Hall of Fame Member

Douglas Nelson

Doug was born in 1945 in Toronto, Ontario. He is one of 7 children. He entered the automotive industry in 1960. In 1961 Doug was first introduced to the towing industry. This was the beginning of a love affair for him that continues to this day.
After attending the Provincial Institute of Trades in 1965, he received his Interprovincial Motor Vehicle Mechanics Class A License and Marine Mechanics License.  Several certificates are also held in Light, Medium and Heavy Towing and Recovery, Air Cushions Recovery and Dangerous Goods certification.
In 1969 Doug moved out of Toronto to Bracebridge, Ontario, in Muskoka, where he and his family now reside.  It was in Bracebridge where Doug met his wife Brenda and subsequently raised two children, Tom and Tammy. Tammy works closely in the family business with Doug and Brenda.
In 1971 Doug decided it was time to strike out on his own in the business, so he bought out his employer. It soon became apparent that the premises he had to work in were too small and so he sold the property and relocated the business to a brand new facility. This served as home base for his operation until the summer of 1985 when he moved again and built a larger building on 4.5 acres of land.  Currently, the business  has 4 distinct divisions: truck repair, heavy-duty truck parts, heavy-duty truck sales (Western Star & Sterling Truck) and of course towing and recovery.  Doug has a staff of 14 people, and has trained them well in order to compliment his growing business.
The towing and recovery division of Doug’s business has always been his favorite. This is apparent in the dedication that he gives to this aspect of his enterprise.  Doug is very well known throughout the district for his ability and professional approach in recovering all types of heavy vehicles.  Living in a snow-belt region sometimes produces environment factors that are almost impossible, but Doug always seems to deal with any situation contrived by nature or circumstance.
In 1983 Doug became involved with the Ontario Recovery Group and has served as President, Executive Secretary and Chairman of the Board over the years.  He has worked endless hours to better the industry and attends countless meetings with the provincial government, working towards improvement and modification standards.  He was a founding member of the South Muskoka Towing Association (Formerly Ontario Towing and Recovery Association).
During his terms in office in different associations, Doug reached out and gained the respect for towing industry from many government ministries. He has served on numerous advisory boards and steering committees to better the industry. He provides educational lectures to police and fire departments, and has also been called on as an expert witness.
In 1999, during a snowstorm, Doug went out to rescue a stranded truck.  Once the transport and trailer were hooked, he went back to recheck the transport and slipped on the steel step. He fell on the roadway.  After 20 minutes of lying in the road with cars driving by only inches from his head, someone noticed him and called an ambulance.  Doug broke his hip and femur.  With rehab and perseverance, Doug came through, but it still affects him on occasion and in certain circumstances. Since then, Doug has taken more time to spend with his wife Brenda on their boat in Florida, but still runs Northland with an unsurpassed drive and dedication.

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