Founding owner and early years
Silverwood Dairy was founded by Albert Edward Silverwood (b. February 15, 1876, d. December 2, 1961). Silverwood was born on a farm near the village of Oakwood (near Lindsay, Ontario) and attended Oakwood Public School and Lindsay Collegiate Institute.
In 1901, he married Eva M. Ferris, of Lindsay and had one son (Edward Gordon), and one daughter (Dorothy Marie).
Silverwood was President and Managing Director of Silverwood Industries Limited of London, Ontario. The company was a dealer in cold storage products and manufacturers of ice cream and butter began operations in London and provided services across Ontario. In 1966 it acquired Calgary-based United Dairies. Over the course of Silverwood's existence it acquiring a number of smaller dairies and other assets:
- Willards Cream Top Dairy (Toronto) 1929
- Campbell's Dairy (Peterborough) (approx. 1960)
- Mac's Convenience Stores 1972 (40% in 1963)
- Royal Oak Dairy 1976
Later in life Silverwood established the A.E. Silverwood Foundation (1948). Silverwood died in 1961 and is entombed in Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum, London, Ontario in between his two wives.
Silverwood's name used in his home town of London was home to the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Music and School of Business Administration. The Tudor Revival A.E. Silverwood Building is now called Dante Lenardon Hall. Silverwood Skating Rink in London was also named for him.
Growth and demise
Silverwood Dairy continued to grow after the departure of A.E. Silverwood. The company expanded in and beyond Ontario and acquired a number of smaller dairies. By 1984, Silverwood was taken over by the John Labatts Limited-owned Ault Foods and the name was carried on as milk brand. While the dairy disappeared, the Silverwood brand continued on. It was sold in the 1990s to Agropur and slowly disappeared. The now dairy part of Silverwood was renamed Silcorp Limited (1978) and became a Toronto-based operator of the Mac's Convenience chain. The Silverwood name and brand disappeared for good in 1999 when the company was acquired by Couche-Tard.
Albert's brother, William Alexander Silverwood, moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1907. He became a successful cattle rancher and operated a bottling plant north of the city. The present-day neighbourhood of Silverwood Heights, which occupies his former farmland, bears his name.
Les Mandelbaum formerly of Westgrove Avenue remembers horse drawn delivery from Silverwoods in the early 1950s.
Keith Alton (b. July 22, 1926; d. February 24, 2013) of Peterborough, ON, a former Campbell's Dairy co-owner, managed Silverwood's Peterborough operations during the 1960s and into the 1970s.
- [I know that name!: the people behind Canada's best-known brand names, Mark Kearney, Randy Ray, pp182-183]