For more than 100 years, steel fabrication has been significant to the industrial growth and development of Canada. The historical account of TIW parallels this trend and the Company’s past and early development has close ties with Canadian industry in its many and varied fields.
Originating as one of the pioneers in the Canadian petroleum industry, as demand increased, TIW steadily broadened its capabilities to meet the specialized requirements of many other industries including natural gas, steel, mining, chemical, pulp and paper, energy and more.
1907 – INCEPTION
Originally known as Toronto Iron Works Ltd., TIW was founded in 1907 by Albert Leroy Ellsworth with the purpose of supplying the growing need for large steel containers and fabricated steel plate work. These materials stored the products of the petroleum and chemical industries, which were in their infancy at the time.
A year earlier, Ellsworth had founded the British American Oil Company (now Gulf Canada). Unhappy with the services provided by existing limited suppliers of tankage and pressure vessels, he founded TIW to supply his oil company’s requirements and compete among the best in this expanding field.
Founder, Albert Leroy Ellsworth…
Was born in Welland, Ontario, on July 2, 1876, the son of George Alfred Ellsworth and Elizabeth Foster.
Attended Welland public and high schools and concentrated on a business course that fitted him for a statistician’s post with the Standard Oil Company at Buffalo. Was headed for the legal profession, but the oil business held more appeal.
Would explain his habit of working at night as well as during the day with the philosophy: “I don’t know what others have in mind, but I’m determined to make something of myself.”
Was associated with several companies among them the Toronto Pipe Line Co., Texas; Fess Oil Burners of Canada, Clear Vision Pump Co., Service Station Equipment Co., and United Utilities and Service Corps.
Became a director of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Chartered Trust Co., Noranda Mines and Industrial Metal Industries Ltd.
An ardent sportsman, became a director of the Maple Leaf Gardens and a member of the Ontario Jockey and Toronto Skating Clubs. He belonged to the Lambton, Granite, York, National, Empire and Canadian Clubs and he contributed generously to a number of philanthropies.
1914 – WWI INCREASED DEMAND
The First World War proved to be a challenge for the budding company in terms of having enough space to manufacture all of its products and fulfill a deluge of orders. A plant reorganization and expansion allowed it to address emergency demands.
1929 – MOVE TO 629 EASTERN AVENUE
The company moved from the original plant at Cherry and Keating Streets to a large modern plant located in Toronto on the south side of Eastern Ave, at the foot of Pape Ave.
The original plant had been built on reclaimed land, which was not suitable for expansions or additional equipment as pilings had to be driven to bedrock approximately 40 feet down, and excavations always turned up many interesting “artifacts”.
TIW Growth and Expansion
From its beginning, TIW was a steel platework shop, specializing in the preparation of knocked-down tank components, for erection by TIW’s field crews across all of Eastern Canada. In shop built work, TIW’s activities were focused on pressure vessels, including processing towers and columns, autoclaves with quick opening doors, brick lined steel ladles, shop built packaged steam boilers, steam accumulators as well as shop-built tanks and pressure “bullets” (propane and butane storage tanks).
1939 – 1945 – STEEL PRODUCTION FOR WORLD WAR II
TIW concentrated its efforts on the production of equipment for industries producing munitions, chemicals and other types of war material to equip the services.
Some key individuals emerged, including Thomas Rahleigh, the early and long-standing initial General Manager. His personal Secretary was a likeable young Irish fellow, Bill Hearne, who eventually became TIW’s highly esteemed Sales Manager.
1957 – ACQUISITIONS & EXPANSIONS
George Eric Ellsworth (son of the original founder) led TIW as private owner and President. Benton Dixon was the General Manager. TIW made and acquisition of two industry-related companies.
A medium-sized structural steel fabricator located in Trenton Ontario. Then under the general management of Mr. Mac Cameron.
