On Thursday, November 4, 2021, a Heritage Toronto plaque was unveiled on the corner of Church and Shuter Streets in Toronto, commemorating the location where Local 793 was founded. This corner is where the Elliot House Hotel stood and where the 11 founding fathers met on December 11, 1919, and requested a charter that would mark the birth of Local 793.
Taking part in the unveiling were Business Manager Mike Gallagher, President Joe Redshaw, IUOE Canadian Regional Director Lionel Railton, York University history professor Gilberto Fernandes, and Heritage Toronto Plaque Manager Chris Bateman.
“I get chills standing here, probably in the footsteps of one of our 11 charter members of Local 793 who came into a building located right here,” Business Manager Gallagher said. “One can only guess why they chose this location to meet, but we’re sure glad that they did. I now represent a local that has over 17,600 members and many, many families are dependant on the work of those members across Ontario and the Territory of Nunavut.”
The plaque briefly shares the history of Local 793 and what helped shape the union for more than 100 years. It serves as a reminder for all who view it of the men and women of Local 793 that helped build Toronto’s key infrastructures and many of its landmarks, such as the CN Tower, Skydome (now Rogers Centre), new City Hall, the Royal York Hotel, as well as residential and commercial buildings, subway lines, and hospitals.
“It is my honour to be here today to participate and recognize this historic event for IUOE Local 793,” Canadian Regional Director Railton said. “This is a proud day for the more than 17,600 members of the local.”
For over a century, Local 793 blazed a trail to bring dignity, safe working conditions, and economic benefits to its members across Ontario and Nunavut.
“Today, Local 793 has its own pension plan, own benefit plan, and own training centres in Morrisburg and Oakville. The founding fathers certainly led Local 793 in the right direction,” President Redshaw said.
The Heritage Toronto plaque is part of a multi-dimensional research project to preserve Local 793’s rich history. Local 793 has partnered with York University on a research and public education project that will focus on the history of operating engineers and heavy machinery in Canada’s construction industry. Gilberto Fernandes is leading the project.
A Heritage Toronto plaque was unveiled on the corner of Church and Shuter Streets in Toronto to commemorate the location where Local 793 was founded. L to R: President Joe Redshaw, IUOE Canadian Regional Director Lionel Railton, Business Manager Mike Gallagher, and York University history professor Gilberto Fernandes.
This Heritage Toronto plaque at the corner of Church and Shuter Streets in Toronto is part of a multi-dimensional research project to preserve Local 793’s rich history.