Goodyear Tire & Rubber
May 25th, 1918 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has a full-page ad entitled
"A Future Assured" describing several of the businesses in New
Toronto. It has some sketch drawings of the businesses including The Reg.
At first, capacity was set at 200 tires a day (an ample figure at that time). During World War II, capacity reached the 10,500 mark. In November 1927, Mr. George D. Scott, assessor for the New Toronto Business Men's Association, touted that "Of all the wallpaper manufactured in Canada, 50 per cent was manufactured at the Boxer Company plant, while 80 per cent of the sheet brass and copper was made at the Anaconda factory, and 50 per cent of the auto tires manufactured in Canada were made at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company". "C.H. Carlisle, president of the Goodyear Company, said his company was today doing business with 87 foreign countries and they paid out three million in their pay roll and one and a half million in freight". (Toronto Daily Star, 1927/11/18). Photo credit: Goodyear Canada Inc.
"In its heyday", writes Dick Baxter, "Goodyear had three shifts and as many as 1300 employees. They had their own cafeteria, bowling alleys, police force, newspaper (the Wingfoot clan) and their own baseball team. Over the years, the company blimp visited and moored on the spacious grounds". The spacious Goodyear field was used as an unofficial playground for schools and the town. A full staff of gardeners tended the gardens. Goodyear was know to be a great corporate citizen and even made a large donation of a camp to the Boy Scouts, in memory of the Goodyear employees killed in World War II.
following article in the Goodyear Wingfoot Clan from August 1926 provides a
perspective of Goodyear’s participation in community events: (Reproduced with permission from Goodyear
“Goodyear Gets First in their Class
Practically ever merchant and factory in the town had a float or car in the parade and every one of the floats was original and instructive.
Goodyear’s float won first prize for industrial floats, which was a silver cup donated by the Business men’s Association. Anaconda American Brass won the Sweepstake cup donated by the Goodyear for the best local float.”
During World War II, employment at the Goodyear plant doubled to 2,800 as the demand for war production rose to unprecedented levels. In addition to the production of tires, 75% of which were used on military equipment, the plant also produced life rafts, bulletproof aircraft fuel tanks, de-icing equipment and many other essential products.
of Goodyear employees joined
Goodyear employees who paid the supreme sacrifice during both wars continue to
be remembered through the Goodyear Remembrance Trophy, which is awarded
Goodyear Plant, 1967 (Photo Credits: Goodyear Canada Inc)
lot is to be said for the employee culture at Goodyear. Employees were encouraged to participate in
community events, and most employees were local residents. In fact, Goodyear established the “Spirit
Award” program in 1966 to recognize employees who best illustrate what “spirit”
is all about – the spirit of striving for perfection – of satisfaction in a job
well done – and working within and for one’s community. Several New Toronto employees won this award
over the years, including
Lakeshore plant closed on May 31, 1987 and moved north to
In 1988, the Daniels group purchased the site for a residential development of apartment buildings. Kleinfeldt Consultants managed the demolition project.
1992, construction was started on 7 new co-operative housing projects. The co-ops are built around a quadrangle, the
middle of which is a park at
In the picture to the left, Barsa Kelly Co-op is in the middle. Daniels townhouses are to the right. Robert Cooke/Lakeshore Gardens— which share the same building—are on the left. (Photo Credit: John McCuaig)
The co-op projects were particularly daring because they were built on reclaimed brownfield land contaminated by chlorinated chemicals used in the manufacture of Goodyear Tires and Anaconda Brass from the 1920’s to 1989, when the plants closed. Mayor David Miller said, “The lands are also essential for “smart growth” policies promoted in the official plan, which would combat urban sprawl by diverting new GTA residents into the central city”. Now, in 2004, a townhouse condominium project is almost completed on the Lakeshore front of the site.
Below are a couple of pictures of some of the (almost) completed townhouse construction on the Lakeshore front in 2005.