This company began manufacturing shafting and other steel products at its original plant at 181 Victoria Avenue South, in 1905. Union Drawn Steel entered the city as a branch of a Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, company. The company’s Burlington Street East plant was built in 1942 on property bought by the company in 1911. In 1930, it became part of the giant U.S.-based Republic Steel Corporation. The company’s specialty has always been cold-drawn steel bars.
In cold drawing, a steel bar is pulled through a die of similar shape but of smaller size, without pre-heating. This method adds strength, toughness, a smooth, bright finish and greater machinability to the bar. Union Drawn Steel has produced bars for use in car parts, nuts and bolts, agricultural equipment and other applications.
A group of senior managers backed by a Toronto investment firm took ownership of the company in 1985. In 1993, the company was bought by U.S. businessman Michael Pitterich, and became Union Drawn Steel II.