Nobel, Ontario

Nobel, Ontario
Nobel ON 1.JPG
Nobel ON 2.JPG

Nobel is a village located on the shores of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. It is located in the Municipality of McDougall in the District of Parry Sound. The community is named after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

Nobel was the home, in World War I, of two explosives factories: The British Cordite Limited and Canadian Explosives Ltd. Both sites closed in 1922. Explosives and munitions were also produced at Nobel in World War II.

Nobel is of historical interest to Canadians because it was home of the Orenda Engines testing facility, where the Orenda Iroquois gas turbine engine was being developed. This engine was slated to power the ill-fated Avro Arrow until the project was cancelled by the Diefenbaker government.


The British Cordite Ltd, Nobel, Ontario

The British Cordite Limited was built by the Explosives Department of the Imperial Munitions Board to produce Cordite. Construction started in late 1916 and production started in mid 1917. The site covered 366 acres (1.48 km2) and it had 155 buildings. By 30 November 1918 it had produced 21,450,000 lbs (9,738,300 kg) of Cordite.[1]

Canadian Explosives Ltd

Canadian Explosives, jointly owned by du Pont, in the USA, and Nobel's Explosives, in Scotland, were already producing Cordite, at Beloeil, for the Quebec Arsenal, before World War I. The capacity of this plant was increased one-hundredfold to 350,000 lbs (159,000 kg) of Cordite per month. In addition, in February 1918, they started to build a Cordite plant at Nobel to produce 1,500,000 lbs (681,000 kg) per month. It was finished on 24 August 1918.[1]

Highway 400 realignment

In 2010, a stretch of the new highway 400 alignment opened up which now bypasses Nobel. Some businesses in the town were already affected by the new highway due to a sharp decline in traffic, a lack of customers and had to closed down. The former route of highway 69 through the town will be renamed as Nobel Drive and reduced in width from four to two lanes, with the decommissioned lanes to be converted into a recreational trail. [2] [3] [4]



  1. ^ a b Carnegie, David (1925).
  2. ^ .Nobel complex victim of new Highway 400,, November 19, 2010
  3. ^ Tim Horton's and Wendy's in Nobel Closed,, January 7, 2011
  4. ^ Highway 69 construction could prove fatal to roadside businesses, Toronto Star, December 3, 2010


  • Carnegie, David (1925). The History of Munitions Supply in Canada 1914 - 1918. London, New York, Ontario: Longmans, Green and Co.
  • lank, H. H. and Williams, E. L. (1982). The Du Pont Canada History. Du Pont Canada.
  • Reader, W.J. (1970). Imperial Chemical Industries: A History. Volume 1: The Forerunners 1870-1926. London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-215937-2.

External links

Coordinates: 45°25′N 80°06′W / 45.417°N 80.1°W / 45.417; -80.1

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