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CAA Annual report 2010


Corporate info

  Our History
  Board of Directors
  Executive Management
  Our Strategic Plan
  CAA in Ontario
Our History

CAA traces its roots back to 1903, when 27 motorists formed a club to help owners of a new invention known as a "horseless carriage". Today, the auto club has grown to over 5 million members and offers a variety of other services and savings for its members.

Founding members of the Toronto Automobile Club
Founding members of the Toronto Automobile Club take MPPs on a ride to show that increasing the urban speed limit to 10 m.p.h. from 8 m.p.h. is not "scorching."
In 1903, public opposition to automobiles, as limited in number as they were, was widespread.  Civic authorities and farmers in Ontario were apprehensive about the impact this new device - called the "horseless carriage" - would have on country roads.

For example, there was resentment to motorcars because they frightened horses, the long-established mode of local transportation.

And since "automobiling" was considered the new sport of the rich, this new mode of transportation became a target of much dislike and jealousy.

It was only when a group of pioneer motorists banded together to oppose the rising hostility to motorists that a future for these vehicles in Canada became a reality.
On May 4, 1903, in an attempt to overcome this opposition, 27 enthusiastic motorists formed a motorcade through Toronto and took Ontario MPPs for a drive to show that automobiles were safe.  For many elected officials, it was their first ride in an automobile.
Among the motorists were Dr. Perry Doolittle, first president of the Toronto Automobile Club and "Father of the Trans-Canada Highway", and Sir John Eaton.

They ended their run at the Queen's Hotel, now the Royal York, where they held a meeting to organize an official motorist's association, the purpose of which was to:
"Develop interest in automobiling in Canada, and to assist in the promotion of all that pertains thereto, to assist the movement in favour of better roads, to maintain discipline among members as to the proper speed at which motor vehicles should be driven and to co-operate with the legislature in securing fair legislation on this subject."
There are about 75 motor vehicles registered in Toronto and 178 in Ontario.
About half of the 535 cars registered in Ontario belong to U.S. tourists.
Ontario's first automobile race is held at Exhibition Park.
The first legislation dealing with motor vehicles is enacted.
Auto clubs publish the first Official Road Guide Of Canada.
Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Kingston auto clubs operate as the Ontario Motor League to represent motorist's interests with one voice.
OML's membership included 170 active and 56 associate members.
OML maintains motor vehicle registrations in Ontario.
Signpost trucks
Signpost trucks were used by OML members to install the first directional signs for motorists on Ontario's roads.
The Ontario Motor League's road signing program began in 1913 when Dr. Doolittle started a movement in which motorists, truck drivers and cyclists travelled throughout Ontario to install wooden road signs.

Doolittle changed his motto of "good roads for everybody" to "good roads abundantly sign-boarded" to generate enthusiasm for his road-sign campaign, which started as a Saturday afternoon bicycle run.  During that day-long event, each mile of the road to Whitby from Toronto was marked with directional signposts.

More motorists started to join the road-sign campaign, which continued to build momentum through the First World War.

By 1937, more than 200,000 road signs were erected on Ontario highways by the Ontario Motor League.
OML aviation committee sets up the first flying club in Ontario to provide air travel.
Road scouts on motorcycles patrol highways on weekends to warn motorists of speed traps and to provide roadside assistance and advice on road conditions.
Auto clubs advocate increased speed limits of 15 m.p.h. in urban centres and 20 m.p.h. in rural areas.
OML adopts its first official crest.
The Canadian Automobile Federation is formed, eventually changing its name to the Canadian Automobile Association in 1916.
An OML truck section is created to develop road transport and protect the interests of owners and users of commercial vehicles.
OML provides ambulances for the armed forces during the First World War.  Members drive their cars to train stations to meet returning soldiers and drive them home.
The monthly Canadian Motorists Magazine is first published.
OML is one of the founding members of the Ontario Safety League.
Reciprocity of motor vehicle licences between Ontario and New York begins after 10 years of lobbying by OML. Reciprocity with other provinces and states soon follows.
OML advocates speed limit increases of 20 m.p.h. in cities and 25 m.p.h. in the country.
Dr. Doolittle
Dr. Doolittle
In 1925, Dr. Perry Doolittle, 64, drove a Canadian-built, Model T Ford to Vancouver from Halifax to build federal government support for a trans-Canada highway.

