Windsor Salt (K+S Windsor Salt)
In 1893, three employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, who believed Canada needed a salt manufacturer, started the Windsor Salt Company in Windsor. From the beginning, Windsor’s mine has been unique in Canada, using a vacuum pan technique which is used in the U.S., but not in Canada. Windsor Salt has been instrumental in bringing the country a full range of salt products to improve everyday life.
In the early days of Canada’s European settlement, trappers brought shiploads of salt with them for personal uses such as curing hides and salting meat. In roughly 1890, William Van Horne, president of the CPR, realized the potential of the region. The company sunk a test well on CPR’s land in Windsor and found salt in 1891. The test well was supervised by E.G Henderson, the civil engineer who supervised the CPR’s London to Windsor Line. He would become the plant manager of the Windsor Salt mine, which was built and operational in 1893. In 1954 a sinkhole appeared above the Prospect St. mine, leading to thousands of dollars worth of damage. This also led to the public fearing for its safety. The Windsor Mine engineers assured the public that the area was safe, and spent weeks cleaning up the mess. Fifty thousand yards of fill were needed. Salt continued to be mined in Windsor, with an expansion to the Ojibway salt mine announced in 2016.
The company’s highly recognizable Windsor brand has been a part of Canadian life since 1893. Today, the Ojibway salt mine largely produces rock salt used for commercial and consumer deicing purposes to keep Canadian roads, streets and sidewalks clear and safe during the winter season. In addition, the mine produces salt used for various applications including water softening. On an annual basis, the Ojibway salt mine is capable of producing up to 3 million metric tons of salt. Windsor Salt became a part of many salt companies, including Morton salt.