Renfrew Furs Lt. was first owned by Myer Schuchat and was located on Sparks street between Metcalfe and O'Connor st. In 1939, Myer Schuchat's cousin Irving Wexler was sent to Ottawa to run the Ottawa store after the unexpected deaht of the manager. Irving had been taught everyting he knew about the fur business by his cousin Myer.
A few years later Irving and his brother Sol who worked as an accountant in Montreal partnered worked together and purcased Renfrew Furs from their cousin. In 1948, their brother-in-law Dan Dunsiger moved to Ottawa to help with managing the company. The store soon moved to 156 Rideau Street where they built a tepurature controlled and secure storage vault in the basement and a retail operation on the main floor with a manufacturing factory on the top floor of the two storey building. A small office accessible by a staircase at the back provided a workplace for Sol to do the bookkeeping. Eventually a Mazzanine was added to house two offices, plus an accounts receivale counter and a desk for Renfrew Furs Storage; there was also a staircase leading upstairs to the factory and a new state-of-the-art secure storage vault which allowed them to have two storage vaults on the premises. Family members could often be found helping out around the store in their spare time.
In 1961, Sol decided to return to Montreal leaving Irving and his wife Diane to buy out his share and jointly own the store. In the late 1970s Dan retired from the store and a few yeara later Irving and Diane were advised that the lease on the store would not be renewed as the building had been sold. This came as a shock to Irving as he had believed the landlord was aware of the money he had invested in the property and would offer him the opportunity to buy the building before he would sell to anyone else.
In May 1982, Irving asked his son-in-law Sonny Segal, a seasoned business man, to assist with the day to day operations of the company. Sonny had only been with the company for 4 weeks when Irving experienced a heart attack and ended up in hospital. While in hospital he expereinced another massive heart and died. The very sudden death of Irving left Diane in shock and unable to set foot in the store. Diane left Sonny in sharge of wrapping up the business and her son Micahel in charge of finding a buyer. In spring 1983, Pat Flesher of Pat Flesher Furs purchased the company assets as well as the name Renfrew Furs and the Renfrew Furs Storage.
Carol Wexler Segal
Description taken from a 3 page history written by Carol Wexler Segal.