change, other than in 1 year, after the next insurer inspection, the owner will have to go to TSSA for the COI.  If the insurer inspection occurs after 1 July 2018, the owner will have to go to TSSA for the COI.

I trust that this answers your questions.  Please feel free to visit the BPV COI web site for more information.


Members win in Ottawa

In a survey done in 2017, Premier Dry Cleaners was voted the Top Choice Dry Cleaning Service in Ottawa for the year. Congratulations to these OFA members!

Grand Re-Opening

Fabricare Cleaning Center suffered a fire, but has risen from the ashes better than ever. Said Clark McDaniel, "Over 18 months after the fire, we had the Mayor of Huntsville share cutting the ribbon with us  at our Huntsville location. Lesson learned: Always read the fine print in your insurance policies and never count on your insurance company to be good project managers." He added, "Our customers, the Mayor of Huntsville being one, are so pleased that we are open again."

Congratulations, Fabricare Cleaning Centers!

WSIB Classifications Explained and Clarified

CFA asked the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for clarification of the WSIB classifications used for dry cleaning plants and depots. The letter linked below (PDF format) gives you the information you need to understand what classification each of your locations receives.

WSIB Classification Letter     

Checklists used by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) enforcement officers

The links below take you to the checklists the enforcement officers are using when they do inspections to verify compliance with the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations. Please familiarize yourself with the checklist and adhere to the regulation to avoid fines and other forms of censure.

PERC Inspection Checklist - English    
PERC Inspection Checklist - French  

CFA Member in the News

CFA member Clark McDaniel has plenty to smile about with the publicity his company received recently from the Guelph Mercury. (Story by Jessica Lovell, posted July 3, 2017.)

Guelph property management company helps residents live green.

From left, Williams & McDaniel CEO Clark McDaniel, director of operations Zeljka Budjinski, Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie and Federation of Rental-housing of Ontario president Jim Murphy were on hand Thursday to celebrate Williams & McDaniel Property Management's participation in the Living Green Together environmental program. - Tribune photo by Jessica Lovell

The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, gave the opening address at our OFA Conference 2016 on June 16. The conference was a great success, and we expect further meetings with the Minister and cooperation between our association and the government on issues that concern us both.  

From the meeting, left to right: Rob McConnell, Brad Maxwell, The Honourable Glen Murray, Sidney Chelsky.

Ontario Passes Legislation For Injured Workers

--  Prohibit employers from trying to prevent workers reporting workplace injury or illness to the WSIB by making it an offence to do so.

-- Increase maximum corporate penalties from $100,000 to $500,000 for conviction of an offence under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act such as knowingly providing a false or misleading statement to the Board or willfully failing to inform the Board of a material change in circumstance in connection with an obligation of the employer under the Act within 10 days of the change.

-- In addition, if an employee is injured OFF the job, the employer must accommodate the employee to the point of undue hardship for the business upon the employee's return to work. (This is human rights legislation.)

Check with your legal counsel if you have questions about how you are handling employee injuries on or off the job.

Fair Claims Procedures Now Also Available in French

CFA posts the Fair Claims procedure and information for customer convenience on this website, and now also has it posted in French. Click here to view or refer a customer to the Guide. (Click here for French) 

Customer Service Bulletin

An excellent bulletin about customer service and how you can improve your company's interactions with customers. Used here with permission from Ian Harris of South Africa. Click here to read it as a PDF file.

New Regulation Requires OSHA Training for ALL as of July 1, 2014

A new regulation will require health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The regulation comes into force July 1, 2014.  the training is done on an individual basis.

Please visit the website  to begin your training.

This is required by all individuals and subject to audit inspection by the ministry of labour.