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Matt Mandziuk

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History

A Brief History of Dan’s Dive Shop

The Early Years

Dan’s Dive Shop was established in 1974 by Dan Mandziuk. The store was originally located at 48 Lakeport Road in Pt. Dalhousie and was a landmark for over 20 years. We are currently located at 329 Welland Ave., in St. Catharines, ON, Canada.

original Dan's location, Scuba Courses
Dan’s original Port Dalhousie location 48 Lakeport Rd.

Dan’s was born when Dan decided to share with the world his love of diving. In 1971, Dan began following his dream and became an ACUC Scuba Instructor. Not long after Dan began teaching, he opened up a store front and signed on with a small organization in the mid-1970’s called PADI. Dan had a feeling that they would become a major player in the industry but had no idea that they would become the Worlds Largest International Dive Training Agency. Our store was the 23rd store Internationally to sign on with PADI. Since then we have become a household name synonymous with Excellence in Diver Education receiving numerous prestigious awards for our instruction over the last 35+ years.

Dan believed in stocking the gear you would be purchasing. There wasn't any internet shopping back then!
Dan believed in stocking the gear you would be purchasing. There wasn’t any internet shopping back then!

Dan has always believed in stocking a large amount of equipment so you can try it on and make a decision by physically touching, feeling and wearing the equipment you’re about to spend you hard earned money on. Looking at pictures doesn’t tell you how a product will fit. Our expert staff, exceptional selection and most competitive prices will ensure you get the best gear for the best value.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Dan innovated many new concepts and helped utilize new equipment.

Our name was becoming synonymous with the largest selection and best pricing.  Suppliers were lining up to get in our doors and we had a lucrative mail-order business as well as in store.   in 1986 we began selling Dive Rite a monumental brand of deep, cave, technical diving equipment that was established in 1984.

We were a Top Stocking Dealer and Award Winning Dealer for many of our top brands, a trend that we have gained even higher regards in this modern age.

In the early 1990’s Dan became one of the first if not THE first of 2 Canadian Nitrox Divers in 1992.

While Deep Diving was shunned back in those days, Dan was intrigued and a few of our early DDS Divers and Instructors started their journey towards more advanced diving.

Continuing to lead the way

In 1997 Matt Mandziuk (Dan’s son) came into the picture full time in the store after many years growing up in the store, learning about the sport and bringing in new life, new ideas and new techniques to the recreational and technical diving community.

Dan’s commitment to the industry is very dedicated and a full time offering. We have worked hard in this industry. Over 20 dive stores have come and gone in this area. We have grown up into one of North America’s Largest Dive Stores by rating in the Top 20 with many of our suppliers.

Dan’s has lead the way as the trend-setter paving the road scuba diving throughout Ontario, Canada and North America bringing to diving some of the most progressive, modern recreational, technical diving and equipment concepts of diver education available in Recreational Diving, Wreck Diving, Deep Diving, Ice Diving, Technical Diving, Cave Diving and use of semi-closed and fully closed circuit rebreathers.  Regardless of your diving experience we are the right choice in diver education and equipment.

Dan’s goal has always been to maintain our high level of service, our large selection of equipment, our vast knowledge of diving and keep you smiling and actively diving through local trips, weekly dives, charters and trips around the globe.

The evolution of Dan’s

Dan’s was purchased over 5 years ago by Matt Mandziuk who indeed has had a big set of shoes to fill as Dan backs out slowly into semi-retirement and ultimately retirement. We have enjoyed the new concepts Matt continues to bring to the store, as well as fresh and fun ideas.  There are many new and exciting changes with Matt at the helm. While most things have remained the same, the main goals have been to get things running more efficiently and to make the sport more accessible to everyone involved.   One of the most successful changes within the brand was offering in-store financing, renovating the layout of the store, as well as the addition of a number of great new dive trips and charters.  Our goal as a shop is to keep expanding, growing and improving at every turn.

Matt Mandziuk after a fun trimix dive in Tobermory. His favourite colour is red.

Matt’s vision for the Dan’s brand has also expanded into the creation of Divers Edge – our technical dive training arm. With a solid and proven foundation of recreational diving, the Divers Edge brand aims to further technical diving and exploration with some exciting new projects and trips specific to technical divers.

2019 marks the 45th anniversary of Dan’s Dive Shop. To hit the Forty year mark in any business is a huge achievement – let alone the dive business – is no easy task. We couldn’t have done it without you – our customers and students. It’s been a great ride full of learning, improvement, more learning and lots of bubbles!

