Riverside Yarns was founded by the McCormick family in Galt (Cambridge), Ontario in 1915 to process silk yarn. In 1920, the company was incorporated and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange 8 years later. Throughout the Second World War, Riverside produced fabric for parachutes and tents. In 1946 the McCormicks sold the firm to L. Dunbar and gradually began producing continuous filament synthetic yarn. Continuing to up-grade the factory, the firm built a new factory in Cornwall in 1975, to provide textured synthetic yarn to their primary customer, DuPont Can. Inc., in Corteau-du-Lac. A year later they sold the original Cambridge facility.
Initially prospering, the Cornwall plant went from 65,000 square feet in size when it opened, to 170,000 square feet of production and office space after 2 expansions in 1979, In May 1982, Personnel Manager, Gordon Fox said that the business had 190 hourly workers who belonged to the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union and 55 other employees, while the plant’s “…texturing equipment technology was and remains among the most advanced in the world.”
Problems had appeared, however, as DuPont had just closed its polyester operation in Quebec. With the loss of Riverside’s primary customer the plant closed in 1982.
This is an example of the nature of material about Cornwall’s industrial past in the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.