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General Motors Components Plant
Ontario Street Complex

These days in Ontario, no one wants to read about the manufacturing sector taking another hit, complete with the loss of well paying, blue collar jobs. Sadly, this was the case back in 2010 in St. Catharines, when General Motors announced the mothballing of the Ontario Street Complex, an industrial staple in the community since the late 1800's, albeit at that time the predecessor company that was bought out by GM.

Location attributes for General Motors Components Plant
Location   St. Catharines, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1901 :: 2010
Status   Demolished
Difficulty   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The original owners of the Ontario Street Complex was McKinnon Industries, who originally started with a small carriage and hardware shop on a different property before moving to Ontario Street in 1901, and transforming the company into a powerhouse supplying multiple militaries during World War I. GM purchased the company in 1929, and during the peak days of World War II, employed 4200 workers at the site.

Following the war, the facility went into the manufacture of radiators and transmission components, as well as forging components in the foundry on the west side of the complex. The facility also boasted a sizeable tool and die shop, with some machines still bearing the McKinnon labels on them.

Alas, in the end, the site was vacated, and eventually purchased by developer Bayshore in late 2014. Some equipment was auctioned off in March 2015, while those that remain at the facility are certainly slated for the scrap pile. Bayshore's demolition permits for the property have also gone through, with signs of demolition visible throughout. Unfortunately, this also posed some challenges for exploring, as catwalks and supports had been plasma cut throughout.

The old complex doesn't have much longer for this world, with Bayshore anticipating that the site will be razed by mid-2016, ready for their future development plans predominantly focusing on converting the lands to residential.

Until that time, though, the plant will stand as a monument to history in the community as it is slowly torn apart from the inside out.

 
 
Overdriven - November 2015 (Extra Restricted Content)
   
 
 
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