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Ritchie and Ramsey Paper Mills

May 25, 2020 (0) comment

The Ritchie and Ramsey Company was located at 114 Lakeshore Road, which would today be between Islington Avenue and 8th street. Below is a postcard of the mill (date unknown). The mill started as The Interior Wood Decorating Company, and was described as follows in the October 25th, 1890 edition of The Globe:

The commercial advantages of New Toronto are wonderful. Already there are ten factories established, including that of the Interior Decorating Company, with a capital stock of $25,000, almost all subscribed. Business will be commenced in a few days, and from one to two hundred men will be employed. Thos. Bryce of Bryce Bros., W.H. Essery, Mr. Parsons and Joseph Barrett are the principal members of this firm. The structure alone cost $10,500. The dimensions are 100 by 41 feet, with a wing 60 by 41 feet. It is a two-storey, solid brick building, and has an engine and boiler house in connection. Mr. Hugh Silver of Lindsay, Ont., is the inventor and patentee of the design for manufacturing interior decorations of wood in elaborate styles for residences. Numerous other lines of manufacture in the same article can be produced. The main secret is in the proper method of staining, pressing and preparing otherwise thin sheets of wood of the ordinary grade y which artistic patterns are formed in imitation of any expensive wood. They can be thus manufactured so as to appear like the real article. Further details are unnecessary. Mr. Thomas Bryce is one of the most active in pushing this enterprise. All further particulars can be obtained from Jr. Joseph Barrett, 18 Yonge Street Arcade.

Robert A. Given tells us that “in 1894 this facility [Interior Wood Decorating] was taken over by Ritchie and Ramsay who began producing coated papers for printers, coated boxboard for carton purposes, coated bristols and photo mount board mostly for printers, carton manufacturers and photographic stores. Ritchie & Ramsay required much water so a pump house was built by the lake. Smelly water was returned to the lake in a small stream. The plant moved to Georgetown in 1928”.


Below are two advertisements I was able to find for the company. The one on the left can be viewed at Montgomery’s Inn, corner of Dundas Street West and Islington Avenue, courtesy of Etobicoke Historical Society. The one on the right I found in a publication titled, “Diamond Jubilee of Confederation Celebration 1867-1927: Official Souvenir Program, City of Toronto”.

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