Operations began here in August of 1940 with the newly-formed Crown Corporation, Small Arms Limited. This company established a factory in Long Branch, Ontario that would see some form of government service until its demolition in the 1990's.
The factory started off producing Enfield rifles for soldiers in World War II. Not long afterward, they would begin producing a small, compact submachine gun called the Sten. The purpose of the Sten gun was not only as a light-weight alternative for commando units, but also as a weapon that would be cheap enough and reliable enough to be dropped behind enemy lines to resistance movements.
During the war, SAL employed around 4,600 people, 65% of whom were women.
After the war, Small Arms Limited would be dissolved and be reformed as another Crown Corporation called Canadian Arsenals Limited.
It was a very hot afternoon as I made my way across the bridge looking for the easiest way to access this site.
As a photographer, I was certainly not alone. There were cameras everywhere, but they were pointed at the many fallen trees in the park damaged by the previous night's electrical storm.
I gained entry to the site easily enough, and while there really wasn't much to be seen in any tangible way, it was still interesting to imagine what it must have been like in its day. It's a shame not to have seen this when it was in full operation.
I didn't stay long here. Between the water that had accumulated on the ground, and the humid heat beating down from above, I decided that there was little point continuing here, and went back to a pleasantly air-conditioned vehicle.