Spexel, the Beauharnois abandoned plant
Spexel, the Beauharnois abandoned plant

Spexel, the Beauharnois abandoned plant

Spexel, the Beauharnois abandoned plant

The printer of Canadian currency

Beauharnois (Quebec), Canada

It's over 92 years of industrial history that ended in 2004 when the Spexel factory was closed down. The story of this plant start in 1912 when is built the paper mill, which took the name of Howard Smith Paper Mill. Over the following years, the plant became the best plant in Canada for the production of banknotes. Thus in 1932, the Bank of Canada commissioned the Beauharnois plant to print all the paper currency of the country, an exclusivity who will stand for more than 70 years.

In the late 1990s, the plant is threatened with closure by Domtar who is then the owner. After months of uncertainty, the plant was finally revived in 1997 by its own employees, who have invested $ 2,000 each, and the CSN action funds (a labor union), who will invested more than a million and a half dollars.

Despite the willingness of employees, the future remains bleak for the Spexel. Early 2001, the Bank of Canada is undertaking steps with the factory to produce new and more difficult to copy currency. Because the plant doesn't have the necessary technology, the Bank of Canada launches a global public tender in November 2002. A few months later, a German firm wins the contract for the production of the $ 20, $ 50 and $ 100, which creates a shock wave at the plant in Beauharnois.

For Spexel is the beginning of the end. The loss of this two million dollars contract represents a large portion of its revenue. In 2004, the announcement of the closure is finally announced. In total, over 110 jobs are lost.

Today, over ten years later, the site has been the prey of several fires (which resulted in the destruction of a part of the plant) and suffered the wrath of metal thieves and others vandals. Nevertheless, the current owner keeps the faith and hope to find the right project and wish to be able to reset the factory one day. Until then, it's a paintball paradise where paint splashes are visible everywhere...

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