Lesage Pianos Ltd.
The Lesage piano company was founded in 1891. It became one of the major players in the Canadian piano industry over the next 97 years.
In the early years of production the company was known as Lesage & Piche later to be renamed Lesage & Fils (Son). They became the major supplier of pianos to the C.W. Lindsay Company and Willis Pianos Ltd. producing pianos under their brand names.
Willis & Company bought a controlling interest in the company in 1907. In 1911 the Lesage family sold their remaining interest and started a new company called Lesage Pianos Ltd., which went on to produce pianos until 1987.
As a piano technician in Ontario I have had less experience with the older Lesage pianos than pianos produced by Ontario manufacturers. However, from what I have seen they produced good quality pianos. Lesage was still in production for the first 8 years that I was working as a piano tuner. I knew a number of retailers that sold these pianos at that time.
The Lesage piano of the 70ís & 80ís era was a well made instrument. They produced solid upright pianos that have stood up well over time. These pianos make good pianos for the average piano student although due to their small size an advanced student may be advised to trade up to a higher quality instrument.
One of the outstanding features of the Lesage pianos in the 80ís was that the tuning pins were so tight that piano tuners often complained that they were too hard to tune. Thirty years later this has become an asset. Many pianos end up with tuning pins that are too loose over time but not the Lesage pianos of this era.
When Lesage Pianos Limited closed their doors in 1987 they left Sherlock Manning as the sole Canadian piano maker still in production. A lack of tariff protection and stiff competition from Japanese and Korean piano makers had made piano manufacturing unprofitable.
Lesage Pianos Limited made pianos under the following brands: Lesage, Anniversary, Canadian, Concerto, Concord, Continental Euro, Hardy & Sons, French Provincial, Minuet, Sonata, and Versailles. Lesage also bought out the Craig, Bell, Belmont, Mendelssohn and Weber companies and produced pianos under these brands.