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Sifto celebrated its 150th anniversary, along with Canada's, in 2017.
Read our whole story below.
1867 – Canadian Confederation
1867 – Roots of Sifto Were Born in Goderich, Ontario
The history of salt in Canada and the fortunes of entrepreneur Samuel Platt and his Goderich Petroleum Company took a surprising turn in 1866 while drilling for oil. Later described as a wonder of ‘go-ahead-iveness’ by a local newspaper, Platt’s drilling operation, known as the Goderich Petroleum Company, was plagued with technical issues. Once they hit a depth of 964 feet – only 36 feet from Platt’s goal – they unexpectedly tapped into the great Michigan salt bed, one of the largest and purest salt deposits in the world. Renamed The Goderich Salt Works, salt well and boiler pan operations began in 1867. Goderich Salt Works was folded into Sifto Salt 87 years later.
1867 – Goderich Salt Wins International Attention
Salt from this new operation was entered in an international competition at the 1867 World’s Fair Paris Exhibition and came out on top, winning a coveted award for best taste.
1871 – The Salt Boom
At its peak in 1871, the town of Goderich, Ontario had over 17 active salt operations producing thousands of barrels each day to keep up with demand from America. Salt was vital for preserving and curing meat.
1890 – The Salt Bust
By 1890, a combination of high American tariffs on Canadian salt, cheap English salt imports and a series of fires shut down many local salt works for good.
1940 – Salt History Repeats Itself in Saskatchewan
Similarly to the Goderich salt discovery, a large deposit of salt was discovered in the Unity district of Western Saskatchewan in 1940 by a drilling crew searching for oil. Two wells were swiftly drilled to extract the salt, signaling the tentative comeback of Canada’s salt industry, and operations continue to this day.
1940-1960’s – The Salt Industry in Canada Innovates
Initially tested in New Hampshire in the winter of 1938, the city of Detroit became an early adopter of road salt for melting ice on slippery winter roads in 1940. This innovation quickly spread across North America and was of great value to Canada due to our great white north weather conditions.
In the 1940’s Sifto began to produce ‘cattle blocks’ of salt, essential to sustain livestock.
In the early 1960’s, Sifto began to produce ‘Water Softener Salt.’
1954 – Sifto Revives the Salt Industry in Canada
In 1954, after drilling confirmed a vast bed of salt of ‘exceptionally high quality,’ Sifto invested millions to sink a shaft for mining operations. Today, Sifto's Goderich Mine is the largest operating salt mine in the world.
1965 – Canada Reaches a Salty Milestone
By 1965, world production of salt grew to a record one hundred million tonnes a year, with approximately 4% mined in Canada.
2007 – The Salt Industry in Canada Starts Producing Salt for Pools
Though it took longer to catch on in Canada, salt water pools gained in popularity and Sifto began producing its 'Pool Salt.'
2017 – 150 Years of Salt History in Canada
150 years after the Goderich salt operations began, Sifto continues to be an essential ingredient of Canada's heritage.
Our Sifto family of products include: Sifto Table Salt for seasoning your culinary creations, Sifto Crystal Plus water softener salt for softening hard water, Sifto Canadian Stockman Salt nourishes and sustains livestock, Sifto Pool Salt conditions water for saltwater swimming pools, and Sifto Safe Step Ice Salt increases winter safety on icy sidewalks, driveways, and roads.