Inverness Cannery

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Inverness Cannery

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Description area

Dates of existence



Situated on the River Skeena, Inverness Cannery was built in 1876 by North Western Commercial Company. It was purchased from Turner, Berton Company by J. H. Todd and Sons of Victoria in 1902 who owned and managed the cannery until it's closure in 1950. The cannery was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1920, and entirely destroyed by fire in 1973.


Skeena River, British Columbia

Legal status

Plant operating under J.H. Todd & Sons Ltd.

Functions, occupations and activities

The canneries main operational functions included catching, handling, processing, and canning raw fish including salmon (sockeye, pink, chum, coho, and spring) as well as herring and halibut. This was carried out with three types of fishing boats: gillnet, trollers, and seiners. Additionally, the cannery caught fish through freshwater traps on the Sooke river. For four years the cannery also ran a rural school. Administrative functions included correspondence with related companies and subsidiaries, keeping up to date licenses and insurance records, offering workers’ compensation, negotiating contracts, and making sales and rentals agreements.

Mandates/sources of authority

The Cannery was owned and operated by J.H. Todd & Sons Ltd. from 1902-1954. With British Columbia’s Confederation in 1871 the company was subject to Dominion Jurisdiction and the Fisheries Act of British Columbia, which was issued in 1877.

Internal structures/genealogy

Inverness Cannery was purchased by J.H. Todd and Sons Ltd. in 1902. Jacob Hunter (J.H.) Todd ran it until 1910 when his son Charles (C.F.) Todd took over. C.F. Todd was its president until 1940 when his son William Charles (W.C.) Todd took over. In 1941 C.F. Todd passed away, his son following him a year later. In this time the cannery had several managers including Reg William (R.W.) Sinclair, and L.B. Bing, R. J. Gosse, and P. E. Paulson.

General context

Inverness Cannery was one of ten canneries owned by J.H. Todd & Sons, while several more existed throughout the area in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Most of the canneries relied on Sockeye Salmon for their profits.

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Fitzgerald, Mickey. "The Rise and Demise of J.H. Todd and Sons, British Columbia's Enduring Independent Salmon Canners. " 2015. (accessed May 10, 2017).

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