It's closed; It's empty; It's the former McCormick's biscuit and candy plant on Dundas St. E. in London, Ontario.
According to the London Public Library, years of study went into the design of the 1913 biscuit bakery and candy manufacturing plant. The plant was one of the largest, most modern and most sanitary factories of its kind in North America. The exterior was finished with white enamel terra cotta. There were so many windows, it became known as the Sunshine Palace.
The McCormick's factory was meant to be a model facility. Not only was the plant itself an amazing state of the art bakery and confection plant employing about 1000, producing 135,000 lbs. of candy and 100,000 lbs. of biscuits every working day, but it was to have a baseball park, bowling greens, a tennis court and croquet grounds for the enjoyment of the workers.
In 1854, Thomas McCormick opened his biscuit and confectionery manufacturing business. In 1926, McCormick's purchased its London competitor, D.S. Perrin and Company Ltd. In the 1940’s McCormick's itself was taken over by George Weston Ltd. In 1990, the business was acquired by Culinar Foods of Montreal. In 1997 Beta Brands Inc. took control. In 2004, McCormick was sold to Sun Capital Partners, a Florida investment firm.
- In 2007, Sun Capital Partners closed McCormick's, cut 275 jobs and denied workers severance, vacation pay and pensions.
- McCormick's workers fight two years in court to win vacation pay and have to pay their legal bills from the winnings.
- One 48-year employee now earns a pension of $300 a month.
Today, the Sunshine Palace sits empty. Its glow dimmed. Its white terra cotta soiled. Inside it's been gutted of its bakery and confection making equipment. The next important date in its more than a century and a half of history might well be its demolition.