Thank you for your continued support of the DDS brand and we look forward to adding more to our history!

See you in the water,

The DDS family.

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Dan’s Dive Shop pioneer of Progressive Scuba Diving Courses and Equipment Sales

Vintage Diver Dan 1970’s

Established in 1974 by Dan Mandziuk, Dan’s Dive Shop has shared the adventure of scuba diving in Niagara, Ontario for over forty years.  We are Canada’s innovator of higher level progressive scuba diving education in Recreational, Cave & Technical Scuba Diving instruction and a purveyor of the highest quality scuba diving equipment in recreational, cave and technical diving.

At DDS we are known for offering the highest level of scuba diving education at every single level of training we offer.

We teach many of our scuba diving courses locally in Niagara, however, we also teach abroad anywhere our students want us to be, which includes other cities, provinces, states and even countries.

Matt Mandziuk carry’s on the legacy of DDS with Progressive Gear & Courses

Not Just Niagara….Dan’s is totally mobile and we are able to teach scuba courses anywhere we can drive to or fly into.  We’ve taught students from all over the world who have sought out the best scuba diving education and we have delivered time and time again.

We’ve taught students from every province in Canada, a number of the US States and other countries.

We attract a large number of students from the greater Hamilton area, as well as Burlington, Oakville, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo,  Mississauga, Toronto and surrounding areas.  Northern Ontario is a popular destination for us to teach in as well as we can cover Sudbury, Espanola, Little Current, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and much more with the utilization of eLearning, Skype, FaceTime or Podcasts, with watermanship sessions held in the most convenient locations possible, especially for our students in Northern Ontario.

Unmatched Retail Shopping

Shop with us Online

We are proud to offer Canada’s Largest Inventory and selection of scuba diving equipment from the top brands in the industry.

We carry the largest selection of scuba and snorkeling equipment offering the highest quality snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, as well as swimwear and metal detectors.

Our pricing is the  most competitive and we offer you the best pricing and service guaranteed on all the scuba gear we sell.   We will not be undersold.

Customers from all over North American and abroad shop our online dive store regularly for the best deals on scuba and snorkeling equipment, as well as expert drysuit sales and service.

Why pay more buying gear from your local dive shop or buying it out of the U.S. when we guarantee you better pricing, equipment choices and service?

We take away the hassle of crossing the border, paying duty or brokerage fees, or expensive shipping.  Let us do the work for you and get the best gear at the best price.  Email or call us for a gear quote.

Fun and memorable dive trips

We love diving locally around the Great Lakes and surrounding areas.

We honestly believe that we have the best diving in the world right here in Ontario and some of the other coastal provinces (Quebec, BC., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to name a few), so we are pleased to offer both local and down south scuba diving trips and excursions to cater to divers who like diving in any environment warm or cold.

Experience a fun day charter, a fun filled weekend trip out of town diving  the great local Canadian sites, U.S. sites, or join us for a week or more doing some further more exotic scuba diving destinations on one of our dive travel trips around the world.

We run amazing trips South as well!  We routinely run trips to Micronesia, Mexico, Honduras, Florida, Bahamas and many other warm water destinations too.

Count on our team

Get to know our great team of staff and instructors who are all active and constantly learning divers. We love what we do and are always looking for like minded people to join our dive team.

The majority of our dive team are local Niagara area Divers, with some of our team covering the Toronto and Burlington regions. If you want to learn to dive using a different philosophy that focuses on diver comfort, development of foundation skills, team diving with the ability to go anywhere you could possibly imagine in scuba, the possibilities are endless here at DDS.

E-Learning at your pace

Whether you’re just starting out or are already certified –  PADI’s eLearning is a flexible and convenient way to take more dive courses online at your pace. Sign up and get started right away with the instructional videos and interactive learning modules. Register Dan’s Dive Shop as your local PADI Dive Centre when you sign up and you can come in any time to ask us questions about what you’re learning.

Active in our local community

We’re involved with many charities and events such as: Project Aware Foundation, We Are Water Project, Dive For A Cure, United Way, Terry Fox Foundation, Race Against Autism, Old Timers Hockey, St. Catharines and Welland Rotary Clubs, Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit, as well as local hospitals, police departments, fire departments,  schools and many other organizations.

Experience the difference

Come in and see the difference we can make in your diving career. It’s fun, challenging and you’ll get a lot more out of this sport with the right store backing you in the right gear with the right skill and techniques.

Let us help you become the best diver you can be – join Dan’s Dive Shop and Divers Edge training.

See you in the water!