Not far from the ION Borden station, you will travel by a once-iconic landmark, known for a logo with a smiling young Dutch girl in a bonnet. The landmark is now gone, but memories still linger in our supermarket aisles.
Located at the intersection of Courtland and Borden, the J.M. Schneider Company was founded in 1890 by John Metz Schneider. The origins of the company date back to 1886, when J.M. was sidelined by a hand injury and unable to work at the Dominion Button Works. He and wife, Helena, started a home-based sausage making venture, which later grew into a small factory built on land beside his house at 55 Courtland Avenue East, near Benton. The family eventually moved to 379 Queen St. S, sometime after 1912.
Having outgrown the original meat packing plant, a new and larger facility was built at 321 Courtland Avenue. It opened in 1925. The 1937 image above shows the shipping department and employees packing Schneider’s famous sausages.
Despite several changes in ownership over the years, Schneiders maintained their local character and focus. Many generations of Kitchener-Waterloo families worked there over the years. Plans for the plant’s closure were announced in 2011 by parent company, Maple Leaf Foods. The final shift of work was completed on Friday 26 February 2015, closing the chapter on a 125-year run of meat production under the Schneider name.
Demolition of the Courtland Avenue plant was completed this spring to make way for a new community and mixed development space.
This is post 16 of 19 in the Stories That Move You series.
Stories that Move You is a Kitchener Public Library project that celebrates the launch of ION service with curated collections of reads, music, audio, learning resources, and local history to help people make the most of an unique window of time during their public transit ride.