L., S. & P. Sawyer and Company

(1856) Ball Packaging Products Canada

This plant was built in 1855, after fire destroyed the Fisher, McQuesten & Company’s original downtown foundry. When John Fisher retired two years later, his nephew Luther Sawyer took over the business, along with two of Sawyer’s brothers, Samuel and Payson. They renamed it L., S. & P. Sawyer and Company. The Sawyers expanded production to include steam engines and road-making machinery.

This company’s origins can be traced back to 1836, when John Fisher set up a small foundry near the corner of James Street and York Boulevard. He had financial assistance from his cousin, Dr. Calvin McQuesten. Fisher, McQuesten & Company produced some of the first threshing machinery in Canada. In 1840, McQuesten brought his nephew Luther Sawyer to work at the foundry as an apprentice machinist.

In 1889, the firm was renamed the Sawyer & Massey Company, after the Massey family of Toronto became major investors. In 1910, some local businessmen gained control of the business and expanded production. The company was converted to war production after 1914, filling large artillery shell contracts and turning out a large number of steam road wagons. After the end of World War I, the company concentrated on the manufacture of road-making machinery. Following World War II, the Hamilton Bridge Company bought Sawyer & Massey. The remaining original buildings are now occupied by Ball Packaging.