FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF CANADA, LIMITED
Accession Number 97-002
Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited was founded in 1904 for the purpose of manufacturing and selling Ford automobiles in Canada and the British Empire. The Ford Motor Company in Detroit transferred the patent and selling rights to the Walkerville Wagon Company, in order to avoid the tariff rates for non-British Empire countries. The Company was originally known as the Walkerville Wagon Works, and was located in Walkerville, Ontario (now incorporated within Windsor, Ontario). The Company President Gordon McGregor convinced a group of investors to invest in Henry Ford's new automobile, which was being produced across the river in Detroit.
On August 17, 1904, the Ford Motor Company was founded in Walkerville, Ontario. The Company had gained all Ford patent rights and selling privileges to all parts of the British Empire, except Great Britain and Ireland. The Model C, the first car to be produced in Canada, rolled out of the factory in late September 1904. The Company could produce two cars at a time and in its first full year of production, the Company was able to produce 117 automobiles. The Company's first export sales were to Calcutta, India. The Company continued to grow and prosper and is still an important manufacturing enterprise in Windsor, as well as the rest of the country.
With the growth in car sales after World War II, Ford of Canada decided to move its head office and build a new assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario. The new Oakville assembly plant was opened in 1953. In order to meet ever increasing demand, the Company opened a new assembly plant in Talbotville, Ontario in 1967.
The Ford of Canada papers are a rich resource for research into the founding of Canada's automotive identity and a valuable source of historic information for a variety of people, including local, legal and business historians, as well as those with a general interest in automobiles. The scope of the collection includes account balances, cheques, customs drawback claims, expense accounts, general ledgers, invoice accounts, monthly statements, notes falling due, parts ledgers, patents, payroll and customs rulings and costs. Researchers who are interested in consulting other sources of information on the history of Ford Motor Company and Ford of Canada are encouraged to visit the Ford of Canada and the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village web sites.