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|Gananoque Works was
the oldest forging facility in Canada having produced
continually since 1865. Founded by Byers and Mathew as the
Canadian Bolt and Nut Company, it was incorporated into the
Steel Company of Canada (Stelco) in 1910 and the River Street
buildings were erected. Prior to that, the steel working
facilities were located just south of the King Street bridge on
the Gananoque River.
A History of Steel Forging in Gananoque
The Gananoque steel forging factory was the oldest forging
facility in Canada having produced continually since 1865 when
it was founded by Byers and Mathew as the Canadian Bolt and Nut
Company. These early steel working facilities were located just
south of the King Street bridge on the Gananoque River.
The Steel Company of Canada (STELCO) incorporated the
Gananoque manufacturing company in 1910 and the River Street
buildings were erected.
By 1960, the factory was equipped with the best high speed
equipment of the day to produce a variety of custom forgings for
all branches of Canadian industry, particularly for the
automotive and farm implement fields. Also, a range of items
such as tank fittings and turnbuckles were produced.
The steel bars and billets used in the production of these
forgings were supplied by STELCO’s Hamilton Works. They were
of many grades of low carbon, high carbon and alloy steels,
selected for particular design requirements.
Timeline of Steel Forging in Gananoque Ontario
1865 Byers Manufacturing Company
1866 Byers and Mathew Canadian Bolt Company
1884 Gananoque Spring and Axle Company
1913 Ontario Steel Products Company
1910 Plant was incorporated into the original Steel Company of Canada (STELCO)
1939 Plant made steel steel bases during WW2
1960 Plant entered automotive industry manufacturing engine parts for Ford and Chrysler
1990 Strike and collapse of automotive industry
1991 Restructured into the Stelco Fastener and Forging Division (STEFFCO)
1992 Claude Hetu and Steve Offord purchase plant from STEFFCO
1993 Renamed Gananoque Steel Forging Inc. (GSFI)
1994 New tool room at the Nalon Road press plant started
1997 Brockhaus buys majority share in plant to get into North American market with ‘crackable forgings’. Renamed to Brockhaus Inc.
1997 July 26 Employee Appreciation Day
2002 February. MAHLE takes over the Gananoque plant. Renamed to Mahle Brockhaus Inc.
2003 Renamed MAHLE Engine Components Canada Inc.
2005 Renamed MAHLE Engine Components Canada Ulc
2005 Declared bankrupt. Closes December 9th 11:30pm.
2008 Ulc. Registration not renewed. Registration fee in default.
Gananoque Steel Co.
In 1884 the Gananoque Spring and Axle Company was formed to consolidate the Gananoque Spring Company and the Byers Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of axles at Gananoque.
In 1913 the Ontario Steel Products Company was formed to acquire the properties of the Gananoque Spring and Axle
Company and the D. F. Jones Manufacturing Company of Gananoque.
In 1894 the Ontario Rolling Mills Company, encouraged by the increased duty on scrap iron, put in a four-ton puddling
furnace. In the same year the Gananoque Nut Factory was put in
operation. The chief products of these rolling mills were merchant and other bar iron, nail plate, mine rails, ship and railway spikes, bridge bolts, car axles, fishplates and knees for ships, cut nails, horseshoes, horseshoe nails, bolts and nuts, band iron, steel forgings, rivets, and washers.
This history of the finishing industries does not cover the full number as a
consideration of the census figures for 1881 and 1891 will show.
Workers Park' concept continues to proceed
In 2008, the
Town of Gananoque revealed that it was designing the new
Steel Worker’s Park at the landing that The
Frontenac Arch Paddling Association (FAPA) had already
identified as the ideal location and the Town will be placing a
paddling dock in the park. For more information, visit the Town
of Gananoque official website to see the full size
concept drawings for the proposed park and further news on this
The proposed park is located on
the site of the original River Street Steel Forge on the shore
of the Gananoque River. The buildings which were taken down in
November of 2002 can be seen at the top of this page
The latest draft of the park
concept includes the convienience of a dog park for town
residents, parking, lots of green space, and areas
dedicated to the memory of the generations of town residents who
worked in the town's steel forging industry that spanned over
100 years. The park includes an upgraded river 'lookout' where
we used to rest and eat our lunches, a spot at the north-west
corner for a monument or structure that is still being decided
on and interperative signage and sculptural element at the south
end of the park. If you have any ideas regarding monuments
or signage, or want to help with this historical project,
contact the town at firstname.lastname@example.org
or here at email@example.com.
town create a park space that celebrates the rich history
of Steel Workers in the community. See the town
site page for more information about how to donate
a tree, bench/table (with a family plaque) or make a monetary
More detail photos of the forge, former
employees and products can be seen in the photos
section of this site.
to 'The Olde Forge'!!
This page together
and the Facebook 'Olde Forge' group have been
created to preserve the history of the steel manufacturing industry in
Gananoque and to enable former workers and retirees to share
information. The 'Olde Forge' naming idea came about during the days of
the Action Centre that was set up by the Government of Ontario to
support the transition of former employees after the closing of the
If you were involved
in this Gananoque industry and would like to keep in touch with former
co-workers, contribute material or help provide direction, all you
have to do is join the Facebook 'Olde Forge' group.