W. G. Dunn & Company

(1875)

Canada Coffee and Spice Mills


The grind has been a fact of life for workers at this company for over a century. William G. Dunn was operating a fancy soap manufactory and spice mills near the southeast corner of Main and Bay Streets by 1875. This plant was a branch of the W.G. Dunn & Company Works near London, England. The Hamilton plant received much of its raw material through the British company.

Ten years later, it was known as the Canada Coffee & Spice Mills, producers of coffee, baking powder, mustards and pure spices. Products from its mill — rumored to be the largest of its kind in the country — were sold from British Columbia to Quebec. As one business promotional put it, “Their coffee, spices, baking powder and mustard are found, perhaps, in every house in the Dominion.”

The company moved into the building at 80 Park Street North when the original plant was demolished in the late 1950s to make way for Hamilton’s new city hall. Mustard milling had become the company’s chief business by that time. Its products were known the world over and provided the inspiration for Hamilton’s Mustard Festival.

This building was constructed in 1902 for the Standard Canning Company, a branch of the Lumsden Brothers wholesale grocery business. Before World War I, it also functioned as a textile mill. It was the home of the Duro Aluminum Company from 1923 until 1947. It sat vacant for much of the decade before G.S. Dunn & Company moved here in the late 1950s.