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Symons Metalworkers Company Limited

602 Railway Avenue, Rocanville, Saskatchewan, S0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/12/04

Southeast view, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Bernie Flaman, 2004.
Symons Metalworkers Company Limited
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Other Name(s)

Symons Metalworkers Company Limited
Symons Metalworks
Symons Oil Can Plant

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1937/01/01 to 1952/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/09/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Symons Metalworkers Company Limited is a Municipal Heritage Property located within the Town of Rocanville at 602 Railway Avenue. The property features a one-storey, wood-frame factory constructed between 1936 and 1952.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Symons Metalworkers Company Limited lies in its association with Ernie Symons and the production of Symons Oilers. In the early 1920s, Symons, a local inventor and metalworker, invented a new design for an oiler, a metal can with a long spout used to lubricate machinery. He began producing the oilers in Rocanville in 1924 and, in 1936, he constructed this factory, which was expanded in 1952. Even though manufacturing ceased in 1922, Symons and his invention, continue to be a source of pride for the community of Rocanville.

The heritage value of the property also lies in its sawtooth roof design. This style of industrial factory architecture was pioneered in America’s industrial heartland, but was uncommon in Western Canada. It features a distinctive sawtooth roof, which allows overhead light to filter throughout the workspace, making the space more worker-friendly. Typical of the design, it was constructed with large wood beams reinforced with steel rods, allowing for a work area to be unobstructed by support columns. The absence of columns gave the factory on open work space which was flexible enough to accommodate future changes and allow for industrial processes to evolve. The building is even more remarkable since it was designed by Ernie Symons himself, who had no architectural training.


Town of Rocanville Bylaw 96-8.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Symons Metalworkers Company Limited resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that reflect its industrial architecture, such as the sawtooth roof line, the many exterior windows and open floor plan unobstructed by support columns;
-steel-reinforced wood beams;
-the building location on its original site;
-the property’s rectangular form and regular massing.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1937/01/01 to 1984/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type



Metal Products Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer

Ernest Symons


Dave Shearer

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 1431

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1431



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