1870 - 1890


In 1874, 57 diverse "district" telegraph delivery companies were joined to create the new American District Telegraph Company - the forerunner of today's ADT.

Moments in Canadian History:


Rules for ice hockey set by students at McGill University.


The Canadian Pacific Railway was created.

1890 - 1910


B.C. District Telegraph and Delivery Company Limited was incorporated in 1891, obtaining a 50 year franchise for the operation of district telegraph systems in Vancouver and Victoria.

Initially, the company provided the transmission and delivery of telegrams to its customers. This service soon evolved into the provision of signal boxes for watchmen and guards, by which the individual could signal his well being at specific intervals to the central office.


In 1901, ADT was incorporated as a subsidiary of Western Union. Still, since each of ADT's 57 district companies had developed independently, the many offices of the security company operated at a variety of levels, with different systems, equipment, and operating practices.


Colonel Robert C Clowry serves as the first president of Western Union and ADT from 1902-1910.


As the company grew, B.C. District Telegraph and Delivery expanded into new areas, and in 1908 the first complete premises were installed with the company's fire alarm system. Thus, the company's first comprehensive burglar alarm system was inaugurated.


In 1909, Western Union (and ADT) came under the control of AT&T, whose company policies and organization changed the ADT organization.

Moments in Canadian History:


The first Stanley Cup for ice hockey.


Klondike Gold Rush begins.

1903 - 1906

Roald Amundsen navigates the Northwest Passage through the Arctic.


"Silver Dart", first airplane to fly in Canada, flown by John McCurdy.

1910 - 1930


In 1910, AT&T President Theodore N. Vail took the reins, and as a result, ADT concentrated fully on the signal business.


In 1915, ADT markets the Aero automatic alarm system.


In 1918, Dominion Messenger purchased Holmes Protection of Canada.


Becoming Dominion Electric Protection Company in 1924, the all-Canadian enterprise grew to become Canada's largest full-service alarm company, with a manufacturing plant in Montreal and central stations across the country. In cities and towns where a central station was not located, local or self-contained systems were connected to the fire or police department.


In 1927, the company installs the first customer-owned proprietary system.

Moments in Canadian History:

1914 - 1918

World War I.
Over 600,000 Canadians served in the war, 60,000 were killed.


Manitoba is the first province to give woman the right to vote.


National Hockey League is formed.


October collapse of the stock market in the USA begins the Great Depression.

1930 - 1950


In 1934, ADT develops photoelectric perimeter protection technology.


ADT develops emergency hold-up devices.


ADT develops door/window contacts.


During World War II, part of Dominion Electric's factory located in Montreal was converted to the manufacture of gyrocompasses for "Mosquito" low level bombers. So well manufactured, inquiries continued to be received at ADT Canada's corporate headquarters in Toronto as late as 1994, regarding repairs and parts. In recognition of its important contribution to the war effort, the company received a "Meritorious War Service" award in 1943.


ADT pioneers ultrasonic indoor motion detectors.

Moments in Canadian History:


CBC forms as a public broadcasting system.

1939 - 1945

World War II
39,139 Canadians die fighting
Canada produces 16,000 military planes

1950 - 1970


After World War I, B.C. District Telegraph and Delivery extended its services to many areas throughout the province. By the 1950s, with the popularity of the telephone, expansion in the area of telephone line facilities occurred and the name was shortened to B.C. District Telegraph Company Limited.


In 1956, controlling interests were obtained in Dominion Electric Protection Company, British Columbia District Telegraph Company, and Alberta Alarm Company by ADT Security Systems. With its entrance into the Canadian market, ADT became the primary provider of security systems in Canada.


In 1960, ADT markets the vault vibration system.


In 1961, ADT Canada becomes an independent corporate entity continuing to expand through dynamic sales and marketing efforts as well as several strategic acquisitions.


As ADT began to turn its attention toward an international market, in 1969 it became a publicly owned company with its stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Moments in Canadian History:


NORAD, a Canada-USA organization, is established to look after air defence of the continent.


Canadian maple leaf flag is officially recognized.


Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Liberal, is elected prime minister.


Official Language Act: French and English are the official languages of Canada.

1970 - 1990


In the early 1970s, newer, faster technology was the watchword, which ushered in the company's first solid-state device and the installation of the first large, two-way multiplex proprietary systems. This was followed by the first ADT automated Central Station - a direct forerunner of today's highly sophisticated, integrated Customer Monitoring Centers network.


In 1973, ADT introduces its first computer-based proprietary system.


In 1974, ADT celebrated its 100th anniversary, and by that time, powerful micro-computer-based security systems had replaced the old telegraphic Call Boxes.


The decade started with the unveilling of the Unimode fire system in 1980, followed by the first CentraScan computer-based proprietary security system and the introduction of the Safewatch® residential systems. It proved to be ADT's decade of leveraging its' technological edge to the fullest. It was also during the eighties that ADT inaugurated central station monitoring, which would become the backbone of its future success.

Moments in Canadian History:


"O Canada", the national anthem, is adopted officially.
Terry Fox begins his cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research.


Meech Lake Accord seeks distinct society status for Quebec, but no ratification occurs - In 1990, the Meech Lake Accord dies.

1990 - Present


The nineties continued the technological breakthroughs of the eighties, with the introduction of such products and product lines as the groundbreaking wireless Safewatch® systems, including the Plus RF and the Custom RF models; the state-of-the-art integrated Focus® system line, and a variety of access control and closed circuit television (CCTV) products.


By the mid-1990s, ADT reached a high-water mark in its history by adding more than 180,000 new customers to surpass the one-million-customer milestone. And in 1996, the company changed its name to ADT Security Services, Inc., and relocated its headquarters from Parsippany, N.J. to Boca Raton, Florida.


In 1997, Tyco International aquires ADT as part of its Fire and Safety Services group.


1998 ADT acquires long-time competitors, Wells Fargo and Holmes Security; surpasses the rarified two-million customer mark.


ADT continues to actively participate in programs designed to reduce crime and drug abuse. The DVERS program, initiated at ADT's Winnipeg office in cooperation with the local police, telephone company and social service agencies, provides a short-term protective signaling security system for individuals who are in high-risk situations of spousal violence. Its success has encouraged other cities across North America to implement the program - over 180 communities at year-end 2000.

Present Day

ADT remains committed to providing peace of mind and unsurpassed customer service in the protection of both your home and your business.

Moments in Canadian History:


Kim Campbell, Progressive Conservative, is elected first woman prime minister.


Canadian athletes earn a record 15 medals at the Winter Olympics in Nagano Japan.