1850

The newly formed Hamilton Gas Light Company builds a gasworks bounded by Park Street, Bay Street, Cannon Street, and Mulberry Street. They convert coal into gas to power the streetlights as well as homes nearby.

Early 1900’s

The Hamilton Gas Light Company moves to a larger location in the east end of Hamilton. Over the years, portions of land are sold to other businesses. The Gasworks at 141 Park St. N. remains and is used mainly as offices and a small event space.  

1978

John and Ellie Voortman start Oakrun Farm Bakery on their farm in Ancaster, Ontario. Even in business, they are community minded, often hiring Vietnamese refugees who needed employment.

2007

Over the decades, Oakrun Farm Bakery grows into large factory with over 400 employees that provides baked products for Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s, and other large restaurant companies. John and Ellie Voortman sell Oakrun Farm Bakery in 2007.

2013

After the sale of the bakery, John and Ellie Voortman are not ready to retire quite yet. They continue to bake 300-400 loaves of fresh bread for local food banks. In 2013, they are named Ancaster’s Citizens of The Year.

2016

The John and Ellie Voortman Charitable Foundation purchase the Gasworks to provide a cultural hub for a variety of charities in Hamilton.

2018

A significant renovation and expansion project begins at the Gasworks. The goal is to double the size of the building and make it accessible while keeping its historical character.

2020

The Gasworks re-opens amid a global pandemic and several tenants move in. The Gasworks also welcomes community groups to host public events safely.

2021+

Almost two centuries ago The Gasworks began lighting Hamilton. The John and Ellie Voortman Charitable Foundation hope to continue lighting the city for many years to come through the arts, education and community.

Micah van Dijk is the manager of The Gasworks and would love to connect with you to see how The Gasworks can serve you. Take the virtual tour or email him at 141parkst@gmail.com to book an in-person tour.