In partnership with Pullman Kellogg, TIW Acquired 51% interest in TIW Western, a shop of boilermakers and pipefitters fabricating platework and pipes along with hot bending. They operated a maintenance labour supply agency, supplying AFL tradesman to several refinery and chemical plants in the expanding petrochemical industrial district in East Edmonton. TIW Western operated under the general management of Mr. Palmer Lockhart.
EARLY 1960’S – GEOGRAPHIC & MARKET EXPANSION
In the field, TIW was still primarily involved in tankage and other field-erected platework, supported from the Toronto plant. By this time, the company was building open-top floating roof storage tanks.
Under the construction management and leadership of Mr. Gerry Carr, TIW was emerging as a major player in Canadian field-erected platework including entry into the Western Canadian tankage and field erected vessel market. The latter included the giant new Crude and Vacuum fractionating towers for IOL’s major Strathcona refinery expansion in East Edmonton.
In the early 1960’s TIW also entered the nuclear equipment field, acquiring one of the first ASME “N” authorizations in Canada, and supplying prototype heavy water boiler HEx’s to Chalk River, moderator HEx’s and air locks to the Bruce (Douglas Point) GS, and moderator HEx’s to Pickering GS.
In the early 1960’s, under G/M Benton Dixon’s leadership, TIW also developed two additional subsidiaries:
Stran Steel Canada
Turnkey design/supply/construction of pre-engineered steel buildings, under a franchise arrangement with Stran Steel US (competitors of Butler Buildings).
Stran utilized TIW and Central Bridge plant facilities for shop fabrication and this service was subsequently moved to its own plant in Richmond Hill.
The shop fabrication for Stran was originally worked on in the TIW and Central Bridge plants, but was subsequently moved to its own plant in Richmond Hill.
A high-volume producer of medium-to-large diameter spiral-welded steel pipe, under another franchise arrangement with Driam International.
This subsidiary originally got off the ground by producing medium-sized pipe with a production line located in TIW’s Eastern Avenue plant, before moving to its own plant in West Toronto (Long Branch).
MID 1960’S – PIONEERED DEVELOPMENT
TIW pioneered the development of covered floating roof storage tanks in Canada and developed capabilities in a wider range of field-erected platework products, such as elevated water tanks, spheres, penstocks and dry seal gas holders.
Along with shop built pressure vessels, under leadership of Mr. Stu Kerby, Anthony Sheedy and Bhana Mistry, TIW added the design, fabrication and supply of shell-and-tube heat exchangers, waste heat boilers and sulphur condensers.
Under leadership of Mr. P.J. Tanner, TIW pioneered the design of large diameter self-supporting roofs for tanks.
TIW owned and operated a large stress relieving furnace for welded components.
Stress Relieving Furnace
Covered Floating Roof Tanks
Open Top Floating Roof Tanks
Dry Seal Gasholder
Hydro Electric Penstocks
1967 – WIMCO STEEL OWNERSHIP
Eric Ellsworth, the son of the founder and TIW’s 2nd President retired and sold TIW and its group of companies to Wimco Steel Sales Ltd., a Toronto-based company privately owned by the Wortsman family. Wimco was primarily a sheet steel warehouser and processor. They were also in the process of developing another subsidiary, Continuous Colorcoat Ltd., (a producer of pre-painted steel sheet), in collaboration with Algoma Steel, and in competition to Baycoat, the joint venture of Stelco and Dofasco.
Under Wimco, TIW modernized and expanded its Eastern Ave offices, building a large new fabrication bay in its Toronto plant, and acquired an adjacent property occupied by a small shut-down CIL chemical plant.
Wimco named Mr. Larry Wright as president and General Manager of TIW.
1968 – REORGANIZATION
TIW sold off the Stran Steel franchise, and the Driam spiral-weld pipe plant was closed down and abandoned.
At this time, Gerry Carr and Stew Kerby became Co-managers of TIW. Mac Cameron remained as General Manager of Central Bridge.
