ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s operations have
grown incrementally over 100 years,
with each piece of the 800-acre puzzle
added methodically and with an eye to
using every square foot. Primary steel-
making occupies the Bayfront lands, while
the finishing and shipping facilities state
their presence across three generous city
blocks to the south of Burlington Street.
It’s a far cry from the plot of marshland
where the company began.
C.W. Sherman first settled on the five
acre parcel in east Hamilton where
Depew Street meets the Grand Trunk
Railway (now Canadian National Railway).
Two inlets from Hamilton Harbour mean-
dered into the site with muskrats and wild
ducks plentiful along the marshy shores.
Employees could walk a few feet from
the shop floor and hook pike, bass and
perch, or go for a noon hour swim.
With the onset of World War I, the
company received large orders for shell
casings and other armament that was
the impetus for rapid expansion of the
foundry. Six years in, as WWI ended,
there were 11 open hearth and two
electric furnaces producing about 800
tons of steel per day. And the plant
stretched over 26 acres.
By the late 30s, Dofasco was on the
move again having built Canada’s first tin
mill and adding other major steelmaking
assets. The tin did so well, that it began
to demand that the plant operate 24/7
and the site expanded as more and more
pieces of the company puzzle emerged.
It was the 1950s that significantly
changed the face of the property as the
company began to reclaim land in the bay
to build its cokemaking, blast furnace,
then oxygen steelmaking facilities. As if all
of this wasn’t enough, the company also
ventured into galvanizing in the 1950s
with the construction of two galvanizing
lines, which were the first in Canada.
Perhaps the crown jewel of the site,
the company’s signature office building
was opened in 1964, at the corner
of Burlington and Ottawa Streets.
A showcase for the use of steel in
construction, it opened to great fanfare.
Three years later, the D.F. Hassel Centre,
just a short walk east on Burlington
Street, was opened.
At 800 acres, ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s
Hamilton footprint is a relatively small
one compared to plants producing similar
amounts of steel. While some of the site
was developed through land reclamation,
other areas were added through acquiring
parcels of land from adjacent industrial
companies once operating in Hamilton.
The result is a tightly arranged facility
that includes some 850 buildings spread
over five major plant areas, 30 kilometers
of roads and 16 kilometers of rail on the
site. Each day nearly 4,000 people and
up to 400 vehicles traverse the site, all
monitored by an extensive emergency
response team including security, fire and
medical personnel.
A city within a city