Canadian General Electric

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Canadian General Electric
Foundermerger of Edison Electric Light Company of Canada and Thomson-Houston Electric Light Company of Canada
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Productsconsumer appliances, electric equipment Edit this on Wikidata
General Electric Canada
Canadian unit
HeadquartersMississauga, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Key people
Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada John Flannery, CEO and Chair, General Electric Co.
Productsconsumer electronics, financial services, aviation, healthcare, oil & gas, rail, energy, water

Canadian General Electric (CGE, also known as GE Canada) was a Canadian manufacturer of various electrical products. The company was a forerunner of General Electric Canada, now known as GE Canada. It was the Canadian counterpart of the American company General Electric. The unit became General Electric Canada in 1989.

Canadian General Electric Co. Limited (CGE) was incorporated in Canada in 1892 as a merger of Edison Electric Light Company of Canada (of Hamilton, Ontario) and Thomson-Houston Electric Light Company of Canada (of Montreal), both incorporated in Canada in 1882.[1] The Canadian merger occurred in the same year as the merger of parent companies Edison General Electric (of Schenectady, New York) and Thomson-Houston Company (of Lynn, Massachusetts) into General Electric, which continues to the present day as a major international conglomerate.

CGE had about 500 employees at inception and was already producing generators, transformers, motors, wire and cable, and lighting products for consumer and industrial products.[2]

Label on a GE Canada AC Generator at the Limestone Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada.

Historic milestones[edit]

CGE had a long manufacturing history in Canada:[2]

  • 1892 - Founded and opens engine/motor plant is Peterborough, Ontario[3]
  • 1899 - Produces the Canadian General Electric electric car, for model year 1899 only, in Peterborough, Ontario. The car is essentially a Woods Electric.
  • 1911 - Acquires Sunbeam Lamp Company of Toronto.
  • 1912 - Establishes Montreal lamp plant.
  • 1921 - Vacuum tube operations begin in Toronto.
  • 1922 - Canadian Edison Appliance Company established.
  • 1945 - Small appliances plant opens in Barrie, Ontario.
  • 1946 - Plastics plant opens in Cobourg, Ontario.
  • 1946 - Lighting plant opens in Oakville, Ontario.
  • 1947 - Electric meter plant opens in Quebec City.
  • 1971 - The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, built by CGE, opens[4]
  • 1975 - Household appliance division spun off and merged with GSW Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of household appliances with brands such as McClary, Easy, and Moffat, in a new company named Camco. Camco is a publicly traded company and is a part of the General Electric family of companies.
  • CGE becomes General Electric Canada, a wholly owned unit of General Electric.
  • 1990s - Electric lamp operations in the Oakville, Ontario factory slowly begins to get transferred to Warren, OH and Winchester, VA (now closed) lamp plants. Most fluorescent tube operations are ceased by the late 1990s.
  • 2009 - Most incandescent lamp production lines in the Oakville, ON plant are stopped. Production is transferred to Winchester, VA.
  • 2010 - Oakville, ON lamp plant closes. Remaining incandescent lamp operations are transferred to Mexico and China. A few products are outsourced from Sylvania's US plants. T8 fluorescent tube operations go to Bucyrus, OH.
  • 2018 - Planned Peterborough plant shutdown
  • 2018 - Planned reciprocating gas engine plant opening in Welland, Ontario[5] to replace an existing factory in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The reason for moving to Canada from the U.S. is a lack of export financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.[6][7]


  1. ^ Fred Kee. "Electricity - The Magic Medium, chapter: The Electrical Manufacturing Industry, page 1" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b "History of the radio manufacturer Canadian General Electric Co. Limited (C.G.E.)". Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Johnson, Nathaniel (1 March 2018). "GE Welland Brilliant Factory ready to go this summer". Welland Tribune. Welland, Ontario. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. ^ Kellner, Tomas (Sep 27, 2015). "GE to Build New State-Of-The-Art Engine Plant in Canada to Fill Gap from Ex-Im Bank Lapse". GE Reports. General Electric. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ Rappeport, Alan (19 April 2018). "Trump Wants to Close Trade Gap, but Leaves Export Agency in Limbo". New York Times. Retrieved 19 April 2018.