He carried a commemorative scroll signed by mayors of towns and cities during his cross-Canada journey.  After backing the rear wheels of his Model T into the Atlantic Ocean on September 8, Doolittle drove for 40 consecutive days until finally parking his front wheels in the Pacific Ocean on October 17.  The 7,670-kilometre route was daunting because there were only a few hundred kilometres of paved roads in Canada, mainly in or near the larger cities.  In fact, Doolittle encountered roads so narrow in the Maritimes that tree branches and bushes scraped along the sides of his car. In Northern Ontario, the pace slowed to less than 30 kilometers per day because the car had to crawl over rocks and through mud holes.  And later came stretches of prairie mud and a spine-chilling descent through the Rockies on roads designed for horse-drawn wagons.

The Model T proved to be remarkably hardy, averaging 190 kilometres per day and suffering only four tire punctures.  The rubber tires were exchanged for steel flanged rims 14 times so the car could ride on rails of railway lines.  In all, 17 per cent of the 7,670 kilometres driven were on rails because of inadequate or non-existent roads.  Doolittle's arrival in Vancouver marked the first cross-Canada trip by a car under its own power without leaving Canadian soil.
CAA urges the federal government to build a trans-Canada highway.
Emergency road service is introduced to OML members in Toronto on May 1, 1923.
OML members are now covered for emergency road service in Quebec and in the U.S. The Department of Highways numbers Ontario's roads and places markings to warn of curves and turns.
OML announces that emergency road service and legal defence benefits are available province-wide to members.
There are about 200 service stations on main roads in Ontario.
A driver's licence is first required on July 1 and OML is one of the issuers.
Speed limits increase to 20 m.p.h. in cities and 35 m.p.h. in the country.
The Ontario Motor League established 30 first-aid posts along Ontario's main highways with co-operation from the Canadian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance.

This service, given at no charge by trained volunteers to persons hurt in traffic collisions, proved its worth by alleviating suffering and preventing serious consequences from injuries.

Most of the first-aid posts
- marked by large triangular signs - were spaced 24 kilometres apart along the 600-kilometre stretch of Highway 2 between London, Ont., and the Quebec border.
These posts were located where, based on records, crashes most frequently occurred.

Highway 2 was the main cross-Ontario highway at that time and had a high frequency of collisions because it carried a huge amount of traffic.

first-aid post
The equipment at each first-aid post consisted of a stretcher, blanket and a portable box containing splints, bandages and other dressings.
Patrollers initisally wore white belts
Patrollers initially wore white belts (above) but in 1996, CAA made a huge investment in florescent vests (below) to improve visibility of patrollers.
improve visibility of patrollers
For decades, CAA organized national Jamborees at which patrollers marched from Parliament Hill through Ottawa and often met with the prime minister or Governor General (below).  Patrollers meet with former Prime Minister Trudeau.
patrollers meet with Prime Minister Trudeau.
Traveller's cheques are first issued through OML's touring department.
Campgrounds for motorists are approved, encouraged and, in some places, operated by OML.
OML's engineering department conducts official automotive tests and issues certificates of fuel performance.
OML's main advocacy issues include snow removal from highways, luminous danger signs, guard fences, banked turns, road markings, side paths for pedestrians, uniform traffic regulations and glaring headlights.
OML introduces personal accident insurance as a member benefit.

Student patrollers are integral to CAA Central Ontario safety program
In 1937, Ontario roads became safer thanks to the first OML-sponsored safety patroller program.  The role of the program, which used student volunteers aged 11 to 14, was to protect youngsters from being injured in traffic at school crossings.

Records show that patrollers were first used in Chicago with remarkable success.
From 1922 - the year the program started - to 1950, child traffic fatalities in that city decreased 62 per cent while fatalities in all age groups increased 43 per cent.  The credit for this success was attributed directly to the work of patrollers and to safety instruction by police, teachers and parents. In the decades following the program's inception, CAA has continued its commitment to providing training and resource and incentive support to the program. 
For example, CAA organized a national Jamboree in Ottawa that featured student patrollers parading on Parliament Hill for elected officials and other dignitaries.  CAA South Central Ontario continues to organize an Ottawa Jamboree each year for its patrollers, which averages 1,000 attendees, including students, teachers and police officers. As well, CAA South Central Ontario funds an annual, week-long summer camp that provides high-quality leadership training to top patrollers from parts of Ontario.

