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Ford Motor Company of Canada

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

The Ford Motor Company of Canada was founded in Walkerville, Ontario on the 17th day of August in 1904. Its founder was Gordon Morton McGregor and the company was initially known as the Walkerville Wagon Works. The company was formed to manufacture and distribute Ford automobiles in Canada and other regions of the British Empire (Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean, India, etc.). 

Ford Motor Company of Canada -canada-mileniostadium

McGregor raised $125,000.00 in 1904, along with several shareholders, and he directly dealt with Henry Ford in order to officially incorporate “The Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited”. Henry Ford began Ford Motor Co. in 1903 in Detroit and quickly began to grow his business. All of his efforts did not go unnoticed, especially on the other side of the Detroit River in Windsor, Canada. Within a very few short years, the Ford Motor Company of Canada became Windsor’s largest employer, producing and distributing its famous products to all corners of the Earth. Today the Ford Motor Company of Canada is wholly owned by the Ford Motor Co. based in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Co. World headquarters are located at 1 American Road, in Dearborn, Michigan and Ford Motor Company of Canada is located in Oakville, Ontario at 1 The Canadian Road. At the inception of its existence Ford of Canada was 51% owned by twelve individual shareholders, with Henry Ford himself directly owning 13 percent. Eventually Ford of Canada was permitted rights, patents and authorized to sell in all British Colonies, except Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland. Ford of Canada went on to open authorized subsidiaries, particularly Ford India Private Limited, Ford Motor Company of Australia, Ford Motor Company of New Zealand, and Ford Motor Company of South Africa. 

The first ever car produced in Canada was a model “C” (for Canada) in September 1904. At the beginning the new Ford Factory in Canada was able to produce two vehicles at a time and during its first full year of production, it manufactured a total of 117 cars. The very first export sale made was a model “C” to an authorized distributor in Calcutta, India. 

Car sales grew expeditiously after the end of World War II in Canada and as such the Ford Motor Company secured majority ownership and control of Ford Motor of Canada. This led to Ford of Canada relocating its head office and new assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario. The new plant and head office were built in 1953 and an additional plant in St. Thomas, Ontario in 1967. 

Ford Motor Company of Canada -canada-mileniostadiumFord was once one of the more influential and powerful companies in Canada and in the early 1970’s, Ford Motor Company was the largest company in all of Canada. Historically in Oakville, Ford Motor Company of Canada, had significantly contributed to environmental damage and subsequently became known as one of the area’s worst polluters. 

In 2004, Ford Motor of Canada celebrated 100 years in business and continues to show strong numbers, especially in truck sales. In most recent times, Ford Motor Company of Canada was intertwined with TransCanada power, which had been contracted to construct a gigantic gas fired power plant on part of the Oakville Assembly Plant. The local community and area political representative, pleaded with Ford not to proceed with these plans. As a result, the Provincial Government cancelled the project and subsequently and conveniently TransCanada Power and Ford both withdrew their appeals to the OMB. Later revelations proved the Ford and TransCanada Power, were paid huge penalty payments. The Oakville Assembly Plant was one of two, which were directly involved in “The Ontario Power Plant Scandal”. This scandal ultimately led to the resignations of Ontario Energy Minister Chris Bentley and Premier Dalton McGuinty (good riddins). 

The following form part of the collection:

  1. 1930 – 1960’s – Ford of Canada numbered employee badges. Mostly made of German Silver. Each badge uniquely identified with prefix letters and numbers. 
  2. 1953 – 1968 – Ford of Canada, Oakville Assembly Plant employee badges. Shield type with colourful top and each uniquely identified with prefix letters and numbers. 
  3. 1920-1960 – Ford of Canada, subsidiary “Ford of Australia” employee badge from Gelong, Australia. Bottom right of the photo depicts earliest Australian employee badge type, No. 1515, C.1920.
  4. 1950-1950 – Ford of Canada, Windsor, Ontario, plant protection badge and “Ford of New Zealand”, fireman badge. Each and every Ford Plant has its own fire brigade.  

Armando Terra/MS

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