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Harbour Explorer

Hamilton’s Steel Factories

Along the south shore of the Harbour to the east of the Skyway Bridge stand the famous Hamilton steel mills. The Steel Company of Canada (now U.S. Steel) formed in 1910. Dominion Steel Casting Company (Dofasco) established in 1912. These two companies were for decades the economic engine of Hamilton. Now they are foreign owned companies.

At the peak, Hamilton was responsible for 60 percent of all the steel produced in the country. Much has changed over the last century. In 2013 U.S. Steel shut down its blast furnaces. Although the steel mills were great for business, they were once one of the biggest contributors to pollution in the harbour. The mills were responsible for Randle Reef – the largest coal tar deposit in Canada (675,000 squares metres of coal tar) buried in the Harbour – a result of unregulated dumping by the steel mills. Of course a lot of things have changed in the past few decades and the steel mills are significantly cleaner. It’s pollution from the watershed (where we live) that is currently the greatest concern. For more information click here.