R. Home Smith | king developer of the Humber Valley.

Toronto was R. Home Smith.  In residential development of large areas along Toronto’s Humber Valley. Smith was in contact with most of the financial titans of Britain and North America.

He had also served as a harbour commissioner since 1911, so that the sale of the British Forgings plant was a matter of more than passing concern. It proved to be a greater challenge than initially anticipated, but perseverance eventually paid off when a Welsh firm, Baldwins Limited, agreed in May 1919 to take over the site in an attempt to recapture the Canadian sheet steel and tin plate market that had been lost by Britain to the United States during the war.

The venture was unsuccessful, and the plant was leveled in the 1920s to make way for the tanks of the McColl-Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd., the predecessor of Texaco Canada Inc. The once-impressive plant would soon be remembered only by a local road named Munitions Street, but for two brief years it was the central fixture in the development of Toronto’s eastern waterfront

By 1900, at least three shipyards were producing steel-hulled vessels along the central waterfront, and prospects looked good for continued growth as orders were steadily arriving from Canadian and international sources.


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