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Fredericton Heritage Trust York Street Audio Tour
 


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City of Fredericton
Chestnut Canoe Factory, York Street Audio Tour, Fredericton Heritage Trust, New Brunswick, Canada

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Click for full list of buildings on tourNow we turn around and look at the eastern side of York Street toward the river. Just past the north east corner of York and Dundonald Streets is the red brick building of what was the Chestnut Canoe Factory. On the street side of the building are the numbers 470, 472 and 474 York Street posted on a sign. Chestnut Canoe operations were developing rapidly from their small beginning in 1897. The company was officially founded in 1905 and managed by Robert Chestnut. It stayed within the family when Robert’s son Henry and grandsons Harry and William took the growing business from upper Queen Street to upper York Street in 1908. The Chestnut Canoe Factory became the largest industry of its kind in the British Empire. By 1914, this world famous company was turning out 1200 beautiful canoes each year. They also supplied the armed forces with thousands of pairs of snowshoes. Today, old Chestnut canoes are highly prized. This brick factory building visible now is actually the second factory on this site. The first factory was designed by local architect William Minue, built by Moses Mitchell, and finished in 1908. But thirteen years later, in December 1921, it all burned down in a spectacular blaze. So William Minue was again hired to design a new factory for the Chestnuts. In 1923 the building was finished. But, after 55 years in business, it closed its doors in 1978. Today old Chestnut canoes are highly prized.

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