Canadian General Electric

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Canadian General Electric
Founded 1892

merger of Edison Electric Light Company of Canada and Thomson-Houston

Electric Light Company of Canada
Defunct 1989
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Products consumer appliances, electric equipment
General Electric Canada
Canadian unit
Founded 1989
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Key people

Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada

Jeff Immelt, CEO and Chair, General Electric Co.
Products consumer 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.

The early logo for Canadian General Electric, similar to the logo for General Electric in the U.S.A.

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 - First nuclear power plant in Pakistan opens, built by CGE[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