Rainbow Sign Manufacturing Inc. is about to celebrate an incredible 50 years in Emery Village.
Started by a local artist, and father of President Ron Yankiver, the sign manufacturer and distributor has grown to a comprehensive and innovative provider of silk screen printing, digital printing, vinyl application, metal fabrication, powder coating and more.
The humble beginnings saw the senior Yankiver plying his talent in the Bloor and Osington area, near Christie Pits.
“He was working in the retail industry, everything from banners to paper signs and billboards,” said Ron Yankiver. “Anything where you need a brush and a can of paint.”
He had a talent for the work, and quickly grew his customer base.
“He was quite talented in the Ukraine, painting murals and glass, blowing glass, cutting glass and doing a lot of mosaic patterns which were done in the old churches at the time.”
When he came to Canada, he was a new immigrant, with nothing but his luggage and two kids. Ron said since he came from Italy, dad entered Canada and went to work. He toiled in a paint shop and graphic company until he began putting his designs on glass, and then moved to doing signage work. Eventually he developed his own ‘mom and pop’ shop and figured he’d bring on a few skilled employees.
“At that time he asked my brother and I to come on,” Ron said.
His father had the talent, but his brother, a chartered accountant Ron explained, brought a business sense that helped them in a number of ways. Himself, he worked closely with his father, initially describing himself as a ‘worker’ good with tools and his hands. But Ron found he shared a lot of the creative talent for design with his father, and was quickly sharing many of his roles.
“As the company grew, and went in different directions, I guess based on my father’s ability I discovered I had some talent in this, and they asked me to take it on – which my wife wasn’t too keen on,” he joked. “The hours we put in are ridiculous.”
And they’ve found a home in Emery Village.
They moved their business to the North York locale approximately a decade ago and have found a good mixture of people as well as business. “It’s a very good community with a lot of potential,” Ron said.
“It has a lot of growth potential. There’s a lot of residential being built, which means a good labour pool (for local business).”
Yankiver credited the local leadership with keeping the property taxes low and keeping the people and the community moving in the right direction.
“There’s been a lot of positive changes. Giorgio (Mammoliti, Ward 7 Councillor) has done a good job in the area because his focus is to improve.”
Yankiver also talked about the ideal location for his business being created by the ample buses and transportation, as well as the main street frontage.
“There’s a lot of plusses here,” he said.
Rainbow is ideal for its own customers because they’re a one stop shop, where clients can get from design to manufacturing with one outfit, Yankiver added. And he credited Emery for working toward providing the same service to its businesses.
“There is a lot more to improve but Rome wasn’t built in a day and we are going in the right direction,” he said. “With the proper people in place, such as George (Mammoliti), we’re doing the right thing.”