Coca-Cola’s Oshawa Connections

Coca-Cola is celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2011.  Did you know that the company has an Oshawa connection?

  1. Credited with introducing Coca-Cola to the Oshawa area following the First World War, Hambly Beverages Limited, Oshawa’s local Coca-Cola bottling company, opened its doors in 1917.  Originally located in a tin-covered building on Bond Street, Hambly Beverages enjoyed great success in Oshawa for more than 50 years, largely owing to Coca-Cola’s massive use of advertising.  In 1923, the company was flourishing and had outgrown their Bond Street facility.  They were now required to expand which meant relocating to a larger facility on Oshawa Boulevard.
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Hambly’s Oshawa locations through the years; from left, Bond Street, Oshawa Boulevard, King Street, Bloor Street; A981.27.2a-d

Hambly Beverages Limited expanded once again in 1942. This time not only did the company move to a new building, located on King Street next to the Oshawa Creek, but they also acquired state of the art equipment that could automatically fill the bottles with the “speed of a machine gun.” The performance produced by automated filling of the bottles would attract groups of children who would gather to watch the machinery operate through a large picture window.

The final change of address for Hambly Beverages Limited took place in 1960 when the company relocated to 20,000 square foot facility located at 385 Bloor Street. Projected sales for the year 1969 were expected to be in the neighbourhood of 750,000 bottles, prompting the company to add another 10,000 square feet onto their existing resources. At this time Hambly’s was the authorized bottler of Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Tab and Fresca.

Hambly’s window display at Murray Johnston’s, mid-1960s; A990.1.2

The company continued to produced Coca-Cola and other Coke products for another 19 years before closing sometime between 1987 and 1988.

Hambly’s Bottle, in the Oshawa Museum collection 008.8.6

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