The Wheat and Flour Industry at the Lachine Canal
Lachine Canal National Historic Site
From the 1850s onwards, the grain and flour industry marked the landscape of the Lachine Canal. If the canal is dotted with flour mills from the locks of Côte-Saint-Paul to those of Montréal, it is along the banks of Reach No. 2 that we find both companies dedicated to storing wheat and flour and others that grind the wheat into flour.
Nicknamed the Montréal terminus, this sector of the Lachine Canal even contributed to making the country's industrial metropolis the largest grain port in North America in the 1920s. With the closure of Montréal Warehousing in the 1930s and Silo No. 5 in 1994, activities strictly devoted to warehousing and transshipment ceased completely at the Montréal terminus.
As for the mills, the hazards specific to this industry (concentration, restructuring, bankruptcy, etc.) meant that only the ADM (Five Roses Flour) and P&H Milling Group mills remained active in 2021, one along Reach No. 2 and the other near the Wellington Basin. In addition, Ardent Mills (Robin Hood) is located upstream of the Saint-Gabriel Locks.
In collaboration with the Laboratoire d’histoire et de Patrimoine de Montréal of the UQAM, Parks Canada has made an inventory of the buildings related to the wheat and flour sector, between 1880 and 1964, from the locks of Montréal (Old Port) to those of Saint-Gabriel.
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