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Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited, 1904-1971

Accession Number 97-002

Ford Motor Company of Canada Finding Aid (PDF 115 Kb)

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, originally known as the Walkerville Wagon Works, was located in Walkerville, Ontario (now incorporated within Windsor, Ontario). 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. In its first full year of production, the Company was produced 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 moved its head office and build a new assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario. The Oakville assembly plant opened in 1953. In order to meet ever increasing demand, the Company opened an 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 local, legal, and business historians, as well as those with a general interest in automobiles. The records were stored in the assembly plant of the Company in Windsor, Ontario, and transferred to the University of Windsor Archives in 1997. The collection was organized with respect to provenance and maintains the original filing structure.

Researchers 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 web sites.