All of Canada has been celebrating the 150th Anniversary of confederation this year, including the City of Kingston’s showcase of our ongoing contributions to the nation. This week’s topic is Canadian food.
Today, Kingston is known for its vibrant, first-class restaurants, cafes, and eateries and it has the highest number of quality restaurants per capita of any Canadian city. Foodies can find delicious locally grown produce and meats and other local foods and drinks proudly featured on menus and sold at local markets and retail outlets. But the City’s contributions to good food do not end there.
Kingston was once home to W.J. Crothers Biscuits and Confectionary Manufacturers, a family-owned and operated candy company located downtown on Wellington Street.
W.J. Crothers was one of the most prestigious companies in North America. During its period of peak production between 1867 and 1967, the company employed two hundred Kingston residents and made over one hundred varieties of candy, chocolate, and biscuits. The aromas of caramelizing sugar, buttery biscuits, and creamy chocolate wafted throughout Kingston’s downtown core, making it one of Kingston’s most popular businesses of the time.
W.J. Crothers’ products were extremely successful in Canadian and international markets alike and were shipped all over the world. The firm’s chocolate products were so highly regarded that from 1920 onwards their “Prince of Wales Chocolates” were produced by Royal Appointment to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII). The Crown awarded W.J. Crothers this recognition in acknowledgement of Canada’s service to Britain during World War I.
Kingston’s role as an important producer of food and consumables continues today.
Frulact, a Portuguese fruit-processing company, has recently established itself in the Limestone City and, in one of the City’s biggest economic developments, Kingston will soon be home to Canada Royal Milk – a division of Feihe International Inc., China’s number one domestic producer of infant formula. The formula made in the Kingston factory will be shipped worldwide.
Kingston is at the heart of Canada’s story – shaping our past and building our future.
Be sure to check out the full list of Kingston’s many contributions to Canada at the Kingston Moments page.
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Bonus: Check out the 1925 Supreme Court of Canada case (Crothers Co. v. Williamson Candy Co.), regarding Kingston’s W.J. Crothers Biscuits and Confectionary – mentioned above – registering the words “Oh! Henry” in Canada after seeing it at a confectioners’ convention in Chicago.
“In May, 1922, an officer of the defendant [Crothers Co.], a manufacturing confectioner at Kingston in Canada, attended a confectioners’ convention in Chicago. He then learned of the plaintiff’s trade-mark and of its great vogue and success. The defendant promptly applied for registration of the words “Oh! Henry” as a specific trade-mark in Canada for chocolate bars and biscuits made by it, and its application was granted on the 15th of June, 1922“….
About the City of Kingston
Kingston’s vision of being a smart, livable 21st century city is fast becoming reality. History and innovation thrive in our dynamic city located along the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario, an easy drive from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, in the heart of eastern Ontario. With a stable and diversified economy that includes global corporations, innovative startups and all levels of government, Kingston’s high quality of life offers access to world-class education and research institutions, advanced healthcare facilities, affordable living and vibrant entertainment and tourism activities.
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