The school patrol program now operates in more than 20 countries around the world. The program has a proven safety record that is unequalled by any other program of its type. Since 1960 , more than 60 persons - usually fellow students - have been saved by safety patrollers from serious injury or death. And never has an injury or death been attributed to the negligence of a school patroller.
During the Second World War, the OML co-operated with various wartime controllers concerned with the operation of motor vehicles.

These controllers - including the Oil Controller, Motor Vehicle Controller, Transit Controller, Traffic Controller, Rubber Controller and Administrator of Services - sought, received and often publicly acknowledged the co-operation of CAA and its leading constituent clubs.

Recycling of tires for war materials was a major CAA program and servicing of essential motor-vehicle owners and operators connected with the war effort expanded greatly.
Servicing of tourists was largely suspended during the war but was resumed after hostilities ceased.
Parliament passes the Trans-Canada Highway Act.
The 1959 Commonwealth motoring conference was the first international event hosted by CAA.  The London conference, at which Britain's Prince Philip presided as Patron, focused on establishing more motoring organizations in Commonwealth countries.

Representatives of 57 Commonwealth auto clubs - representing about six million members - attended from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
OML adopts CAA oval emblem.
OML participates in AAA Foundations for Traffic Safety for the first time.
Planned Pedestrian Safety Program is launched with survey of members.
Membership fees increase to $15 a year and all memberships include emergency roadside service and legal defence.
OML installed emergency call boxes
In 1965, OML installed emergency call boxes on the Gardiner Expressway to provide an extra measure of security for stranded motorists. The call boxes were put on the Don Valley Parkway the following year.
Up to 1962, it was unusual for motorists to use seat belts because cars did not come equipped with the safety devices - motorists had to buy and install their own.

As part of its safety campaign, OML supplied members with belts that met Canadian Safety Association standards and asked the provincial government to require that all seat belts meet those standards.

OML's first victory came in 1963 when Ontario MPPs passed an Order in Council that banned the sale of belts that failed safety standards.  OML continued to work with auto makers to ensure that seat belts not only met safety standards, but also were tested properly so that none sold were defective.

OML also continued to encourage motorists to buy and use seat belts, as well as to get auto makers to install them in every new car.  By the 70's, cars were built with seat belts installed and seat-belt use became mandatory in Ontario in 1976.
OML reorganizes into 11 autonomous auto clubs in Ontario.
The Toronto OML club starts a traffic safety division.
Road and weather report recordings and courtesy highway patrols are established.
OML Nickelbelt club becomes CAA Northeastern Ontario.
Membership records are computerized.
OML becomes the exclusive issuer of International Driving Permits.
OML creates a travel agency.
OML funds its first gasoline-tax study.
The R.I.D.E. program
The R.I.D.E. program prompted the first officially recorded statistics on fatal crashes involving alcohol. R.I.D.E. also led to the first educational materials about drinking and driving as well as the "Designated Driver" program.
After the success of its seat-belt campaign, OML turned its attention to drunk driving, particularly during the holidays when a high number of road fatalities were linked with alcohol use.

To that end, the Toronto OML club helped found the RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving in Etobicoke) program in 1977.

The Toronto club worked with the Metropolitan Toronto Police to implement the RIDE program on a trial basis.  It was so successful that after one year it was expanded province wide and continues today.  RIDE now stands for "Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere."
Fee-free traveller's cheques are introduced at OML.
The Ontario Motor Insurance company is established.
OML-Approved Auto Repair Service is started.
William O'Leary is appointed President of CAA Ottawa
Timothy Georgeoff is Acting CEO of CAA Ottawa.
Timothy Georgeoff is officially appointed CEO of CAA Ottawa.
CAA Thunder Bay, CAA Ottawa and CAA Northeastern Ontario amalgamate to create CAA North & East Ontario.
Battery Service is launched in the Ottawa area.
Membership in CAA North & East Ontario tops the 200,000 mark. There are more than 4 million CAA Members in Canada. JOURNEY magazine becomes the Club's focal communication magazine.
The M. J. Quilty Award for Road Safety Excellence is launched.
There are more than 5 million CAA Members in Canada.

If you have memorabilia or historical information about CAA, please contact us

CAA North & East Ontario - Board of Directors

The major responsibilities of the CAA North & East Ontario's (CAANEO) Board of Directors include: acting as members 'intrust', to ensure the protection of member equity. The Board also assists with determining CAANEO's mission, supporting club management, ensuring effective organizational planning, managing resources effectively, monitoring the delivery of CAANEO's programs and services and enhancing the organization's public image, serving as a court of appeal, and assessing its own performance.

