Posted on December 20, 2013

Keith Beedie: The Man Behind The Beedie Group | PART I: Humble Beginnings

Keith Beedie History
Never a day under the weather, never a day to recoup, never – ever – an extended vacation: that has been Keith Beedie’s unwavering commitment to the empire he has built. And with a work ethic and ambition so exceptional, it’s really no wonder he has built one of Western Canada’s largest & most respected real estate development companies.

Keith was not born into greatness, nor was any of it luck. Hard work and more hard work mixed with street smarts & savvy were what made this ordinary man create something truly extraordinary. To this day, he’ll still claim he never graduated from high school because he was “too dumb”, though you’d be hard pressed to find someone who agrees with that.

Humble Beginnings

After being discharged from the Royal Canadian Air Force at the end of WWII, 19 year old Keith took what work he could find: pumping gasoline at a station on Alma and Fourth in Vancouver. After being approached by friend Fred Banbury about a possible opportunity in construction, Keith took a chance, quit the station, and began to pursue any building work the two of them could find with their modest supplies consisting of a 6-inch table saw & a 4-inch joiner. In the beginning, the team of two built everything from children’s Christmas toys for Woodward’s Department Store to cabinetry made from discarded wood.

At the time, Keith didn’t have any credentials or even his own bank account so he and Fred relied on their ability to build relationships and trust in their community. “People were different then,” Keith explains. “They cared.” And it was under the generous offer from Wally Hammond of Hammond Furniture to use his credit to acquire some much-needed building supplies & materials that allowed for the duo’s next move – one that changed the course of Keith’s life forever.

Keith and Fred purchased a single lot in Marpole for a whopping $190 on which they built their very first structure from scratch. They did all the work themselves, from foundation to concrete to wiring to plumbing to carpentry to roofing and more, working every day for months, even by streetlight in the nighttime hours to complete the project.