Family business thriving in the Glebe

The Currey Insurance team, from left, Alanna Bray, Dylan Currey, Sandra Phinney, Georges Hamoush, Mark Freedman, Ashley Boyer, Gail Currey, Michael Currey, Lajuana Jackson, Shane Currey, Bob Currey

By Ashwin Shingadia

Currey Insurance and Investment has new digs in the Glebe, in a building owned by the company and now shared with tenants that include a pizzeria, a technology venture firm and a proposed cannabis store.

Shane Currey, a grandson of Donald Currey who founded the family-owned firm, planned and supervised the design and construction of the new building at 854 Bank near the corner of Fifth Avenue, on the previous site of McKale’s garage. After it was demolished and remedial work was done on the land, the principal contractor, Helm Construction, started work in 2017. In January 2020, it was ready for Currey’s firm to move in.

“The new building adds a lot of value to the neighbourhood,” said Currey. “The Glebe Community Association is happy with it,” he adds. And so are his employees, who are closer to the Queensway and more stores and service than at their previous location further south on Bank near Alta Vista.

Principals in the family business Currey Insurance, from left: Shane Currey, Michael Currey, Bob Currey.  
Photos: Alanna Bray

Currey says the building is named Manchester Towers in honour his late grandfather who came from Manchester, England. Instead of immigrating to Australia, Donald chose Canada. He moved to Hamilton, joined the RCMP, then came to Ottawa where he met and married Berthe Roberge, who was private secretary to Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. She is still alive and well at 90 and lives in Ottawa. Donald started the company in 1953. His son Michael Currey is the current president. Shane is expected to navigate the company into the future.

The building is a mix of commercial and residential. At street level, there is a restaurant, Score Pizza, and a cannabis store, Superette, that is expected to open in April. There are 18 apartments (a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, some with balconies), underground parking and a rooftop patio where residents and workers can enjoy the summer sunshine. Along with Currey’s office on the second floor, other businesses include Mistral Venture Partners an Ottawa-based company that helps technology start-ups. Since 2013, it has raised $60 million and invested in 27 companies in Canada and the U.S.

Currey provides one-stop services for all insurance and investment needs for families, professionals, business owners and corporations. As a brokerage, Currey works with the largest insurance and investment corporations across Canada to provide the best products for its clients. The brokerage specializes in retirement and estate planning. It also offers financial planning and all types of insurance.

The Currey team numbers some 22 representatives who serve Ontario, Alberta, B.C., and Newfoundland and Labrador. Coronavirus restrictions mean that consultations and advice that occur in person during normal times are now done by telephone, Zoom, and other technologies.

Glebites welcome Currey and wish the firm success in the future.

Ashwin Shingadia is a long-time Glebe resident, a contributor to the Glebe Report and a former member of its board.

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