GT French is a Hamilton-based distribution company with branches in Kitchener, Niagara Falls and Toronto. Founded in 1867 as the J.R. McKichan Company and located in the downtown core of Hamilton, the firm was purchased in 1914 by George Thomas French. After his death in 1948, the company was operated by his family until 1971.
It was then purchased by a group of individuals headed by William W. Nelson, who remained active in the business until 1989. William Martin, a shareholder who joined the firm in 1972 along with a small group of investors, purchased the company in 1990 and relocated the operation to a larger, modern facility in the Hamilton Mountain East Industrial Park. To this day, GT French remains privately-owned and operated, and is believed to be the oldest active business of its kind in Ontario.
As a member of Balpex, a Canadian co-operative of independent distributors, GT French is able to offer its customers both regional and national coverage, making it a major force in its trading area and beyond.