The Otto's Story

The man behind the legend.

With four brothers to contend with, Otto Koller quickly learned the importance of keeping on your toes. Raised in a small village, west of Lucerne, Switzerland, he gained his appreciation for hard work spending long hours on the family farm.

At age 22, Otto made the decision to move to Canada, learn the English language and break into the automotive industry. With nothing more than a thousand dollars in his pocket, he set off for Canada, landing in Ottawa in 1959.

Although he could not speak English, Otto quickly landed a position within a local dealership.

It was in 1965 that Otto travelled to Germany to look into bringing BMW automobiles to Canada's capital city. His first dealership was located at 225 Richmond Road (the current home of Otto's Subaru) boasting two cars. Otto was noted for being a hands-on manager, preferring to oversee the quality of his team's work, rather than relishing the opportunity to seal a deal.

"If a client's car took longer than expected to repair, he would personally give them a call... and give them another car to drive."

He quickly became recognized for this thoughtful attention to detail, and genuine care for his customer's experience. "If a client's car took longer than expected to repair, he would personally give them a call... and give them another car to drive."

Otto began to expand the Richmond Road showroom by slowly making room for new brands. Increasingly fascinated with the leading-edge technology within the Japanese manufacturers, Otto immediately fell in love with the Subaru. It was a world leader in new engine technology advancements, employing four-wheel drive in its vehicles, while most other manufacturers lagged behind within the capabilities new technology had to offer.

Otto's Subaru has been a Subaru Dealer since 1986. Today, Otto's Subaru occupies the iconic showroom on Richmond Road, employing some of the most knowledgeable sales and service professionals in the industry.

Otto's vision has carried on through the dedication of his wife, Huguette, one of the country's most accomplished automobile professionals, and his daughter, Sonia, dealer principal at both Otto's Subaru and Otto's BMW.

Together, the Otto's legacy lives on… since 1969!

The Otto's Planet

An Important Part of Our Community

At Otto's, our objective is not only to work with our customers, but to become an integral part of our community. For over 40 years, we've dedicated ourselves to working with a variety of groups and charitable organizations. With Otto's Planet, a division that highlights and supports causes, which are important to the Otto's family, we have donated over $200,000 in support. Otto's Planet is extremely proud to support:

  • The Canadian Wildlife Federation
  • Doctors without Borders
  • Farm-Africa
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • Quick Start
  • Right to Play
  • Scouts Canada
  • The Ottawa Wild Bird Care Centre
  • The Ottawa Food Bank
  • The Ottawa Mission
  • The Bruyere Foundation
  • Moisson Outaouais
  • The Leading Note Foundation and Orkidstra
  • La Soupière de l'Amitié
  • Water For People

For more information on Otto's Planet, please click here.