“The Continental Can Company
caused quite a stir of excitement in New Toronto when Continental Can purchase the A.R Whittall Can
“The ground was broken during the fall of 1935 and construction work went on all winter. This was most unusual, because normally the construction industry closed down for the winter months. Local citizens marveled when they heard about cement being poured by construction workers in their shirtsleeves; so warm was it within the tarpaulin-covered walls, which had been created to enclose the entire structure.
In May 1936, the plant was opened for business and provided employment for 30 employees. Extra warehousing space was added in 1940 and millions of round cans were produced for meat products, which were sent overseas to Allied armies and refugees. Seventy-two Continental employees served overseas.
1944, Continental took another step forward with the purchase of The Ideal Can
With the end of the war, Plant 54, Metal Division, had
grown by leaps and bounds, so the Customer Equipment Service Department moved
into its own building in 1948. At the
west end of the plant, the
[In 1963], The New Toronto Can Plant was further expanded to provide additional warehouse facilities, along with 60 foot truck docks, each of which [provided] completely enclosed loading space for large, modern tractor-trailers. Thus, after 28 years the original plant with floor space totaling 155,800 square feet, and providing employment for only 30 employees, had grown to three plants and two sales offices totaling 420,400 square feet, on an area equivalent in size to four city blocks, employing 900 people. (Celebrating Our Golden Jubilee: New Toronto and New Toronto Hydro, 1963)
I am told that there was a pipe extending between the
Continental Can plant and the neighbouring
The plant was eventually taken over by Crown, Cork & Seal and soon thereafter came to its demise, and from what I’ve read, the closure came mostly as a result of the impact that the Free Trade Agreement had on the industry. Residents have also commented that commercial taxes were increased so much that it drove out many of the industries in New Toronto. (Residential taxes had so much more potential for the city coffers. In fact, a Toronto Staff Report from 2001 recommended options where the site would be rezoned as commercial/residential)(it006 Staff Report) In the early 1990’s, the plant was demolished.
site was sold in 2003 to the Toronto Police Service for a Firearms/Defensive
Tactics and Applicant Testing Facility (http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/legdocs/2003/agendas/council/cc030224/admcl013a.pdf).