Our Story

 

O2 Canada believes people should have access to fresh air, even in the worst of conditions. By helping people breathe easier, we can all live longer and happier lives.

Over 100 years ago in World War 1, Canadians invented the first gas mask to protect soldiers from chemical warfare. Building on that innovation and research from the Air Pollution and Research Lab at the University of Waterloo, O2 Canada developed a new kind of mask to protect people from the most deadly particles not visible to the human eye.

During a trip to China, Peter (CEO) and Rich (CIO) witnessed the devastating reality of air quality that so many people around the world experience on a daily basis. Even more disturbing to them was the absence of effective protection available to citizens against the known harmful effects of air pollution. Upon returning to Waterloo and recognizing the stark contrast in air quality, they grappled with how they could bring the gift of breathing clean air to people in cities around the world without this privilege. This is where the 02 Canada vision was born and this is what continues to drive the team to create better, smarter respirators with your needs in mind.

O2 Canada is dedicated to making the world a better place, by bringing innovation to health care that goes beyond the ordinary and helping countries that have limited resources.


Our Team

Headquartered in Waterloo, Canada, O2 Canada is a global company with manufacturing partners and employees across North America, UK, and Asia. Our founding and managing team is composed of:

Peter Whitby | Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

A native of Waterloo, Ontario, Peter brings a wealth of experience in startups and is both a Schlegel Entrepreneur and Wes Nicol winner at the Wilfrid Laurier Business School. He also holds a History degree from the University of Western Ontario. Peter is leading the O2 Canada team on its mission to make fresh air available to everyone.

Rich Szasz | Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer

Born and raised in Waterloo, Rich has over a decade of experience leading a variety of entrepreneurial endeavours and brings a wealth of business knowledge to the O2 Canada team. Rich has been instrumental in bridging the gaps between design, functionality and market needs. His creative mind and knack for conceptualizing seemingly impossible ideas has lent itself to major advancements in the O2 mask design.

 

Doug Hindson | Chief Technology Officer

Doug has a Software Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and has worked at both Microsoft's Beijing and Seattle offices. Doug also studied Mandarin Chinese and can communicate at a near-HSK5 level. During his time in Beijing, Doug realized the need for pollution masks first-hand and is passionate about solving a real world problem affecting millions of people on a daily basis.


Advisors

Dr. Zhongchao Tan | Professor, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Dr. Chao Tan received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Thermal Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing and Ph.D. degree in Bioenvironmental Engineering from the University of Illinois. Dr. Tan is a Full Professor appointed in multiple engineering departments and institutes at the University of Waterloo. He is also the Director of the Air Pollution Research and Innovation Laboratory (APRIL). Chao's research interests involve air pollution, indoor air quality, nanosafety, and biofuels. Dr. Tan is one of the foremost experts on air pollution in the world and provides technical support and expertise testing the O2Canada masks.

Instruction Manual