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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Canada Tile and Fireproofing Company

A directory of brick-making in Manitoba

A directory of block-making in Manitoba

People involved in brick and block-making in Manitoba

A glossary of terms relating to bricks and blocks

In December 1912, the Canada Tile and Fire Proofing Company Limited was incorporated as a manufacturer of brick at Carman. The owners of the business consisted of a number of Winnipeg businessmen. The plant was to be managed by A. E. Hilder and would be built in two phases; phase one had an estimated cost of $100,000 and would employ 40 to 50 men and the second phase would come when a plant expansion was needed in the future at a cost of $175,000 and would then employ 60 more men. There was no usable clay at this yard site in Carman so the firm's clay was brought in from Leary, some 18 miles away by train on a Canadian Northern Railway line. This yard site also relied upon a 20-acre piece of land on the outskirts of Carman for manufacturing materials that had to be brought into the town’s corporate limits in order to obtain water. This inconvenience was solved when the Carman Board of Trade raised enough money to buy this land from W. S. Glendenning in order to extend the town limits to include the 20 acres.

In May 1913, the plant was given a tax-free status for ten years and a huge, three-storey factory building was erected using several cars of bricks that were brought in from a different location. Six kilns were put up south of this building and a powerhouse with its 250-horsepower Corliss engine was located to the northwest of the building. By the middle of 1914, the plant closed due to financial struggles. In the autumn of 1916, the National Trust Company became trustees for the bond holders of the Canada Tile and Fire Proofing Company, which was in liquidation. By the spring of 1916, the company was $4,000 in arrears on their taxes because they failed to uphold their side of the contract and the town of Carman threatened to sell the property to pay off this debt.

The National Trust Company was still refusing to pay the taxes on the Canada Tile property in 1920 and, by 1922, the yard site appeared on the Tax Sale List. The conclusion of this plant’s story came in the autumn of 1923 when a Judicial Sale disposed of the company assets and the new owners, who were unnamed by the local news, announced that it was their intention to knock down the now ten-year-old complex. The town of Carman bought $1,000 worth of remaining brick from the new owners in order to rebuild the local power plant and also took demolition waste from the yard site to fill in the town’s streets.


Manitoba Brick Yards by Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch Report, May 2010.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 May 2020

Leary Brickworks

Manitoba Bricks and Blocks

A history of the manufacture of bricks and concrete blocks in Manitoba, based on research by Randy Rostecki for the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch and supplemented by information compiled by Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society. .

Bricks | Blocks | People | Glossary

We thank Hugh Arklie, Gordon McDiarmid, and Heather Bertnick for their help in the development of this online guide. Financial support of the Thomas Sill Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Additional information was provided by Ina Bramadat, David Butterfield, Neil Christoffersen, Frank Korvemaker, Ed Ledohowski, Ken Storie, Lynette Stow, and Tracey Winthrop-Meyers.

© 2010-2020
Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, Gordon Goldsborough, and Manitoba Historical Society.
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