1971 – EARLY ADOPTERS OF TECHNOLOGY
TIW acquired a main frame computer and created an IT department, supporting 32 terminals that computerized finance, payroll, production planning, scheduling and product design services.
Early Adopters of Technology
Historical Glimpse: Administration
Historical Glimpse: Drafting Department
1973 – LARGEST TANKAGE CONTRACT IN CANADIAN HISTORY
A Major Breakthrough for TIW
In the midst of a difficult economic season, we had a major breakthrough.
With the financial backing of the banks and some good rapport with our client on the part of Gerry Carr and Construction Products Sales Manager, Jack Warner, TIW secured a contract for the entire tank farm for the new grass-roots Gulf refinery and terminal at Point Tupper, on the Canso strait in Nova Scotia.
This was identified as the largest tankage contract in Canadian History in its time.
1974 – TIW GOES PUBLIC – WARNOCK HERSEY INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP
With the success of recent projects and a growing pipeline of contacts, TIW was purchased by the Warnock Hersey International (WHI) Group (who subsequently changed their name to “TIW Industries Ltd.” later in 1978). They were a conglomerate of various publicly traded companies, that controlled and operated a wide range of businesses across Canada.
With many diverse industries served, Mr. Walter Morris presided over the metals companies as Group Vice-president. The remainder of TIW’s executives, Central Bridge’s officers, and other key employees remained more or less unchanged, with the exception of Gerry Carr, who was nearing retirement, relinquished his Co-manager status. Stew Kerby became TIW’s sole General Manager.
1975 – LARGEST ‘HOT’ TANKS IN THE WORLD
TIW constructed the four 288 ft diameter, “hot” (400°F) bitumen tanks at a giant oil sands processing plant in Western Canada.
The tanks were designed to the API 650 standard with column supported cone roofs. At that time they were reputed to be the largest “hot” tanks in the world.
As shown in the picture, when the upgrader expansion was built, TIW again provided the largest oil storage tankage for the project
288′ x 48′ High, API 650 Column Supported Cone Roof Hot (400°F) Bitumen Storage Tanks
1976 – ACQUISITION OF C.E MACPHERSON AND CK STEEL
Under Walter Morris’s vice presidency, the TIW Metals Group grew and acquired:
A vessel head producer/specialist company in Kingston, Ontario. General Manager Mr. Bob McIntyre, was subsequently succeeded by his brother, Dave.
CK Steel & Machinery Ltd.:
A relatively small structural steel and heat exchanger designer/fabricator, located in north Calgary, was purchased 1976/77, and eventually became the present-day TIW Western.
1977 – TIW INDUSTRIES LTD.
In late December of 1977, TIW’s parent company, Warnock Hersey International Ltd. amalgamated with International Bronze Powders Ltd. and Toronto Iron Works Holdings Ltd. to form TIW Industries Ltd.
148156 Warnock Hersey International Limited
120367 International Bronze Powders Limited
260509 Wimco Steel Sales Co. Limited
260479 C.E. Macpherson (1968) Limited
260495 Toronto Iron Works Holdings Limited
260487 TIW Industries Ltd.
1978 – STEAM GENERATOR ADVANCEMENTS
TIW Metals group VP Walter Morris and General Manager Stew Kerby negotiated a license agreement and technology transfer agreement with US-based Struthers-Thermoflood and their Struthers-Wells parent, for the design, supply and field servicing of high pressure wet steam oilfield steam generators, starting initially in CK Steel’s North Calgary plant. Initially, a newly-formed joint venture company named Struthers-TIW handled the sales/design/servicing functions, with the fabrication “sub- contracted” to the wholly TIW-owned CK Steel.
1979 – REORGANIZATION
Stew Kerby moved to Calgary and took over the management of both Struthers-TIW and CK Steel. Mac Cameron transferred from Central Bridge to replace Stew as General Manager of TIW in Toronto.
