Higgins Event Rentals
The founding of Higgins Event Rentals is the charming story of Denis and Peggy; high school sweethearts.
This husband and wife team who began a small and humble business in Toronto nearly 33 years ago, grew into a strong family of 4 sons and 1 daughter. And their legacy grew into a devoted family operation in Toronto with over 60 employees.
Founded as United Rent-All in 1982, their small business operated pretty much like a general rental store in Etobicoke’s Royal York Plaza. Taking over the space from a department store, they warehoused chain saws, cement mixers, baby cribs and other odd items for rent.
You may be surprised to learn that, at that time, only a fraction of their business offered dishes, glassware, cutlery, linen, tables and chairs. However, from their humble beginnings they eventually set a blistering pace focused on growth and become pioneers of the event rental industry in Toronto.
As part of their natural evolution, Denis found a buyer for the tool side of the company and the sale allowed the couple to focus on the growing needs of the “party rental” industry.
While it was their first foray into entrepreneurship, Denis had been a banker by trade and could handle operations and finance. Peggy would find herself to be the driving force, with the natural flare for design, purchasing and well harvested hospitality skills needed to deal with event planners, designers and producers.
As the company scaled up, the children became more and more involved. Mike, Dave & John worked in the family business almost from the beginning, starting with summers and weekends. They learned the business from the ground up.
Denis and Peggy consistently challenged the old model of event rentals by sourcing new designs, seeking out new products and setting new standards for the industry. When Denis & Peggy retired in 2000, the second generation of the Higgins family took over the helm of the company.
Throughout their years of growth, the company has relocated several times in favour of larger premises. More warehouse space allowed for more shipments and made way for larger items like party tents; an area of expertise for which the company has become renowned.
The Higgins business is a mainstay in the Toronto Event Rental industry. While some of the large event rental businesses in Toronto are owned by private equity firms, this family business is here to stay.
It has grown to 2 locations, 3 warehouses, 10 five ton trucks and 75 staff in the summer-time peak. Inventory now boasts over 1,800 event products.
Want to join the Higgins team? Apply here!
Higgins continues to hire newcomers to Canada, students and are equal opportunity employers. They pride themselves on reducing their corporate footprint by being “Green” conscious, and are very conscientious about supporting the local economy. They also buy Canadian whenever possible.
In my personal life, I am so fortunate to enjoy the company of my beautiful wife, 2 talented teenaged daughters and my Golden Retriever, Teddy. I still enjoy sports, although at a more leisurely pace: running, golfing and behind the bench coaching girls’ hockey. Travel and food are also passions, with Eastern Europe on the itinerary for this summer.
As to my personal life, I am married to a beautiful lady, Mylene. She is my calm after the storm.
Things even my colleagues never knew about me….I play the piano and just learned to play the guitar recently. Fun fact: I don’t know how to pronounce the word “inventory”.
In my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, enjoying the outdoors or catching up with a glass of wine. You will occasionally catch me saying I am cashing it all in and moving to Mexico where I will live in a hut and sell cerveza on the beach……one day, maybe!
For the next 30 years the Higgins family provided all the rental equipment I needed to create amazing events of every type. From a wedding in a back yard to a 200’ long salad that fed 13,000 people! Denis’ commitment to me all those years ago was fulfilled; Higgins Event Rentals had my back.
Now, after a long career as a caterer and event planner it’s my turn to support a younger generation of caterers in their quest to create great events. As a caterer, chef, venue manager, and event planner I bring a wealth of knowledge to our customers. You can ask me anything from “How to make great coffee in a coffee urn?” to “How do I serve all these people out of my tiny kitchen”. I will help you make your events Amazing!
As a bit of a techno geek, I love finding ways to make work easier. Whether it is by creating a time saving Excel spreadsheet, or finding a cool trick with the Google Form or creating a work around with catering software like Caterease, I use technology to help you sell more, do more, and have time for yourself.
When I’m not at work I love cooking for my family, friends! Cooking was my first passion. It was what got me into this business. My favorite cookbooks are Jacque Pepin’s La Method & Le Technique .
My wife and I have 2 children, aged 1 and 3 to keep us running day and night. Our Hamilton home is a work in progress where I love to spend my time tearing things down and putting them back up, a little straighter, newer and more organized. Our tent department, like my home renovations, aspire to be innovative and interesting yet practical.
We have 3 cats Tabi, Cally and Miley.
When I find a free moment, I enjoy drawing, painting and playing sports. My favorite place to unwind is up north on the lake with family, friends & my wonderful hubby. I am a HUGE fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I know that they will win the cup next year!
I love to cook and entertain in my spare time (what’s that?). I am married to a wonderful guy and have two great kids, a 20 year old daughter and 16 year old son, all whom I love dearly. They make all the hard work worthwhile.
I believe that knowledge is power, and am always looking to grow as a professional through courses, accreditations and volunteer opportunities. I stay involved in the industry by sitting on various boards (Seneca College PAC, Canadian Rental Association Ontario, Festivals & Events Ontario, American Rental Association Events & Tents, former ISES VP of Programs, etc) and have earned My CERP designation (Certified Event Rental Professional) through the rental association.
