The Legacy

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.

Art's Auto Electric was originally a small restaurant diner

The Commitment

We are proud that Art’s has been recycling for more than 50 years, and we continue to help the environment – as do our clients – in a number of ways. We want to continue this tradition as we continue providing excellent quality service and support. When you buy a rebuilt or remanufactured rotating electrical unit or allow us to repair your vehicle, we are helping the environment in several ways:

  • Energy conservation
    By keeping various parts out of the re-melting process, we save oil and other forms of energy.
  • Conserving raw materials
    We save and reuse iron, aluminum, copper and steel.
  • Conserving landfill space
    We repurpose working parts that might otherwise be thrown away.
  • Reducing air pollution
    We keep parts out of the re-melting process.

Over the years, we have forged enduring bonds with our customers and the community. This was due in great part to Art’s own passion for the people of St. Jacobs. The company invested in the community, sponsoring youth sports (including hockey, soccer and ringette) teams and encouraging them to achieve their very best. The Art’s Auto mascot was always dawned vibrantly on uniforms and any signage bearing the Art’s Auto name. Our camel continues to be a special reminder of Art Katorji’s motto in life and in business: we’ll go the distance for you.

There’s even a rumor that Art and his team have been raising camels for the last 50-plus years. Wonder if that’s true? Only a visit to Art’s “Camel-Lot” will reveal the answer.

For more memories and memorabilia, visit our blog.

Art's Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:30AM-5:00PM

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