Boom Times

The placement of munitions factories popped up in a lecture today regarding an old Second World War arms factory in Ajax, Ontario.  For obvious reason, war-time munition factories required a clear 5km buffer radius around the site.  A five kilometer radius is a considerable amount of idle land surrounding an industrial land-use and I was curious regarding the current situation of Canadian ammunition manufacturing facilities.

Unbeknown to many, Canada still retains a rather large ammunition industry (and a slightly smaller small-arms manufacturing sector…Diemaco of Kitchener and their flagship C7 rifle come to mind).  General Dynamics purchased SNC-TEC, the main Canadian munitions player several years ago and now churns out all kinds of explosive gadgets ranging from 5.56mm NATO standards all the way up to 155mm howitzer shells.  Apparently they are a major supplier to the US military, and the supplier for Canadian bullet needs.

I fired up Google Earth.

Load, Assemble and Pack Plant – Le Gardeur, Quebec (Northeast of Montreal)


The plant is in the center, surrounded by agricultrual lands and buffered to the east by a major highway.  There does appear to be significant residential (that’s fancy land-use talk for houses!)  and some of it is built immediately adjacent to the site (especially the northeastern line).   You could probably hold some rather explosive parties if you lived in that neighborhood.

It’s a crappy image, and looks much better on Google Earth (I can’t seem to increase the resolution very well when I insert images directly into a post).

Energetic Materials Plant – Valleyfield (60km Southwest of the Le Gardeur facility)


Home of the propellents.  If one wants their shell to go anywhere, this is the place for them. Definitely a good site selection as it is buffered nicely by water bodies on three sides, and the surrounding built area doesn’t abut as closely to the property as they do near the Assembly plant.

It doesn’t appear that a 5 km radius is presently required.

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