ARS: Everything you need to know
Type of services: Restoration
In-house trades: 20
Offices: Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Newmarket, Windsor, Calgary
Access Restoration Services (ARS) is a disaster mitigation and property restoration company that helps residential, commercial, and industrial property owners following damage from water, fire, storm, and other event-driven disasters. It was founded as TGA General Contracting in 1959 by Anthony Gagliano in Toronto, Canada. Today, Gagliano’s sons operate the business, though the founder still comes to the office every day.
Since its beginnings, the firm’s services, capabilities, and name have moved and changed with the needs of the industries that the company services, which include insurance, restoration, and construction. Today, the company has offices in six major cities in Ontario, and one in Calgary, Alberta.
Its services range from water/flood restoration, in which the ARS team has experience dealing with small and catastrophic water damage, and the clean-up of clean and contaminated water, to fire/smoke restoration. ARS also offers storm restoration, and a build division that provides licensed and certified construction services. Its additional services include clean-up of chemically and biologically contaminated scenes, odour control, contents cleaning, and temporary storage.
ARS in the news
1959: ARS is founded in Toronto as a general contracting company
1994: ARS receives a Business Excellence Award, presented by the mayor of North York, Mel Lastman
2011: ARS opens a second office in Hamilton, followed closely by offices in Waterloo and Newmarket
2016: ARS ventures outside of Ontario to provide its services after the Fort McMurray wildfires on Day 8 of the evacuation
Key people as of 2019
Joseph Gagliano – President
After graduating from university, Joe’s interest in the family business encouraged him to follow in his father’s footsteps. With 25 years spent in the business, and 10 of those years as president, he has significant expertise in both the insurance and construction industries.
John Gagliano – Vice President
John was studying urban planning at York University when he likewise decided to enter the family business in 1991. John has now been vice president for more than 20 years, and has taken on the responsibility of overseeing the company’s operational departments.
ARS is dedicated to investing in the right resources to ensure that employees have the proper skills and training, as well as the newest equipment to help them effectively respond to catastrophic events. It is a certified and active member of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the professional association governing standards of excellence for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries.
The company also has its sights set on changing the demographics of the construction industry, which has historically been male-dominated. ARS sponsored the 2018 Women in Insurance event in Toronto, and executives are also doing a lot in-house to encourage the advancement of women in the insurance space.
“We have a lot of women that work within our office and we’re trying to show that we’re promoting the Women in Insurance event,” said Joseph Gagliano. “By promoting that, we’re also showing our own employees that we believe in what we preach throughout the office – that when women succeed, we all succeed. That’s our motto here.”
That’s not all the company is doing in this field. While there are many women working in insurance, a significant number hold administrative positions. ARS has a specific way to address that issue.
“In the construction business, women are generally designated within the office and not in the field,” explained Gagliano. “We mandate a program where we actually ask the PCs and our field people to bring out their assistants so they can actually see the environments, see what’s in the fieldwork.”
If the assistants like the work, there’s a program that helps them transition to the PC group, where there’s more money to be made and economic agency to be gained.