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Steam Whistle from Canadian Industries Limited

Contribution du public
Nobel, Ontario
20th Century
Matériaux et techniques
Bronze; Metalwork
Numéro d'identification
West Parry Sound District Museum 2014.010.001
This steam whistle would have been placed on the roof of the Canadian Industries Limited (C. I. L.) Steam Plant in Nobel, Ontario. It was blown everyday to signal the beginning and ending of shifts, the lunch hour and emergencies. The steam whistle became an iconic symbol of the plant as well as the community that lived there, being considered the voice of Nobel.

The growth of Nobel began in July of 1912 when representatives of Canadian Explosives Limited (C. X. L.) sought out a location for the construction of a gelatin explosives plant. They selected Ambo (now called Nobel after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite) just northeast of Parry Sound on Georgian Bay. The 5,000 acre site was considered ideal because mining towns to the north and the imminent construction of the Georgian Bay Canal would provide a large market for explosives.

The construction of the plant and accompanying village was completed in 1914 and by 1916, because of increasing employee numbers, a larger village was established. This village included 26 homes, a bowling alley, ball field, rifle range, club house and recreation center with docks. During World War II, more homes were added to accommodate Defense Industries Limited workers who ran the plant on the east side of the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. Although somewhat isolated, the town of Nobel developed as a family-oriented community. The town had its own hospital, fire department, school and community center; as well as hydro, telephone and sewage services. Parry Sounders recall going to Nobel to see films, bowl, skate and dance.


Today, the site of the old C. I. L. plant and village remain vacant. The facilities once frequented by residents and visitors alike were demolished, along with the various plant buildings. The only reminder individuals today have of this once bustling town are collective memories and photographs.

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  • Logo de la Fondation pétrolière impériale, nom accompagné du symbole ovale caractéristique Esso.

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