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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Louis Calsavara was born in Windsor, Ontario on January 19, 1928. He was the third child of Ottorino and Rosa Calzavara. His father, Ottorino, had immigrated to Canada in 1913 from their native country of Italy, returned in 1923, and came back to Canada shortly thereafter with Rosa. They remained life long residents of Windsor from that time until their deaths in the late 1960’s. Lou’s two sisters, Antoinette Stocco and
Carmella Sartori, still reside in Windsor.

Lou attended De LaSalle School from grades one through eight and then went to W. D. Lowe to study a trade, Machine Shop & Tool and Die. Lou spent his summers working alongside his father at the Windsor airport.

In 1946, at the age of 18, he graduated from Lowe and got a job at Windsor Tool and Die. Shortly thereafter, he began to court his future wife Danila, whom he married in 1949. Lou and Danila settled in the East end of Windsor on Ellrose Avenue. By 1955 they had welcomed three daughters into their family, Rosemary, Linda and Beverly. Their son, Louis Jr., arrived in 1961. Lou, along with co-worker and friend, Ernie Luciano, started Center Tool and Mold Co. Ltd in May of 1955. The focus of the company was to manufacture injection molds and die-casting dies. In 1960, the partners built a new, state-of-the-art, shop on Central Avenue which allowed them not only to hire additional workers, often newly arriving Italians but also to increase production. The firm continued to grow under the direction of Lou and Ernie. By 1968, sales had grown to over one million dollars per year.

In 1964, along with family members, Lou set up Telso Products, a toilet seat manufacturing operation, which later was sold to Olsonite. In 1970, Center Tool purchased Windsor Pallet Manufacturing moving it to a 6-acre lot on North Talbot Rd. In 1972, Lou turned his attention to running the Pallet business and looking for additional businesses for Center Tool to invest in, one of which was CanAm Tools of which Center Tool purchased 70%. In 1975, following the death of his original partner, Ernie Luciano, Lou decided it was time to move on from Center Tool. Declining his right of first offer to purchase Ernie’s shares assuring his continued majority in the company, Lou instead sold his shares, plus ownership of Windsor Pallet Manufacturing and CanAm Tools in return. In 1982, Lou purchased the other 30% of CanAm making him the sole owner and once again back in the Tool and Mold Business full-time.

Life during the late 1970s and early 1980s was very busy and satisfying for Lou as he ran both businesses. In 1983, his son, Lou Jr., took over the operations of the Pallet business, ultimately buying his father and sisters out to become sole owner.

Today, at the age of 77, Lou still spends several hours each day in his office at CanAm Tools. He suffered a stroke in 2001, which has slowed him down a bit but not enough to retire. Lou and Danila’s three surviving children and their families all live in Windsor. Linda and Lou Jr. live in Windsor while Beverly is in London. Sadly, their eldest daughter, Rosemary, lost her battle with cancer in 1997. He and Danila now have 10 grandchildren and have just recently welcomed their first great-grandchild. They spend most of the winter at their home in Deerfield Beach, Florida. When in Windsor, they enjoy golfing at Essex Golf and Country Club where they have been members since 1984 and enjoying the company of their family and long-time friends, many of them fellow Italians from the early days. They are both proud of their Italian heritage and of what they have contributed to the Italian community in Windsor.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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