Pictured here in 1948 is a stationary aggregate plant operated by Telephone City Gravel Supply Ltd. In Brantford, Ontario.
Started a few years earlier by local contractor Johnson Bros., the pit featured an excellent gravel deposit. This pit was surfaced mined for more than 70 years, providing aggregate to large projects such as the power plants at Niagara Falls and several major highways. Much of the aggregate was initially shipped by rail since a spur line ran right through the pit.
This excerpt from a 1980 Brant News article describes how this plant came about:
“The crushing plant was designed and built by C.J. Rooney, General Superintendent, at Johnson Bros. Finding the dealer price to be exorbitant they commissioned Rooney to build one for them. He constructed a well built, thoroughly efficient plant in production through the mid-1970s.”
The post-war years were tough to find, let alone, buy heavy equipment. Contractors bought war surplus trucks and equipment to augment their fleets. The tandem dump truck seen in front of the aggregate plant was one of those surplus chassis. Johnson Bros. had to fabricate a dump box in their shop due to scarce, used steel post-war.
The pit was recently rehabilitated for expansion of Brant County industrial land. However, current aggregate producers near Paris and Cambridge, Ontario are still working the Grand River Glacier deposit turning pit-run gravel into high quality aggregate in 2023!
The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) returns with two events in 20204, including Wheels & Tracks in June and the Last Blast event in October.
Both events are held at the Simcoe County Museum, near Barrie. To see more than 60 pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend. HCEA Canada is a proud Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum. Visit hceacanada.org for more information.