Copp Clark Portrait

About Us

Our History

The company that would later be known as ‘Copp Clark’ was established in Toronto, Canada in 1841 by Mr. Hugh Scobie, an energetic and very enterprising Scotsman.

Hugh Scobie Building

In the early years, Hugh published a newspaper (“The British Colonist”) and sold business stationery from a shop at 16 King Street East in the downtown business district. Later, he ventured into the printing and bookbinding business. In 1847, the first “Canadian Almanac”, a 104-page booklet selling for 7 1/2 pence was published (Its descendent, The Canadian Almanac & Directory, now owned by Grey House Publishing is today Canada’s best selling source book).

After Scobie’s death following a brief partnership during which the business was known as Scobie and Balfour, two former employees, Thomas Maclear and George Elliott Thomas, purchased the company from his heirs. They changed the name to Maclear and Thomas, and continued under that moniker until 1863, when, the firm emerged from a further change of management as W. C. Chewitt and Company.

Copp Clark Building - 9 Front Street

In 1869, two employees, William W. Copp and Henry J. Clark obtained control and over a period of time, built ‘The Copp Clark Publishing Company’ into a major publishing enterprise, offering a wide range of titles as well as business stationery and board games.

In 1904 the company’s plant, then located on “Publishers’ Row”, Front Street, was destroyed by the great and disastrous Toronto fire. A new warehouse was afterwards built on the old site, but in 1909 a new factory was built at 495 Wellington Street West (later expanding to 517 Wellington Street West).

After the First World War, two grandsons of George Elliott Thomas, who was the junior half of the 1854 partnership, Maclear and Thomas, joined Copp Clark. Dudley and Allan Thomas, with others of their family, eventually purchased control of the company and retained it until Dudley Thomas’ retirement in 1955, when the Copp Clark Company went public, with the controlling interest passing to a holding company.

Copp Clark Building - Wellington Street

In 1963, control of the company was purchased by Sir Isaac Pitman (Canada) Limited, the Canadian branch of Pitman Publishing (known for ‘Pitman shorthand’). In 1986, Pitman Publishing was itself purchased by Longman Publishers, a business unit of Pearson Plc.

Copp Clark Limited is currently an operating division of Pearson Canada Inc. In recent years, the book publishing and games businesses have been divested or moved to other divisions of Pearson’s Canadian holdings. While still recognized as Canada’s oldest continuously operating book publisher, Copp Clark Limited now offers products and services targeted to the needs of participants in global financial markets.

Today, Copp Clark is the leading publisher of financial trading and settlement calendars in the world. We are the authoritative source for information on holiday observances affecting global financial markets.