On 71 of 1,800 acres set aside by the city of London for industrial development, the iconic factory was built in 1913 for "McCormick Manufacturing Company", which was rapidly expanding. The land was gifted to the three sons of Thomas McCormick to encourage the company to remain in London, Ontario. The city provided many incentives to promote industrial expansion in the area and the McCormick factory was the first of several large scale buildings built on the newly reserved lands.
The building was influenced by designs Thomas McCormick had created, focusing on functionality as well as employee comfort. The exterior of the original factory was 68% windows, allowing sunshine to reach deep within the factory floors - giving it the nickname "The Sunshine Palace". The company even used the nickname within promotions of the new build, touting it as a "Snow White Sunshine Biscuit and Candy Factory".
The main building was four floors of factory space, a fifth floor for offices and a basement. Several wing additions were made between 1922 and 1958 to include more production facilities and a warehouse. There was space between each wing to allow more light and air circulation, this space also allowed train tracks to run alongside the warehouse space for easier rail connection.
As time progressed, the means of transportation of product changed and the rail lines were infilled and loading bays for transportation trucks were added. These additions connected the once freestanding powerhouse to the factory, the majority of which were utility focused. The main building underwent minor repairs and remained true to it's original character.
Weston Ltd sold the McCormick brand to Culinar Inc. in 1990, but Culinar only held onto the brand for 7 years before selling it to Beta Brands. Beta Brands quickly ran into financial difficulties. The McCormick factory survived another few years under Beta Brands before the company collapsed and the factory was closed in 2008, causing 292 employees to lose their jobs
The building sat vacant for several years as the city fought to collect property taxes from the former owners, to no avail. Eventually the decision was made to try and sell the property for the cost of the owed taxes, $750,000.
In 2014 the site was sold to Sierra Construction for $1. The city went back and forth with the company for several years, as expenses climbed higher and higher. Additionally, a request to designate the main portion of the McCormick factory (not including the additions) was made, as the factory has historical value.
Despite the city of London approving several million dollars in grants to Sierra Construction in 2017, the project stalled. The city even reduced the property taxes in hopes of encouraging some progress on the site...
In November of 2018 a fire was set on the rooftop of the factory, despite being just one of several fires the factory had seen since it closed, this seemed to be the final straw and demolition on the loading docks began in March of 2019.