As you explore Burlington St., you are immediately struck by the density of factories and buildings. This tight cluster of industry was born from a ready supply of primary iron and steel. Hamilton was Canada’s leading producer of iron in 19th century despite importing much of its iron from out of town. In 1895, this all changed when the Hamilton Blast Furnace Company (HBFC) opened. The HBFC then merged with several local and regional companies to officially become the largest producer of iron and steel in the country. They once again merged in 1910 with Canada Screw and several other steel companies in Ontario and Quebec to form the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco).
Stelco was not only recognized as a giant in the steel industry but also set a standard for Canadian workers. In 1946, a major strike was won by Stelco workers paving the way for collective bargaining on a national level. The workers received union recognition, increased benefits, wages and a grievance system. Stelco filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and was bought by American giant, U.S. Steel. On December 31, 2013, U.S. Steel permanently ceased steel production in Hamilton. For more information click here.
Source: Hamilton Industrial Trail