P187_B.01.23 | Milk pasteurizing plant

Milk pasteurizing plant
1933, 20th century
Ink on paper
14 x 18 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Industry (942) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Compulsory pasteurization led to a restructuring of the milk trade in Montreal and to the modernization of milk-processing plants. For most small independent dairies, buying a pasteurizer and the other equipment required for a modern, sanitary dairy operation was extremely expensive. Faced with the threat of being eliminated by the competition, many smaller operators pooled their capital. This trend gave rise to companies such as the Ferme St-Laurent and the Laiterie canadienne; farmers also founded new dairy co operatives. This restructuring had little effect on the big Montreal dairies. They already enjoyed a significant competitive edge and took advantage of the economic boom from 1925 to 1929 to make major improvements to their facilities. The Guaranteed Pure Milk Company, the Elmhurst Dairy and the Montreal Dairy invested in new plants that were some of the most advanced in Canada.

  • What

    This photograph shows the pasteurization room equipment of the new Guaranteed Pure Milk Company facility built on De l'Aqueduc Street (now Lucien Lallier) in 1929-30.

  • Where

    Montrealers could easily spot the location of the plant thanks to the huge water tower, in the shape of a quart milk bottle, that the company erected on the roof of the building. Today it is still part of the skyline.

  • When

    In the early 1930s, the Guaranteed Pure Milk Company employed a work force of 350 and processed over 40 million pounds of milk a year.

  • Who

    George Hogg (1865-1948), the founding chairman of the Guaranteed Pure Milk Company, took a keen interest in municipal politics. Elected to the Westmount municipal council in 1920, he became that city's mayor in 1926.