7 C
Niagara Falls
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Exploring History: Niagara Township Fruit Co-Operative, 1944
This building was once occupied by the Niagara Township Fruit Co-Operative. Today, it is occupied by Niagara Orchard & Vineyard Corp. SUPPLIED

This co-operative was organized and received its charter in March 1937. The co-operative movement in Canada originated when barn raising and other co-operative activities were commonplace. Traditionally, the co-op would buy bulk fruit from the growers and then market the produce. Any profits above expenses were returned to the members at the end of the year. This co-op in Virgil recognized the need for banking services for the local farmers around Virgil and formed a “people’s bank.” With assistance from Ed Regier, a credit union charter was granted in December 1944, forming the Niagara Township Credit Union. Space was provided in the Niagara Township Fruit Co-Operative building in Virgil. This credit union was renamed Niagara Credit Union and then eventually became part of the much larger Meridian Credit Union. The original building in the pamphlet still exists and was owned by Louth and Niagara Orchards, a private organization selling farm supplies. Now, it is occupied by Niagara Orchard & Vineyard Corp, which provides products and services for growers such as baskets, custom packing and repair. You may recognize the building with a large mural on Niagara Stone Road depicting a farmer in the fields. It was created by Ron Clavier in partnership with the Niagara Pumphouse Art Centre.

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