Hamilton Bridge Works Company

(1894)

This company has been operating in Hamilton for over 125 years. It made its name building iron and steel bridges for Canada’s railway system. At the turn of the 20th century, advances in building technologies allowed the company to take advantage of fabricating structural steel for buildings.

Steel fabricated at the Hamilton Bridge Works was used to build a number of local factories, such as International Harvester, Stelco, Firestone, Westinghouse and others. It also provided steel for such well-known projects as the Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

After World War II, the company, now called Hamilton Bridge, became a division of the Bridge and Tank Company of Canada. Its highly skilled workforce produced steel mill equipment, mill cranes and general fabricated items, as well as bridges.

Structural steel allowed early 20th-century industrial architects to build bigger factories with larger windows and doors. These new plants were more open, airy and well lit than 19th-century workplaces had been. They were also fireproof.

Steelworker Bill Dunnigan started working here in 1913. Fifty years later, he had traveled from coast to coast fabricating and assembling steel for railway bridges, skyscrapers, giant cranes, steel mills, canal spans and supermarkets.