Frances Mannarino

Chair of the Board
Member of the Board since 1999
Resident of Ottawa, ON
Senior Relationship Manager with BMO

Brent Wilson

Immediate Past Chair of the Board
Member of the Board since 2000
Resident of Orleans, ON
President of Intelliga, Inc.

Jack Campbell

Vice Chair of the Board
Member of the Board since 1998
Resident of North Bay, ON
Partner with BDO Canada LLP
Robert Keeper

Treasurer of the Board
Member of the Board since 2004
Resident of Thunder Bay, ON
Director of Northco Group
Morry Brown

Member of the Board since 1994
Resident of Sudbury, ON
President of Morcom Consultants

Nadja Corkum

Member of the Board since 2002
Resident of Ottawa, ON
President of ACR Communications Inc.

Terrance Jones

Member of the Board since 1999
Resident of Thunder Bay, ON
Realtor with Belluz Realty

Peter McIntosh

Member of the Board since 2007
Resident of Ottawa, ON
President of Rob McIntosh China & subsidiary McIntosh & Watts

John Morton

Member of the Board since 2005
Resident of Ottawa, ON
Partner/VP of Quadrant Engineering Ltd.

Richard Nowak

Member of the Board since 2009
Resident of Ottawa, ON
President of The Paradox Solutions Group Ltd.

Tom Querney

Member of the Board since 1997
Resident of Sudbury, ON
Senior Accountant with Sostarich Ross Wright & Ceccuti LLP

David Wilson

Member of the Board since 2009
Resident of Ottawa, ON
General Counsel


Tim Georgeoff

  • CAA North & East Ontario
    • President and Chief Executive Officer since 1996
    • President and Chief Executive Officer of CAA Ottawa 1993 � 1996
    • Club Controller & Chief Financial Officer 1989 - 1993
  • Better Business Bureau
    • Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais
      • Director since 1994
      • Chairman 2005 � 2007
    • Canadian Council
      • Director since 1995
      • Chairman 2004 � 2008
    • Council (US)
      • Director 2004 � 2008
      • Executive Committee 2004 - 2008
  • AAA Traffic Safety Foundation
    • Trustee since 2002
  • Canadian & American Automobile Association
    • Standards & Performance Committee member
    • Member of the Canadian Leadership Group
      • Chair, Member Services & Benefits Task Force since 2004
      • Member of the AAA Member Services & Benefits sub-committee since 2004
    • Board CEO Advisor 1999 - 2003
  • Memberships
    • Canadian Society of Associated Executives
    • Rideau Club
  • Awards
    • Queen of England's Golden Jubilee Medal

Our Strategic Plan

Our Vision: To guarantee our members first class 'concierge' service.

Our Purpose: To help our Members.

Throughout the winter of 2008, CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) carried out a facilitated and inclusive Strategic Planning process in order to set its long term vision. The planning process allowed the Club to understand its corporate strategy, clarify its strategic priorities and develop concrete action plans that will move us towards achieving our newly identified vision. On October 1st, 2008, this innovative three year Strategic Plan was launched and CAA North & East Ontario embarked on an exciting journey towards making our vision a reality.

The vision of CAANEO is to guarantee our Members first-class �concierge� service. In order to achieve this vision, we will open doors, overcome obstacles and advocate for our Members. Knowing that Members rely on us for whichever service they need, we are committed to excellence and expect professionalism in everything we do. Ultimately, in realizing our vision CAA North & East Ontario will serve our Members with integrity and respect, knowing we are individually and collectively accountable for Member satisfaction. Our organization will continue to give compelling value to our Members by using and sharing our expertise to develop and offer relevant products and services to help our Members.

This exciting new vision is anchored by our Club�s core values; Integrity, Excellence, Commitment, Leadership and Caring. These honourable ideals shine through in the hard work and dedication of every individual at CAA North & East Ontario.

More employee input went into the development of this plan than any previous one. In speaking with employees from all levels and departments, they unanimously agreed that CAA North & East Ontario�s core purpose is to help our Members. This new Strategic Plan allows us to do just that, by providing first-class, concierge service to every one of our Members, everyday.

CAA in Ontario

There are three CAA clubs in Ontario. Each autonomous club represents the needs of its own members. All three join together to represent and advocate on behalf of members and motorists across the province. The voice of 1.8 million Ontario CAA members can be a powerful force.

For information about CAA South Central Ontario and CAA Niagara, select the links below.

CAA South Central Ontario
CAA Niagara

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