1980 – TIW WESTERN GROWS HEAT EXCHANGER MARKET
The TIW Western group phased out of structural steel, increased its share of the heat exchanger market, began to make serious inroads into the oilfield steam generator market, and moved into a large new plant on 8 acres of land in the Foothills Industrial district in southeast Calgary. The shop was built specifically in response to clients’ predictions of market demand to manufacture mega sized OTSG units fabricated to 580 MM Btu/hr.
1982 – CELEBRATING 75 YEARS
TIW Celebrates 75 years of specializing in the supply of large steel tanks and fabricated steel platework with a reputation for quality and performance.
As demands increased, TIW steadily broadened its capabilities to meet the specialized requirements of many other industries, including petroleum, natural gas, steel, mining, chemical, pulp and paper, energy and food.
1983 – TIW IS PRIVATELY OWNED BY CANERECTOR INC.
Under the leadership of Cecil Hawkins, Canerector Inc. acquired the TIW metals group of companies. After 16 years on the public market, TIW was once again a privately owned company.
The TIW metals group included three businesses that Cecil restructured as independent operating divisions of Canerector Inc.
C E Macphereson: They were based in Kingston, and were one of three companies in their area who made pressure vessel heads.
C K Steel: A Calgary based company who made oilfield steam generators, which produce steam to inject in the oil sands to liquefy underground bitumen in order to pump it to the surface. C K Steel was renamed to TIW Western.
TIW: Then known as ‘Toronto Iron Works’ fabricated vessels and other heavy platework and specialized in all sizes of field erected storage tanks.
CANERECTOR INC. HISTORY
1947 – Canadian Erectors Limited was founded by 3 partners and began as a small boiler field repair business in Montreal, Canada, then eventually expanded to include engineering and fabrication of structural steel and field erected storage tanks.
1978 – Canadian Erectors became a family business when Stan Hawkins, one of the original shareholders, and his son Cecil, purchased the partners’ shares.
1982 – Stan Hawkins, the original founder, stepped down as President after 22 years and passed the reins on to his son, Cecil.
1983 – Canerector made its first major acquisition, a national platework company with three divisions which set the company on the path to becoming the multidivisional company it is today.
For more information on Canerector Inc. goto www.canerector.com
1985 – LARGE ALUMINA SILOS PROJECT
TIW obtained a huge order for alumina silos for an aluminum smelter in Becancour, Quebec. This marked the first project where the field personnel of “Canadian Erectors” and “TIW” worked hand in hand, successfully completing the project.
We Specialize in Bulk Sized Structures
Large Diameter Stiffened Alumina Silos
Large Diameter Silos Project
Aerial View Alumina Silos
1987 – TORONTO REAL ESTATE SOLD
To mitigate inefficiencies and overhead costs, TIW sold its Toronto real estate, and continued to utilize a small portion of the Toronto plant and offices under a lease agreement with a deadline to relocate to another facility by 1990.
Later on in the year a 200,000 square foot facility located in St. Catharines, Ontario was purchased by Canerector Inc. TIW’s plate burning and rolling equipment would be transferred from the Toronto plant to this new location in a few years. The plant would be geared towards plate preparation for field erected structures.
1990 – RELOCATION & RESTRUCTURING
All shop equipment relating to field erected tanks, vessels and structures was relocated from the previous Toronto plant to the new 200,000 square foot 23 Smith Street facility in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Under the guidance of Canerector President, Cecil Hawkins, this relocation facilitated a bold change in product line, abandoning small shop-fabricated vessels, and utilizing the new space for the fabrication of field erected plate preparation. The new plant layout was carefully designed to support large volumes of production and to efficiently supply processed material to simultaneous field projects sites.
TIW streamlined its focus to products requiring field erection. This included tanks, silos, spheres, penstocks, stacks, and more.
See our new facilities and a full list of current products and services offered.
Fabrication Facilities ● All Products and Services
2000 – LARGE INTERNATIONAL SPHERES PROJECT
TIW handled the Design, fabrication and field erection of eighteen 63.5′ diameter LPG storage spheres for a propane/butane distribution terminal in San Jose, Guatemala.
