This site was once part of the extensive complex of the Hamilton Dairy and Creamery Company. The company was originally founded in 1907. It grew tremendously in 1910, when Hamilton businessman John Ira Platt amalgamated it with a number of other local dairies. The company changed its name to the Hamilton Dairy Company soon after.
The building was constructed in 1912. It formed the front of a “U”-shaped complex that once reached back almost to Cannon Street West. The distinctive façade of the remaining building bears the initials of the company. Note the elaborate arched brick corbelling over the upper windows. Borden’s Milk absorbed the operations of the Hamilton Dairy Company in 1930.
In the late 19th century, commercial milk was unhygienic and often diluted with water, chalk or other unsavoury materials. Pure milk became an important health issue. One of the leaders of the pure-milk movement was Hamiltonian Adelaide Hoodless. Her youngest child reportedly died as a result of drinking impure milk. Working primarily through the Hamilton YWCA, Hoodless pushed for educational programs to promote nutrition and sanitation. In an age when women were still rarely involved in politics, Hoodless became a major national advocate for domestic science courses, public health measures, pure-milk legislation and a variety of other issues.
One of the most important and necessary commercial industries in the community is the well-conducted dairy. It had been thoroughly demonstrated that impure or carelessly handled milk and products is one of the most dangerous carriers of germs and disease. In Hamilton, the people are especially favoured with the purest and best milk, cream and butter to be produced from the dairy of the well known Hamilton Dairy and Creamery Company Ltd.
- Magazine of Industry, 1910