Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

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Ontario's Oil Refining Industry

Ontario's Oil Refining Industry

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted September, 2004

Ontario's Oil Refining Industry

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The County of Lambton
The City of Sarnia
At the very south end of Christine Street South
at Clifford Street

Coordinates: N 42 57.301 W 82 24.888


Plaque Text

Stimulated by the discovery of significant oil deposits in Enniskillen Township, Ontario's first commercial refineries were erected in 1857-62 at Sarnia, Oil Springs, "Petrolea" and Hamilton. The industry, developed to produce coal-oil and lubricants, was plagued by explosive fires, market fluctuations and problems of refining. In 1880, to counter growing American competition, several companies joined to form Imperial Oil. In 1898, however, seeking expansion capital, it sold a majority interest to Standard Oil, an American refining company. The following year, Imperial brought its operations here to the lakeside. Although other cities had refineries in operation by 1907, Sarnia's access to the higher grade of Ohio oil, the new demand for gasoline and from 1942, the location here of major petro-chemical industries established Sarnia as Ontario's principal refining centre.

Related Ontario plaques
First Oil Wells in Canada
The Founding of Petrolia
The Craigleith Shale Oil Works 1859



Sarnia Plaques

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