Hawker Siddeley Canada

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Hawker Siddeley Canada was the Canadian division of the British Hawker Siddeley Group and produced aircraft and railway equipment throughout the 1960ies, 1970ies and into the 1980ies.


Hawker Siddeley Canada came about from the 1962 dissolution of A.V.Roe (Avro) Canada, formerly manufacturers of the Avro Lancaster, Avro Canuck and Avro Arrow, and took over control of its many subsidiaries, such as Orenda Engines, CC&F, Dominion Steel And Coal (DOSCO) and the Halifax Shipyards.

In the early 1960ies, Hawker Siddeley Canada developped a common platform for lightweight but rigid passenger car bodies that was easily adaptable to many uses using formed, rivetted aluminum structural members. Using this platform, they landed numerous contracts, including a 200-car order from Nationales de Mexico, over 120 commuter cars to GO Transit, 25 intercity coaches to CN Rail, 164 subway cars to the Toronto Transit Commission, and 48 automated subway cars for the 1967 Expo in Montréal.

In 1968, in an effort to cut costs and become more profitable, Hawker Siddeley Canada sold its Cape Breton coal mining and steel foundry operations. They were nationalized by the Provincial and Federal Governments and become SYSCO (Sydney Steel Corp.) and DEVCO (Cape Breton Development Corp.).

As well, Hawker Siddeley Canada fought for and received numerous large railcar contracts, including the building many thousands of copies of the standardized Canadian covered grain hopper.

After continuing to win contracts from GO Transit for their Series I and Series II BiLevel cars and from the Toronto Transit Commission for another 300 subway cars (over several orders), Hawker Siddeley Canada began to win subway and rapid transit car contracts in the US as well, building 38 cars to New York's Port Authority Trans-Hudson in 1972 and almost 200 cars to Boston's MBTA in 1980-81.

In 1978, Hawker Siddeley Canada was forced into recievership.

In March 1983, the Ontario Government's UTDC invested a stake into the Thunder Bay plant. The resulting partnership was branded Can-Car Rail and resulted in lots of work for the plant - the TTC placed an order for 126 subway cars which became their H6 fleet, and at the same time 52 articulated ALRV streetcars to replace the majority of their PCC streetcars. They would later build three orders of BiLevel cars for GO Transit - their Series III, Series IV and Series V orders were all built by the partnership.

In the late 1980ies Hawker Siddeley Canada placed many of their operating divisions up for sale. SNC-Lavalin Group purchased the railcar production (with facilities at Thunder Bay, Ontario and Sydney, Nova Scotia), and in 1991 merged it with UTDC renaming the division Lavalin Industries.

They would later sell their Lavalin Industries division to Bombardier.

In May, 2000, the board of directors voted to liquidate what was left of the company, and in August of 2001 it was sold to two private investor firms.


Mass Transit

Light Rail

Heavy Rail

  • RT85 lightweight passenger cars for NdeM and CN
  • RTC85 lightweight commuter cars for GO Transit
  • BiLevel I and II coaches
  • Many assorted freight car types for both CN and CPR


News, Aug. 3, 2001
Siddeley Group Online History
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