I love relaxing in my backyard oasis with a fruity beverage, going on spontaneous journeys and exploring new parks with my sweet dog, Willow. My friends would describe me as cheerful, organized and an eternal optimist.
I firmly believe in the quote “Be a Fruit Loop in a World Of Cheerios!”.
Summers of working at my parents’ restaurant from a young age helped me to understand
the time and effort It takes to make events happen and fostered an appreciation for great food.
My school interests focused on the sciences and psychology through college and university, completed with a BA. Moving to Toronto was part of the next phase when a new opportunity arose…catering …plus the events that sometimes come along with it. …the years passed. What a great time and a fun detour. Now I have the opportunity to work from a different side of the coin with Higgins and it’s just as interesting. And finally to round out the circle, I am also part of the accounting side, helping to finalizing billing and payments.
During my spare time I like to play with my dog, Henry, and teach him tricks. We spend the warmer months outdoors as much as possible. On weekends he and I like to visit my mom to help her garden. When there is an interesting exhibit at the AGO or the ROM I make a point to visit and savour the experience.
I started with Higgins as an intern in January, 2017, and very quickly felt like part of the family here. When my internship was over, I was offered a job here, and well… the rest is history. The events industry is my passion, and I look forward to growing with Higgins and being a part of spectacular events!
I enjoy extraordinary food, vintage spirits and of course, amazing events. I am a collector of fine aged spirits, especially rums and scotches. In my free time, I enjoy relaxing on my balcony with a glass of fine wine, and my Amazon parrot, Storm.
I am from the Philippines. I speak English and Tagalog.
I like to sing and play the guitar. I like tennis & the Toronto Raptors.
My favorite color is red.
I have a dog.
In my free time I love driving around the country and fishing.
I am from Oakville and speak English. I play hockey. I enjoy cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs & Toronto Raptors. My favorite color is green.
I am from the Philippines & speak Tagalog.
I enjoy sports & my favorite basketball team is the Toronto Raptors.
My favorite color is blue. I have a dog.
I am from the Philippines. I speak Waray & Tagalog.
I like basketball & Kick boxing.
My favorite color is red.
I have a dog.
I am from Canada & speak English.
I like to read, exercise & travel.
I Enjoy soccer especially watching Germany.
My favorite color is dark blue.
I have a dog.
I am knowledgeable in seafood preparation & supervision .
I also do Welding.
I am From Canada & speak English. I like to fix cars and play video games.
My Favorite color is green.
I have pet guinea pigs.
I like welding crafts, video games & axe throwing.
I also enjoy soccer.
I like the colors brown, red, grey & green.
I have pet guinea pigs.
I was born in Haiti. I am married with 3 kids. We do not have any pets.
My favourite sport is soccer and when I am not at work I enjoy relaxing.
I am from the Philippines. I speak Tagalog and English. I enjoy surfing the net, reading, playing music and watching movies. I like Basketball and my favorite color is green. I am a dog lover who enjoys travelling.
I am a B.S Information Technology graduate from back home. I also graduated from Logistics & Supply Chain Management Operations at Anderson College here in Toronto.
I enjoy cooking and also taking care of my children.
I like cricket. My favorite color is red.
I have pet fish at home.
I like to cook, play the guitar, read & sing. I enjoy basketball, badminton, table tennis, swimming and wall climbing. My favorite color is crimson white.
I have a cat. In the Philippines I spent 18 years working in a Government project .
When I am not at work I enjoy watching Chinese movies. A big passion of mine is cooking authentic food.
One thing I do not like to do is shop! I call myself cheap because all I want to do is save.
I am from Vietnam. I speak both Chines and Vietnamese.
I enjoy cooking, reading & travelling.
My favorite colors are white, black and silver.
I have 1 dog.
I am from Vietnam and speak Vietnamese & Chinese.
I like to read & play badminton.
My favorite color is purple.
I have pet dog.
I am originally from Toronto & speak English. I have 2 children Alexis & Anthony. I like to cook and play sports with them. I enjoy soccer & volleyball.
My favorite color is pink. I have a dog.
I am from India and speak Gujarati.
I like sports especially cricket and I really enjoy watching television.
My favorite color is white.
I really enjoy working with such a great company. I am from Vietnam. I have 2 children a boy and a girl who are all grown up now. We have a dog at home and enjoying going for strolls. When I have free time I like to be by the water on the beach. I like football & my favorite color is white.
I am from Tanzania. I speak Swahili & English.
I enjoy cooking, shopping and reality television.
I like the color brown. I am a visual learner.
I am from Vietnam and speak Vietnamese. I enjoy reading. I like Football & the color purple. I have a dog. I really enjoy working at Higgins.
I am from the Philippines.
In my spare time I like to cook and like volleyball.
My favorite color is Red.
I have pet fish.
I am from the Vietnam & speak Vietnamese. I love to cook.
My favorite colors are black & white. I have a dog.
I have a 5 year old Snake (Ball Python) named Daisy.
Basketball is my favourite sport. My team would be The San Antonio Spurs.
When I am not at work or watching basketball I am a big fan of sleep.
I am from Zanzibar Tanzania & speak Swahili.
I like to read & also enjoy watching the Olympic Games.
My favorite color is blue.