Gregory Kaminsky, industry veteran and founder of Gregory Signs, passed away last month at the age of 75.
Born in 1947, in Odessa, Ukraine, Kaminsky began his career as a ship engineer in Russia. After travelling to Canada on a few occasions for work, he decided to settle there with his family in 1975.
Initially, Kaminsky worked in scrap yards as a welder and pipe fitter. Later, a new job as a maintenance mechanic for a Toronto bank would serve as the spark to ignite his interest in signage.
Using his department’s mechanical engraver, Kaminsky created nameplates and tags for pipes and equipment. Eventually, he was spending his spare time after work—sometimes until midnight—focusing on engraving projects for retailers and other businesses. In 1985, after four years of working out of his basement, Kaminsky expanded his operation to a 139.3-m2 (1,500-sf) facility.
Since then, Gregory Signs has evolved into a full-service sign company out of Richmond Hill, Ont., specializing in hand-formed channel letters. The company also initiated a business partnership with Steel Art Signs last spring.
Kaminsky’s legacy at Gregory Signs will live on through his family, who continue to play a key part in the success of the company. He is survived by his wife, Regina; his children and children-in-law, Alla and Mark, and Boris and Sharon; and his four grandchildren.
“He will always be remembered for being caring, giving, and someone who was always willing and able to step in to help everyone,” states Kaminsky’s eulogy. “He had a way of connecting with people. Everyone he interacted with has a story, and more importantly, a memory.”