Canada Bread breaks ground for mega bakery

June 24, 2010   by PLANT STAFF

Officials break ground for Canada’s largest bakery in Hamilton. (L-R): Rory McAlpine, vice-president of government affairs, Maple Leaf Foods; Richard Koroscil, president, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Fred Eisenberger; Barry McLean, president, Canada Bread Fresh Bakery; David Sweet, MP Hamilton West; Councillor Tom Jackson, Ward 6; Councillor David Mitchell, Ward 11; and David Christopherson, MP Hamilton Centre.

Photo: Canada Bread

HAMILTON: Canada Bread Co. Ltd. has turned the first shovel-full of dirt at the site of its new mega-bakery in Hamilton. The company, a Maple Leaf Foods Inc. company, is spending $100-million on the land, building and equipment for what will be Canada’s largest bakery.

The official ground breaking for the 375,000 square-foot facility was held June 23 at a 10-hectare site in the city’s Red Hill Business Park, marking the beginning of the construction phase, which the company said should take about 12 months and create about 110 to 120 jobs. The bakery itself will provide work for 300.

Three of the company’s smaller Toronto area bakeries deemed too small to expand will be closed and 435 workers will be affected, but they will have an opportunity find placements at the new bakery and other Canada Bread facilities, or at Maple Leaf Foods operations.

Canada Bread spokesperson Rachael Douglas said the Hamilton operation will serve “a large area of Ontario and beyond,” producing the company’s full line of Dempster’s breads and other bakery products.

Production will start up by July 2011 with remaining lines phasing in over the next 18 months as operations at the three Toronto plants wind down. The first bakery will close in late-2011, the next in early 2012 and the third in early 2013.

Canada Bread makes white, whole wheat and whole grain bread, rolls, bagels, and artisan breads as well as frozen unbaked, partially baked and fully baked products.

Sales in 2009 were $1.7 billion and the company employs approximately 8,000 people at its operations across North America and in the UK.

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