39 Richardson Street, Brighton, Ontario
- Media Type:
- Historical Name: Nesbitt Cannery
Location: 39 Richardson Street
Legal Description: Plan 28 Lots 2 & 3 and RP 39R7237 Parts 2 & 3 S Richardson Street
Property: Old Cannery and now a commercial building
Date of Construction: 1900 and 1926
Heritage Status: Listed
Summary of Cultural Attributes:
Historical: The Nesbitt Cannery is located on a one-acre plot that is part of a 200-acre Crown grant to James Richardson in 1809. This property, adjacent to the Grand Trunk Railway, was acquired in 1892 by a local entrepreneur, Samuel G. M. Nesbitt, who in 1900 built the first phase, a fruit storage building that supplied apples to the Canadian Canners Board. In 1901, several local firms amalgamated to form a Dominion Syndicate that two years later became the Canadian Consolidated Companies. Samuel Nesbitt remained on the Board until 1925.
In 1926, the building was enlarged and converted by Samuel's son, Edwin Nesbitt, to can peas, corn, and tomatoes - the north part as the processing area - and he added an east wing as a cook room. Two years later it became the E. J. Nesbitt Canning Co., and then in 1930 the Nesbitt Canning Company Ltd. During its peak season the plant employed 60 people. It had three labels: Nesbitt (fancy), Coleen (choice), and My Laddie (standard). It ceased operation as a cannery in 1964 and today remains the last surviving example of 13 canning factories in Brighton.
In 1948, an adjoining building was added as an extension of the west wing by the Province of Ontario and operated as the Brighton Cooperative Storage Limited. This addition burned down in 2005.
In 1996, the old cannery was acquired by Our Country Home Limited, which operated a furniture finishing and antique store. In 2008 it was purchased by 1744905 Ontario Inc. and became known as Country Fixin's - a food, furniture and gift store. As of 2015, both businesses closed at this location.
Architectural: The building, essentially L-shaped with a small eastern projection, provides 30,000 square feet of floor space on three levels. It is post-and-beam construction with clapboard exterior that varies with the different building phases A flat roof has a prominent cornice, which has decorative brackets under the eave on the front of the building. The west wing, the only lower level part in use, has a stone foundation. Apparently, many traces of a cannery can still be seen in the building.
Sources: MPAC; OLR Records; Doors Open-2008; Bonnie Brown's History Week series, 2009
- Local identifier:
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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