Oshawa Canning Company

C. 1900-1928

The Oshawa Canning Company, Limited was a canning and preserving company.  The company was established by Mr. M.F. Smith.  The business was quite modern and began production at the turn of the century.  The company was incorporated into the “Oshawa Canning Company, Limited” three years after first establishing. The initial capital stock at that time had an estimated monetary value of one hundred thousand dollars.

The factory was located on King Street West and consisted of three buildings, constructed of brick and metal.  There were two warehouses and a processing building.  The warehouses were 80 X 40 feet, 100 X 30 feet, and the process building was 100 X 35 feet in dimension.  The company employed an average of seventy five people which enabled an annual output of 75,000 cases of produce.

Oshawa was a great location for this company. Everyone in the area prospered due to the fact that the factory was surrounded by farmers.  The canning process took place in Oshawa, and the cans were filled with fruits, vegetables, chicken, and turkey which were supplied by the local farmers.

The people responsible for the quality and production of the canning company were: E.J. Dowell/President; M.F. Smith/ Managing Director; and E.S. Thomas/Secretary-Treasurer.  The steady growth of the company reflected the large wage list, perfect sanitary conditions, reliable goods, and wide distribution.  The company had a good reputation and a long list of clients to supply food for around the world.

Prior to the arrival of the Canning Company, the property was first owned by Charles Honey, who was the first to build on this site.  He used the building to manufacture fanning mills.  The second owner of the building was W.T. Dingle who continued the site’s original business.  Unfortunately, the building was gutted by a fire in 1880, and W.T. Dingle was forced to rebuild his business and repair the building.  It was not until sometime later that the building was finally sold to Mr. Mark F. Smith.

Mr. Smith received a grant from the Town of Oshawa for the amount of five thousand dollars to provide him with aid in business endeavours.  The town took it upon itself to charge Mr. Smith a considerably lower tax rate on the structure due to its poor form.

Mr. Smith made costly renovations to the main structure of the building in order to proceed with business, resulting in a respectable business layout which maintained healthy and more importantly sanitary conditions.  The Canning Company stayed in business for approximately 25 years.  By 1928, Mr. Smith sold the building to the Canadian Canners of Hamilton who surprisingly enough did not continue the canning company, but instead rented out parts of the building to other local companies.

References Used:

The Oshawa Daily Times, March 21, 1928.

The Oshawa Daily Times, March 22, 1928.

The Oshawa Daily Times, November 21, 1928.

The Oshawa Daily Times, October 25, 1930.

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King Street West 160
Oshawa L1J 2J2 ON CA
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