Skip to main content

Settling In: Highlighting 50 Years of Kitimat's History

Eurocan & Methanex

Construction of a pulp and paper mill and sawmill began in 1968.  In October 1970, Eurocan produced the first roll of paper. The founding companies - all Finnish - moved 50 families from Finland to Kitimat for the startup.  Large recruiting efforts were also made across Canada and overseas.  In 1981, financial troubles and low production caused the owners to sell to West Fraser Timber.

With the beginnings of Eurocan, Kitimat was anticipating a serious housing shortage. The first phase of Eurocan's multi-million-dollar housing program created a complex of 108 single-family dwellings in Whitesail.  Eurocan officials pointed out that the homes were sold to employees at cost, in an effort to encourage workers to stay and become Kitimatians" Northern Sentinel, December 17, 1969.  For an additional phase, 234 townhouse units were planned, via private capital, with 90 in Whitesail completed and occupied in 1969, plus a new mobile trailer site expected January 1970.

Ocelot Industries, a Calgary company, began construction on its methanol plant in 1980.  Production began in 1982.  An ammonia plant, constructed between 1985 and 1986 at a total cost of 80 million dollars, was later purchased by Pacific Ammonia.  In 1992, company ownership changed to Methanex.

Ocelot Reformer Furnace Aerial

Reformer furnace construction at the Ocelot site, April 29, 1981.

Eurocan Pulp & Paper Mill

Eurocan, July 31, 1972.