The Empire Stove and Furnace Company was established in Owen Sound in 1903 by W. J. Christie under the name Canadian Heating and Ventilating Company. Its primary products were stoves and furnaces. In 1917 after company reorganization, the name changed to the Empire Stove and Furnace Company. The company expanded its line to also include gas water heaters and a lot of custom work.
In a newspaper article dated January 8, 1938, and entitled “Empire Stove Company had Good Year ’37”, it indicated that they had introduced
a number of years ago porcelain enamel work to it is manufactured product and since that time has specialized in this line for other products. . . . [The company] is making iron castings which are used in the manufacture of the engines for Russell Bros., boats, a new industry which became firmly established in the city during the past year.
On July 22, 1944, the company had a large fire and the company never really recovered from that setback. In 1950, Maurice, Willard and Harry Christie sold the company to the Moffat Company. Two years later the company closed the foundry. At its peak, it had employed 165 employees and even in the thirties had about 100 employees.
The foundry was located near Russell Brothers. Both are now long gone from the Owen Sound landscape.
“Empire Company had Good Year ’37”, Owen Sound Sun Times, 8 January 1938.
Hay, Ellen, “Empire Stove One of the Industries that put Owen Sound on the map” Owen Sound Sun Times