Throwback Thursday: The Canada Packers Plant Chimney Stack

As Originally Seen in the Alberta Construction Magazine Winter 2015 Edition:



When the Canada Packers Plant in Edmonton opened its doors in September 1936, many welcomed the job opportunities it brought during the Great Depression. Both Premier William Aberhart and Edmonton Mayor Joseph Clarke attended the official opening of the meat plant on Nov. 4, 1936.

The building was heralded as an outstanding example of International Modernist style, and the architects received a Gold Medal of Merit from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Ontario Association of Architects. Bird Construction completed the construction, employing more than 400 tradespeople at the peak of the project.

The complex included a power plant, a refrigeration plant, an abattoir, a laboratory for quality and safety testing, a vegetable oil refinery, as well as facilities for curing hides and smoking and pickling meats. Three Babcock & Wilcox natural gas-fired boilers fed the 30-metre-high terracotta chimney stack-the feature that became a landmark.

The chimney stack still stands today, 20 years after the demolition of the facility. In 2015, the City of Edmonton formally designated the Canada Packers chimney stack as a Municipal Historic Resource. Located on the site of the future North East Transit Garage, the stack will be a centrepiece on the site, with a small public park and interpretative area around its base.

Restoration work is underway to expose the concrete foundations in and around the base of the stack. The next phase involves the restoration of the terracotta tiles as well as repairs to the mortar. Restorative work will also be done on the concrete cap at the top of the stack. The cost of the restoration work will exceed $530,000.
Throwback Thursday: The Canada Packers Plant Chimney Stack : News & Media : Bird Construction