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Harbour Explorer

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Canada

North of Burlington Street, nestled amongst smaller buildings once stood the original Firestone building. The plant was brought to the city in 1919 by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company from Akron, Ohio. Hamilton was to be the site of the first plant outside of the United States. The company bought 124 acres of land extending all the way to the Harbour to support their manufacturing needs. With the land secured and factories supplied, the first tire rolled off the assembly line in 1922. As was the case with many local industries post-war, the plant doubled its production and it expanded to Alberta and Quebec.

In 1946, like their fellow labourers at Stelco, rubber workers were one of the main forces in a wave of strikes to hit Hamilton. They demand fair wages and better working conditions after fighting overseas. Despite the productivity mid-century, as the 70’s and 80’s approached, the plant began to lose profits, eventually closing its doors in 1988.  

Source: Hamilton Industrial Trail