Manufacturing Suburbs: Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe

By Robert Lewis | Go to book overview

8
The Suburbanization of
Manufacturing in Toronto,
1881–1951

GUNTER GAD

In 1881 Toronto was a medium-sized city with a population of 86,000 and a very generous political territory of twenty-three square kilometers. Approximately 13,200 workers were employed in some 930 manufacturing establishments within the boundaries of the city of Toronto, with workshops and factories spread throughout most of this area.1 Clothing factories and printing workshops were found above and between the retail, wholesale, and office establishments of the central business district. Brass foundries, flour mills, furniture and piano factories, and carriage makers clustered east and west of this district. Farther afield, mostly along the railway tracks fanning out from the city’s center and out to the edge of the built-up area, there were stove foundries, machinery works, breweries, a major whiskey distillery, and meatpacking plants, the last of which had also attracted tanneries and soap manufacturers. Small clusters of planing mills, sash and door factories, piano factories, and other establishments, largely in the wood processing industries, were scattered across the city. Many of the more peripheral factories had recently moved from more central locations; others were new arrivals from small towns in southern Ontario; and still others, like the breweries and the whiskey distillery, were established between the 1840s and 1880s, well in advance of other

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