Located in the town of St. Jacobs, Ontario (just outside Waterloo), Art’s Auto Electric was founded over 50 years ago in 1965 by Arthur Katorji and his wife Samira. These enterprising founders were fortunate to see opportunity in this community. In the business’ early days, they operated a Rest-a-While Lunch Room with an Esso service station. Eventually, they evolved the business and came to specialize exclusively in auto electric.
Combining a restaurant and a gas station, the Rest-a-While was a mainstay in St. Jacobs for a two decades. In fact, the classic orange stools that hugged the wrap-around counter top are still etched in the checkered floor of our offices. That very space was once occupied by truck drivers traversing the country, farmers and their families, tourists exploring the area and community friends, who would stop in for a coffee and some comfort food. Retired employees fondly recall locals gathering for pie and ice cream, cementing their bond with the staff and the entire Katorji family.
The business and the building experienced positive, progressive change over the years. In the 1970s, the company added onto the facility four times, expanding the building to address their desire to further specialize. By constructing a remanufacturing facility that could handle larger volumes of rebuilding, Art’s was also able to service larger fleets.
Up until the turn of the century, the main focus of the business was mechanical and electrical services for trains, buses, farm equipment, industrial applications and truck automotive. Our specialty was rebuilding, repairing and providing new alternators, starters and generators. In addition to solving other electrical issues, our present focus is providing clients with a wide variety of rebuilt, repair and new rotating electrical units.