About McCoy Foundry
In the year 1934, Mr. Harry McCoy, the founder of the McCoy organization formed the McCoy Machinery & Supply Co. Ltd., located at 258 Catharine Street North in the City of Hamilton, where, general machining and pattern making was done. Harry McCoy and his son Archie purchased Kerr & Coombes Foundry in downtown Hamilton in 1945. This being a continous operating foundry for over 100 years. In these early years grey iron was poured into molds of bank sands, drawn from nearby fields and re-worked with water each day, by hand shovel. The evolution of silica sands and binders replaced bank sand molding in the mid 1950’s. This process allowed McCoy Foundry to expand in production size and quality.
In 1970 Archie moved the foundry to its existing location in Troy. Today the foundry sits on 650 acres of farm and industrial land. A third generation of the McCoy Family is now operating the organization, with the addition of Archie’s sons Harry and Paul.
Family owned since 1945
The Toronto Water Works Hydrants
Text courtesy Stuart Niven, ©2002
The very first water system in the city of Toronto was installed and maintained by a private company, The Toronto Gas, Light & Water Company in 1843. Water was distributed through a system of wooden pipes to those who could afford the cost.
At the same time there was another private company called “Furniss Works” who provided water to the public from 1843 to 1873. Their main purpose was to provide water for firefighting and they were unable to keep up with the public demand for water.
Toronto water distribution was in shambles for many years after that.
In 1872, Toronto City Council passed an act which allowed them to take over the existing private water companies and form their own publicly administered water works service. It was in 1873 that Toronto Water Works Company was born. Some time around 1890 the City of Toronto, along with their public company TWW, decided to have some fire hydrants manufactured for them. The TWW hydrant was made in the Kerr & Coombes Foundry in Hamilton Ontario.
It is unknown when this foundry was first opened but is known to have existed at least as far back as 1845. Back then the grey iron was poured into moulds made of bank sands from the local area.
In 1945 Harry McCoy purchased Kerr & Coombes and it became known as The McCoy Foundry Company. McCoy must have honoured the relationship that the previous owners of the foundry had with the City of Toronto. This seems reasonable since McCoy Foundry continued to manufacture the TWW hydrant until around 1968. The McCoy Foundry Company still exists today in Troy Ontario, where they moved in 1970.
In 1953 the City of Toronto became known as Metro Toronto and their water company became The Metro Toronto Works Department. Then just recently, in 1998, the surrounding municipalities of Toronto were amalgamated into a “mega-city” and the various works departments were combined to form The Toronto Works and Emergency Services.
There are known to be 15,000 TWW hydrants in Toronto today, and they are slowly being retrofitted by the city to meet current standards. One of the interesting aspects of TWW hydrants made after 1910 is that the two-way versions were cast with an option for a pumper nozzle. Others were made from the start as 3 way hydrants with a 4″ pumper nozzle. The existing two way versions have in recent years been converted to 3 way models, the cast “boss” for the pumper nozzle has been drilled out and threaded. A Universal Flow Engineering 100 mm Storz nozzle connection was then treaded into the hole.
Additionally, there were some 3 way configurations where all ports were 2 1/2″ hose nozzles. There was also a high pressure water main in Toronto at one time, and that line had high pressure TWW hydrants connected to it. These hydrants look the same as the standard pressure TWW hydrant, but were overall larger bodied hydrants.
The mega-city must be proud of their hydrants to spend the time and money to modify them, and preserve them this long. It must surely be cheaper to replace them with new ones?