Made In Brockville

This is a virtual version of a permanent display in our Upper Gallery.  The Upper Gallery is currently closed to better accommodate physical distancing requirements associated with COVID-19 guidelines. 

By the mid-twentieth century Brockville was a booming little metropolis with local factories producing an astonishing array of products.  Brockville was well-positioned for the post-war boom, situated on the St. Lawrence River, close to the United States, and between the major centres of Toronto and Montreal.  Both home-grown independent companies and large-scale American companies prospered in Brockville for many years.

Since the 1960s many of the once prominent and more well-known factories have closed; companies have consolidated, moved operations, or simply saw too great a reduction in demand for their products to sustain the business.

But industry is still thriving in Brockville. Though not the industrial hub it may once have been, many Brockville residents continue to be employed in local manufacturing facilities and those businesses continue to contribute to our community.

This is just a sample of some of the companies that have manufactured their products in Brockville over the years.  Brockville has also been home to manufacturers of carriages, automobiles, fabric softener, and many other things. (Click on images to expand)

James Smart Manufacturing Co.
James Smart Manufacturing Co.

In the early 1860s, James Smart started the Brockville Novelty Works. In 1876, brothers John M. and Robert Gill joined the company and the firm was reorganized under the name of James Smart & Co., eventually becoming part of Canada Foundries and Forgings (though the name Smarts was kept due to its reputation). The plant continued to be used until 1965. The land that once housed the extensive factory is now Hardy and Centennial Parks.

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Wright's Chocolates
Wright's Chocolates

Wright’s store dates back to 1874 and was located at 60 King Street W. During the early twentieth century chocolates and candies were manufactured there under the name Wright and Kyle, but in 1940, it became known simply as Kyle’s. The confectionery store closed in 1970.

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Ketchum Manufacturing
Ketchum Manufacturing

Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. opened its Brockville factory in 2005 after relocating from Ottawa. It produces an array of identification tags for the livestock and mining industry, as well as for the military. Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. also produces custom plastic printing for the hotel, retail, and grocery industries. Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. is still in operation on California Ave.

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James Smart Manufacturing Co.
James Smart Manufacturing Co.

In the early 1860s, James Smart started the Brockville Novelty Works. In 1876, brothers John M. and Robert Gill joined the company and the firm was reorganized under the name of James Smart & Co., eventually becoming part of Canada Foundries and Forgings (though the name Smarts was kept due to its reputation). The plant continued to be used until 1965. The land that once housed the extensive factory is now Hardy and Centennial Parks.

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