Starting with a stall where he sold cured ham and bacon in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market just after his arrival in 1854, entrepreneur William Davies expanded his business to a building on Front Street. From that location, workers shipped millions of pounds of pork cured in salt to Britain, annually.
An expansion in 1879 relocated the company to the south side of Front Street at the Don River, and made it the second-largest pork processing facility in North America, earning Toronto its nickname, “Hogtown.”
Though cleared of any wrongdoing by a Royal Commission, the Davies Company was accused of profiteering and fraudulent meat curing during the First World War. In 1927, it merged with Harris Abbatoir Company and Gunns Limited to form Canada Packers, the largest meat packing and processing company in Canada.
Since 1991, it has been known as Maple Leaf Foods, and many of its workers are represented by UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers).