Toronto Rolling Mills was established in 1857 by Sir Casimir Gzowski. In its day, all the railway companies bought their iron rails from Toronto Rolling Mills. It provided employment to the poor people living in Corktown, mostly Irish immigrants with few skills who had fled to Toronto in the hope of finding a place in the world. Entire families found employment here. George Brown toured the works and wrote several articles about this enterprize from 1850 to 1860. By 1867, the mills had a staff of 300 men producing 20,000 tons of rails annually. The plant expanded to occupy several acres east of Cherry Street. The Bessemer process arrived in Canada in the 1870s and the demand for iron rails declined. Unlike other foundries, the Rolling Mills did not convert to steel production and in 1874, they were closed and the buildings demolished.
Early Industry at Mouth of Don River
For more information about Toronto Rolling Mills see “A Glimpse of Toronto’s History,” MPLS # 182. See also Sir Casimir Gzowski’s Hall.