St. Catharines GM Powertrain Factory – Ontario Street

The former GM Powertrain Plant located St. Catharines originally was McKinnon Dash & Metal Works Limited which moved their operations to the Ontario Street site in 1901.  The company originally made carriages & wagons but decided to expand into manufacturing metal pieces for the carriages.  After the first world war, McKinnon decided on manufacturing automobiles.  Roughly 10 years later McKinnon Dash & Metal Works was purchased by General Motors & became a subsidiary of the enormous company.   Production flourished for the next several decades however during the 1970's layoffs began as the industry in the city began to decline.  Finally in 2010 the plant ended all operations & was sold to a developer in 2015 who began demolition the next year.

My first visit to the plat took place in July of 2015 with my good friend Freaktography.   We met early at a nearby parking lot eager to check out what was sure to be an incredible explore.   We went around back of the plant passing a camera hoping it was unmonitored & slipped under a fence.  This first build we entered was the foundry which was big & filthy & incredible.

From there we moved on to what I assume to be a machine shop that still had plenty of equipment left inside.  It appeared that the owners had an auction in an attempt to make a little extra cash before scrapping everything!

The next area we visited was a large & mostly empty area.  There was still some equipment left but certainly not a lot.  It seemed to me like it was a staging/storage area with some manufacturing being done there.  Perhaps a finishing area.  If you know I would certainly appreciate any comments so I can better understand the full layout of this place!

Then it was on to the water treatment plant.  This building was so cool!  I absolutely loved the control room!  If I remember correctly, this was one of the first buildings to be demolished.  Now, there was still plenty of plant left to explore however it was across the street which wasn't a big deal aside from the fact security was also in that building!  We had to make our way through an underground tunnel, into the eastern buildings while being undetected!  Naturally we accomplished this feat!

Now this area was absolutely EPIC!  So much industrial equipment!  Any true explorer would absolutely be in heaven here & I certainly was.  So much so that I revisited the plant 4 or 5 times over the next few months as I just couldn't get enough of it!  plus, it was huge & took a heck of a long time to explore every inch of it, but I am happy to say I did!

8 thoughts on “St. Catharines GM Powertrain Factory – Ontario Street”

  1. General Motors – promise the world , take government handouts , then screw the workers – smoke and mirrors , lies lies lies – i know , i worked for them for 30 yrs
    bbw ,

  2. My dad worked up on the second floor at the corner in the tool room for 35 years. I lost him a year and a half ago, everytime I drive down Ontario St, I sad…..

  3. It’s really sad to see as I knew quite a few employees but as a resident of the city I really appreciate the look inside. Thank you!

  4. It’s really sad to see as I used to know a few employees but as a resident of the city I really appreciate the look inside. Thank you

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