This building sits beside the buildings in the previous photos.
The Canada Hair Cloth Company
Hugh and James McSloy established the Canada Hair Cloth Company in 1884. The site was ideal because it was next to a mill-race where water wheels provided the power to run the machines. Within a few years they bought an electrical generator which used the mill wheel as its turbine making it the first company in St. Catharines to use electricity.
The Canada Hair Cloth business stayed in the family until sold in 1996.The factory made fabric for train seats, parachute silk, men's suit linings and manufactured durable cloth out of horse and/or goat hair over the course of its 123 year history.
The Welland Canal was the first Canadian canal built for both transportation and waterpower (1824–1833). St. Catharines was one of the main water-powered industrial centers along the canal. Remains of the raceways can still be seen behind the Canada Hair Cloth building and the name Race Street reminds us of the city’s hydraulic heritage.
Brock Univeristy intends to refurbish the factory as a home for its school of fine and performing arts. If the $97-million plan comes to fruition, a 900 seat concert hall, a dance venue, a studio theatre, cinema and cabaret hall would all join the school in an arts district for a city of just 132,000 people.