TORONTO— Hakim Optical, one of Canada's largest optical retailers, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special event that drew some top political figures in Ontario. Overall, more than 300 guests attended the Optical Gala held here to commemorate Hakim Optical’s Golden Jubilee.
Hakim Optical founder Karim Hakimi
The event highlighted the success of the company in Canada, paid tribute to the dedication of all current and past employees and honored Hakim Optical founder Karim Hakimi for “his passion to his craft,” according to a company announcement.
“I am very proud of my people and those that have stood by me for 30 to 40 years,” Hakimi said in a statement. “Today, we have 700 trained lens makers, and have trained over 2,500 people over the years. Some of them became our competitors while many have stayed with me,” he added.
Hakim Optical was established in 1967 and today has more than 600 employees across Canada. Hakim Optical operates 161 locations, including 140 with one-hour factory production, in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Among the dignitaries who attended the anniversary event were former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion (a longtime friend of Hakimi), Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, Toronto City Councilor Shelley Carroll, as well as representatives from the Barbados and Hungarian consulates in Toronto.
“Anywhere you go in Canada, you can find a Hakim Optical,” McCallion said in the announcement. “Canada has benefitted from Mr. Hakimi's immigration to this country and for the structure he built, and the economic base he built. Canada has been enriched by his presence,” she added.
Hakimi also received personalized messages and congratulatory letters from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, all of whom were unable to attend but wanted to recognize his incredible contribution to Canada, according to the announcement. Hakimi also received official letters recognizing the company milestone from various government bodies.
A leading Canadian independent optical retailer, Hakim Optical is a privately held business run solely by Hakimi, according to the announcement. He has devoted the past 50 years to “creating one of Canada's best-known corporate brands with a simple goal of improving the vision and the ability of people to see better,” the announcement noted.
Hakimi began his optical career by grinding lenses for the Canadian wholesale market. He had learned his craft as a youth in his native Iran and honed it in subsequent years grinding lenses in Germany and camera lenses in Switzerland, the announcement said.