The project also included an AWWA D-100 Firewater Tank (center).
Export of Sphere Plates and Components by Ship
Pre-Fabricated Sphere Plate Components
LPG Spheres Field Construction
63′ 6″ Diameter ASME LPG Spheres
LPG Spheres Construction
LPG Spheres Insulation
Eighteen Insulated LPG Spheres Completion
2002 – TURNKEY PROJECT IN MONTREAL
From greenfield to completion, we delivered design, fabrication, foundation, construction, field erection, piping and coating to a pipelines customer in Quebec. The tanks consisted of two 220’ in diameter by 56’ tall, API 650 tanks with column-supported roofs.
Turnkey Project for Three 220′ x 56′ High API Tanks
2007 – 100 YEARS ANNIVERSARY & INCORPORATION
Celebrating 100 years of supplying design, fabrication, construction and distribution of tankage, process vessels, and related equipment to clients throughout Canada and Internationally.
On December 7,2007, TIW was incorporated as an independently operating company, changing its name slightly from TIW Steel Platework – A Division of Canadian Erectors Ltd.’ to ‘TIW Steel Platework Inc.’ Incorporation Number 002156929
2007 – PLANT UPGRADES & EXPANSION
With an increase in project volume, we made significant investments in our processing plant. Some major upgrades included replacement CNC burn tables and plant expansion, managed by our internal expertise.
Plant Expatiation Structural Work
CNC Plasma (Nested Parts) Burn Table 2
CNC Plasma (Nested Parts) Burn Table 2
Take an interactive tour of our 200,000 sq ft processing plant
19 Tank Project
2008 – A MAJOR CONTRACT OF SEVERAL LARGE DIAMETER TANKS
Enbridge Hardisty HCT Project
TIW served as the primary tank contractor on this 19-tank, $600 million project that expanded Enbridge’s Hardisty Contract Storage facility in order to meet customer demand, allowing it to hold 12.5 MMbl, which equates to five full days of Canada’s total crude oil production. Each tank stood between three and four storeys high, with 250 feet across-range in capacity (250,000 to 530,000 barrels, or bbl, apiece). Eighteen vessels were used for crude storage, while one was used for diluent. We supplied steel in rolled sections that were assembled in the field, with construction taking place on six tanks at a time.
Read more about this project…
API 650 Open Top Floater
Safety. Quality. Execution
Aerial Large-Scale Multi-Tank Project
Aerial Large-Scale Multi-Tank Project
2010 – NEW WESTERN FACILITY
Moving from its existing Edmonton office, TIW expands to a larger 23,000 sq ft facility on a four-acre lot in Nisku, Alberta to serve the Western Canada marketplace, providing office space for sales, conferences, meetings and routine training as well as a home office where western Project and Construction personnel are based.
Read more about our Western Nisku Office
TIW Western Branch
2017 – CONTINENT’S LARGEST STAINLESS STEEL TANK
TIW was awarded the contract to engineer, fabricate and erect one 150’ x 39’ Stainless Steel Urea Ammonium Nitrate Storage Tank. The tank is designed to the API 650 Standard, with a column supported cone roof. This is presently the largest stainless steel tank in North America to date.
Read more about this project…
150’ x 39’ Stainless Tank
Largest Stainless Tank in North America
Second Course Field Welding Equipment
150’ x 39’ Stainless Column Supported Cone Roof
API 650 Urea Ammonium Nitrate Stainless Storage Tank
150’ x 39’ Stainless Column Supported Cone Roof
150’ x 39’ Stainless Steel UAN Storage Tank Construction in Progress Aerial
150’ x 39’ Stainless Steel UAN Storage Tank Construction in Progress
API 650 Urea Ammonium Nitrate Stainless Storage Tank
tel: (905) 684-9421 fax: (905) 684-7310 email: email@example.com
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