John Hardie Mitchell (1903 – 1987)

Owner, Canadian Stevedoring

John Hardie Mitchell was a successful entrepreneur, family man and philanthropist. John was born and raised in Vancouver, educated at the University of British Columbia and owner of Canadian Stevedoring, the largest family-owned business of its kind in Canada.

When John started work as a timekeeper on Vancouver’s waterfront in the 1920s, he entered a tough, competitive environment. But John’s determination to succeed was dampened by none of this. By the 1930s he had become owner of Pacific Lighterage, which provided stevedoring services to companies transferring cargo between ships and the wharves lining Burrard Inlet.

In 1935, John merged Pacific Lighterage with Canadian Stevedoring and in 1942 he became the sole owner of the company.

He then went on to form the North Shore Dock and Warehouse Company in 1954, acquire Louis Wolfe & Sons (Vancouver) in 1966, and create the subsidiary, Casco Terminals, in 1968. The companies now serviced all the deep seaports in BC. The young timekeeper had morphed into one of Vancouver’s most influential employers.

In recognition of his immense concern for people John was the first employer to be honoured with a membership in the Longshoremen’s Union Pensioners’ Club.

To give back to the community that helped him prosper, John and his wife established the John Hardie Mitchell Family Foundation in 1985. Since then, the foundation has assisted with numerous projects, focusing on youth, people with disabilities, education and health.

When he passed away in 1987, he left a legacy of honesty, respect and generosity.