Our Rural Roots
When phone service came to Clifford in the early 1900s, Robert Wightman, a farmer in nearby Howick Township, desperately wanted phone service on his farm.
When Bell could not meet Robert’s request for phone service, he decided to start his own phone company in 1908 by stringing lines from his farm to his neighbours throughout the township. Robert connected sixty of his neighbours and was able to tie into the Bell long-distance lines at Clifford in 1911.
In 1928, Robert retired and handed over the Robert Wightman Telephone Company management to his son Ben.
Wightman Modernizes Phone Technology for Rural Towns
In 1928, Ben Wightman purchased the Clifford, Ayton, and Neustadt exchanges. After Ben died in 1948, Leila, his widow, and their son, Ray, took over the company and soon purchased automated dial technology, ending the era of the Switchboard Operator.
An ice storm destroyed Wightman Telephone phone lines in 1954, leading to the installation of underground cabling. Wightman Telephone also bought several small local exchanges, including Normanby, Bentinck, Wroxeter, and Howick.
In 2006, Leila was inducted into Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame in recognition of her pioneering work in Telecommunications.
Wightman Telephone Company’s Growth
After the death of his father, Ray Wightman joined the company in 1948. Ray worked closely with his mother, Leila, to bring Wightman Telephone into the modern era. Upon Leila’s death in 1976, Ray took full command of the Wightman Telephone Company and led it until his retirement in 1987.
During Ray’s tenure, Wightman Telephone saw the deregulation of phone sets, the introduction of the cellular phone, and the incorporation of Wightman Contracting.
In 1995, Ray was awarded a Life Membership by the Ontario Telephone Association, and in 2007, Ray was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Wightman Embraces The Digital Age
Paul and Blair Wightman took over the company when their father, Ray, retired in 1987. In 1995, Paul and Blair introduced the Internet (which was at that time a new service), providing a high-speed connection to rural Ontario long before it was introduced into larger cities.
In 2008, Wightman made a huge technological advance in delivering services by introducing Wightman Fibre to the Home. In the last decade, there has been a massive investment in making this modern and future-proof communications infrastructure available to our customers.
Whatever the technology of the future demands, Wightman Fibre to the Home and Business will be ready for it, and our investment in the most modern technology will ensure that our customers are as well.
Wightman is proud to remain a fully Canadian, family-owned company that has been passed from generation to generation.
(From left) Ray Wightman and his two sons, Blair and Paul Wightman.
To be the peoples trusted choice in the communities we serve. We are passionate about providing the best possible experience in every interaction.
We are a family of great people who want to deliver wow experiences each and every day.
CUSTOMER SERVICE – Customers talk about our awesome customer service
RELIABILITY – Service reliability is something our customers don’t have to think about
PRIDE & PASSION – Our employees bring pride and passion in everything we do
COMMITMENT & DEDICATION – Our commitment and dedication are demonstrated through our actions
INTEGRITY – We do what we say we are going to do in the way it should be done SAFETY – Safety comes first in everything we do
GROWTH & CHANGE – We embrace and drive change through growth and learning
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP – We care so much that we want to be a part of your community
FAMILY – We have a family atmosphere based on a foundation of respect