Category: Industrial Locations

Canadian Westinghouse

Canadian Westinghouse Hamilton

The Canadian Westinghouse Company was incorporated on July 9, 1903. Within 10 years the company had expanded their Canadian operations to include offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg. There were over 3,000 employees by 1915.The production factory was located on Sanford Avenue in Hamilton . Production was primarily air brakes but later included motors, generators, stoves, toasters, transformers, and turbines. In 1917, the company constructed a five-storey head office building across the street from the factory. A bridge connected the two buildings. The head office featured large, arched windows and decorative keystones and cornices were key elements in the…

Studebaker Plant in Hamilton

studebaker plant hamilton

Studebaker was founded in 1852 as a manufacturer of carriages and harnesses for farmers, miners and the military. Beginning in 1904, the company began production of gasoline powered automobiles under the name of Studebaker Automobile Company.The factory, located at 440 Victoria Avenue North in Hamilton, had previously been used by Otis Elevators in 1902. From 1914 until 1918 it was used to manufacture shells fror WWI. In 1940, the Federal Government built a gun plant on the Otis Elevator site for World War Two (WWII). Following the end of WWII , the Federal Government then sold the plant to Studebaker…

Holmes Foundry

Holmes Foundry Sarnia

The Holmes Foundry was located in the City of Sarnia, which contains 20% of Canada’s refineries. In 1918, John S. Blunt registered the Holmes Blunt Limited name for his business. The foundry produced engine casting blocks and brake linings for the Ford Motor Company. There were two other operations which were the Caposite and Insulation plant and the Holmes Foundry Plant.Workers at the foundry were unionized under the Canadian Auto Workers however efforts to unionize Caposite Insulation workers were met with opposition from management. Conditions in the asbestos insulation plant were unsafe and management often dismissing worker’s concerns. With little…

General Motors Plant – St. Catharines

St. Catharines GM Plant

The Gneral Motors plant in St. Catharines is a 43 acre property with 1.2 million feet of square space. It began operations in March of 1929 after being purchased by McKinnon Industries, which became a subsidiary of General Motors. The company was founded as McKinnon and Mitchell Hardware by Ebenezer McKinnon in 1878. The hardware company’s main production was carriages and wagons. In 1888, McKinnon took over the business and diversified into carriage dashes and fenders. By 1900 the city had passed a special bylaw allowing McKinnon to start an operation on Ontario Street. The McKinnon Bylaw as it was…

John Deere Factory


This was the John Deere Factory in Welland, Ontario. The factory opened in 1911 after taking over The Dain Manufacturing Company, a producer of farming equipment. The company moved their headquarters to Welland in 1915 and in 1918 changed their name to John Deere Manufacturing Company. Workers were unionized in 1989. In the year 2000, two 14 year-old students attending the traditional Take Our Kids To Work Day, were killed when the Gator they were riding in crashed into a transport. In 2008 the company announced that they’d be closing the plant next year, putting 800 people out of work….

Abandoned Ontario Villa Resort

Abandoned Ontario Villa Resort

The history of this piece of property dates back to the 19th century when a wealthy family of political background purchased this adjoining parcel of land to expand their estate. The families didn’t live on the additional property, but rather leased it out to tenants. The location was last used as a retreat that could accommodate up to two dozen guests. It featured a central in-ground pool that the building wrapped around. The architecture of the structure was based on Italian villa design. With the building being 19th century, it was outdated compared to surrounding homes. Around 2015 the owners…

Abandoned Royal Brock Hotel in Guelph Ontario

royal brock hotel

The Royal Brock was a 104-room Best Western brand hotel that operated in the City of Guelph. Prior to this, it had operated under different company names. The last of which was the College Motor Inn (est. 1970s to 1980s). In 1987 the College Motor Inn underwent renovations to increase guest capacity and include a conference centre. The two separate buildings were combined into one during the construction. The Royal Brock contained a conference center, outdoor swimming pool, workout gym and board rooms. In 2013, the Ontario Municipal Board ruled that a Mississauga company named Abode Varsity Living (affiliated with…

Lookout Inn in Callander, Ontario (North Bay)

Abandoned Lookout Inn in Callendar, Ontario

The Lookout Inn is located just south of North Bay. It used to be a hotel with a dining area and patio overlooking Lake Nipissing. The business closed in the 1990s. The hotel was supposed to be revived in 2005 but plans fell through. The two buildings became a popular destination for vandals over the next decade. In 2015 I could find very little information about the hotel itself except that new owners took over in 2016. They repaired one of the buildings and opened Terrace Suites Resort. There’s a golf course on the property which sits between the old…

Burgess Battery Factory in Niagara Falls

Abandoned Burgess Battery Factory Niagara Falls

The Burgess Battery Company was formed on March 2nd, 1917 by Dr. Charles Burgess, a professor at University of Wisconsin. The company was a subsidiary of C.F. Burgess Laboratories. Burgess was a chemical engineer who developed dry cell batteries commonly known today as A, B, C and D cell batteries. Burgess had also been working on developing a flashlight, which had already been invented in 1900 but had been dismissed by many as being impractical. Burgess was successful in selling his flashlight batteries and in 1913 resigned his position at the University. Burgess expanded his business operations which grew to…

Niagara Falls Memorial Arena & Sand Sculpture Exhibit

Niagara Falls Memorial Arena and Abandoned Sand Sculpture Exhibit

The Niagara Falls Memorial Arena was constructed in 1950 with a capacity of holding 3,056 patrons. The first opening hockey game took place on January 27, 1950 which featured the Niagara Falls Cataracts playing against the Hamilton Aerovox (a 6-4 loss for Niagara by the way). Various hockey teams called the arena their home including the Niagara Falls Thunder, Niagara Falls Canucks and Niagara Falls Flyers. The main floor offered a concession stand and ticket booths. On display was a portrait of the Queen and trophy case displaying trophies and memorabilia from the home teams. Stairs lead to the upstairs…