Roy Cairns practiced law in the corporate and real estate development field for more than 40 years, and was the founder of Chown, Cairns, one of the largest law firms in St. Catharines. Together with the late Ken Fowler and the late Kerry T. Howe, he formed the Taro group, a St. Catharines-based company involved in many businesses, including land and commercial developments and the construction of homes and apartment buildings in Canada and the US.
Taro formed Home Savings and Loan Corporation and also owned several industrial companies including Taro Aggregates, a large Hamilton-based quarry in asphalt producer and landfill operation. Roy was a director and major shareholder of several corporations including Lincoln Capital, Philip Environmental, Jumbo Video and Querty Systems Inc., which owned more than 100 registered schools called Academy of Learning. Roy was also vice-president, secretary-treasurer and a major stakeholder of Landcorp Ontario Limited, a St. Catharines-based private company that developed commercial and residential properties in southern Ontario. Landcorp has completed many projects in the Niagara region including several shopping plazas, office buildings and subdivisions.
Roy was the major shareholder in Fire Monitoring of Canada, a rapidly growing St. Catharines company with a unique fire protection system for commercial and public buildings, which has been recognized by the Fire Chiefs Association of Canada as the best direct monitoring system available.
Working in partnership with Ken Fowler, Roy was active in the restaurant business, and is a major shareholder and director of SIR Cor. Roy was also the sole owner of Charlesway Corporation Limited, an investment company involved in real estate development projects in southern Ontario, Arizona, Colorado and Buffalo.