about us | history



Oldfield Kirby Gardner was originally formed in 1881. The founders were John Henry Oldfield, William Hicks Gardner, & Walter T. Kirby. The firm had a major presence in Manitoba since its inception as a Real Estate Brokerage, Property Management Company, Insurance Agency, Mortgage Lenders and Investment dealers.

The neo-classic building built by the founding partners at 234 Portage Avenue in 1909 continues to stand today and is a designated heritage building located in Downtown Winnipeg. Oldfield Kirby Gardner was the real estate brokerage that brokered the land that Eaton’s and The Bay stood on for decades.

Oldfield Kirby Esau helped shape Portage Avenue as a major commercial district in the early 1900’s and that tradition continues today with two convenient downtown locations to serve you ( link to locations ).

In the early 1960’s the securities division as well as the real estate division were sold and Oldfield Kirby Gardner maintained its presence as an Insurance Brokerage.

In 1989 Oldfield Kirby Esau Inc was incorporated to purchase the Winnipeg operations of Dale & Company. George Esau was the catalyst for this acquisition and had previously been a partner with Dale and Company. Dale and Company was a strategic acquisition as Dale was originally responsible for bringing Lloyd’s of London to Canada and had strong ties to both international and domestic markets.

Combining the strength of these two brokerages made Oldfield Kirby Esau Inc the oldest general insurance brokerage in Canada as Dale and Company was originally formed in 1859.

In 2004 Barber Lumsden Insurance brokers was acquired and became part of the Oldfield Kirby Esau tradition. Barber Lumsden was originally founded by Jack Barber & Bill Lumsden in 1953. Barber Lumsden was also located in downtown Winnipeg so the acquisition made an even stronger imprint in the downtown business district.

The acquisition of Barber Lumsden continued to strengthen Oldfield Kirby’s roots in downtown Winnipeg and today our Head Office remains at 200-330 St. Mary Avenue.

With Oldfield Kirby Esau Inc.’s strong base of highly experienced professionals we offer our clients an unrivalled range of services based on the merging of two of the most respected names in Canadian business.

By combining time honoured traditions with innovative approaches and a wide range of diversified services we are establishing ourselves as a strong force in the insurance field.

Oldfield Kirby Esau Inc. faces the future with optimism determined to respond to today’s changing needs with the same innovative spirit that brought the company to its’ current position of leadership.

Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow ... The Tradition Continues