Mandate and History


To promote the cause of Commissionaires by the creation of meaningful employment opportunities for former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and others who wish to contribute to the security and well-being of Canadians.

Commissionaires was founded in Canada in 1925 following the First World War when there was no social safety net for soldiers who, upon completion of their service, found themselves without employment. Commissionaires was created, first in Montreal, then in Toronto and Vancouver to look after these men and women and provide them with transitional or permanent jobs, primarily in the security field. In the early years, these jobs most frequently involved guarding government institutions. From 1925 to 1948, Commissionaires expanded all across Canada. There are now 15 divisions representing all the provinces of Canada and three territories.

Today, Commissionaires, a private not-for-profit organization, employs over 21,000 men and women across Canada of all ages and from many walks of life, including but not limited to, former Canadian Forces and RCMP personnel. Commissionaires is continually hiring responsible team members who wish to contribute to the security and well-being of Canadians.

Commissionaires is currently providing outstanding security and security related services for federal and provincial facilities, utilities and commercial buildings primarily through patrolling, access control and security monitoring.

Note: Not all Commissionaires are former Canadian Armed Forces or RCMP personnel.


A long and proud history of service

Captain Edward Walter, a retired officer of the Crimean War, founded The Corps of Commissionaires in England in 1859 to help veterans make the difficult transition back to civilian life and employment.

In an effort to find jobs for these veterans, he convinced friends and acquaintances that the exemplary discipline, loyalty and dedication to service that veterans possessed could be put to excellent use in business. He succeeded in finding jobs for seven veterans and thereby launched the Corps of Commissionaires.

While Canada's Governor General proposed a Corps be formed in Canada after World War I, it wasn't until 1925, that Commissionaires was established with the opening of offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

By 1950, with the opening of the St. John's, Newfoundland division, Commissionaires was offering services from coast to coast.

And, by 1982, Commissionaires exceeded 10,000 employees. Today, Commissionaires employees over 21,000 people, with offices in all ten provinces and three territories.

In the early days, Commissionaires primarily offered security services. However, with the advent of advanced technology and more specialized, highly skilled staff, a much broader range of services is offered to more clients across Canada.

Commissionaires is not an agency of the federal or provincial governments. We are a private, self-supporting, not-for-profit organization, continuing a proud tradition that started more than a century and a half ago. By operating in this manner, we are able to fulfill our original mandate of providing meaningful work to ex-military personnel, while providing our clients with quality service at competitive rates.