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Location DB > Canada > Ontario > Nobel > Former CIL Munitions Plant
Former CIL Munitions Plant
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 Database Info
created by PhotoSeeker on 8/27/2008 3:30 AM
last modified by PhotoSeeker on 6/12/2009 1:06 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The only structures remaining here are a wooden support for several old transformers, and 3 storage sheds. It's a very pleasant walk on a nice day.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
Highway 69
Nobel, Ontario
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • rust
  •  Interesting Features
    Road remnants, old fencing, the remains of bunkers, old telephone / telegraph poles, etc.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1912
    Closed: 1984
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment
    camera, bug spray.
    In 1912, Mr. F. Lankford began buying land around the train station. Although the true purpose was kept secret, there were many rumours about the intended use of the land, including the construction of a major ranch, or a large goat farm. Once 5000 acres had been secured, it was announced that Canadian Explosives Limited (CXL) had been the purchaser and they were building a dynamite and gelatin production plant on the land.

    The site was well chosen. Mining operations were increasing to the north of Sudbury, the rail line was open from Toronto to Sudbury and on, water was accessible from Simmes Lake, and Georgian Bay would provide access for shipping. Parry Sound was close enough to provide a labour force, but far enough away to be protected from any possible explosion at the plant. Another factor was the talk of the possibility of a canal being built, connecting the Ottawa River to Georgian Bay. Building the canal would require explosives, and the company realized that if they were close to the proposed route, they would have a greater chance of being chosen as the company that would provide the explosives. The canal, however, was never built.

    By 1914 the plant was completed and producing dynamite, gelatin, and cordite. (Cordite is a gunpowder made from gun-cotton and nitroglycerine.) A village was started on company-owned land. Because the company owned the land, the town was not recognized as such. People living in the village paid rent to their landlord, CXL. The name of the town was changed from Ambo to Nobel, paying tribute to the inventor of dynamite, Swedish Scientist Alfred Bernard Nobel (1833-1896).

    The plant thrived during wartime. Between 1915 and 1918, a gun-cotton plant, a shrapnel-loading plant, a cordite plant and a TNT plant were built. The shrapnel operation was closed shortly after it opened when an fire and explosion killed seven people. A second larger cordite plant, built across the highway from the main operations, was owned by British Cordite Limited, but operated by CXL. After the war, the cordite, gun-cotton and TNT plants were closed and the company concentrated on the production of dynamite and gelatin. In 1922 these remaining plants were closed.

    In 1927 the plant reopened under the name of Canadian Industries Limited and began, once again, to produce dynamite. A new plant was constructed in 1939 on the site of the old British Cordite plant. Here Defence Industries Limited, a crown corporation operated by CIL employees, erected buildings for the production of nitroglycerine, TNT, gun-cotton, cordite, nitric acid and sulphuric acid. Up to 4300 people were employed at DIL. At the end of the war, the DIL buildings containing explosives were destroyed. War Assets Disposal Corporation took over the former DIL land. CIL continued its production of dynamite and gelatin on its original site.

    Dynamite was being replaced by new products and CIL closed down in 1984.

    --Parry Sound Public Library
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    PhotoSeeker's April 2007 Visit
    Sun, Apr 22nd, 2007
    posted by PhotoSeeker
    19 pictures

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     Web Links

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Opheliaism on 6/12/2009 2:22 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jun 12 09 at 2:22, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Jun 12 09 at 1:06, PhotoSeeker changed the following: Web Links
  • on Feb 21 09 at 10:53, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Feb 21 09 at 5:47, PhotoSeeker changed the following: Web Links
  • on Aug 28 08 at 6:40, SaraBellum validated this location
  • on Aug 27 08 at 4:22, PhotoSeeker made this location available
  • on Aug 27 08 at 4:21, PhotoSeeker updated gallery picture
  • on Aug 27 08 at 4:21, PhotoSeeker updated gallery picture
  • on Aug 27 08 at 4:21, PhotoSeeker updated gallery picture
  • on Aug 27 08 at 4:21, PhotoSeeker updated gallery picture
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