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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing and Manufacturing 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

The Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing and Manufacturing Company was incorporated in April 1898 with financial backing from a number of Winnipeg professionals and businessmen. A site near Lac du Bonnet that had promising clay deposits was chosen and custom brick-making machinery for the manufacture of high-quality bricks was ordered from eastern Canada and the United States. The brick factory was designed to produce dry, pressed, and vitrified brick, in addition to terra cotta sewer pipe and drain tiles. In 1899, buildings were erected on the yard site for the employees and horses, and a saw mill was added to provide lumber for the main building, drying sheds, and engine houses. The company produced red, pink, buff and white coloured bricks, as well as vitrified brick. By July 1902, the plant was producing 40,000 to 50,000 bricks per day of pressed and mud brick. Their 50-ton presses produced hard, beautifully molded bricks and their huge, circular kilns were banded with iron straps to keep them from cracking during heating.

In 1901, the company was purchased by John D. McArthur yet, despite the brick yard’s continued success, its Letter Patent of Incorporation was cancelled in 1912. The company survived and was still in business in 1919, employing 50 men and making use of a steam engine, which was fed by a 2,500-gallon water reservoir to power the complex. Bricks from the facility were shipped to many other parts of Manitoba, including to Manitou where they were used to build Wooton’s new business block. In 1905, the Winnipeg General Power Company ordered 300,000 bricks for their Power Site No. 1 camp. The brick yard remained one of the few in western Canada to survive the building downturn and employee shortages of the First World War.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant (Lac du Bonnet)


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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