lantic : a very lively centenarian
Lantic Inc. was the first plant built in the former city of Maisonneuve. It has been doing business with the Port of Montreal for 127 years nonstop, making it one of the Port’s oldest partners.
Notre-Dame street regulars are familiar with red Lantic circle.
Every Montrealer knows the silhouette of the old red brick landmark on Notre Dame at the foot of Pie-IX responsible for sweetening our desserts since 1888.
Summer or winter, just behind the building sporting the round red Lantic logo, Sutherland Pier accommodates vessels loaded to full capacity with raw sugar, mostly from sugar cane from Brazil, but also from Nicaragua and Colombia, at the rate of one ship every three weeks. Cranes unload the raw sugar onto a conveyor that goes straight to the warehouse.
The 300 workers at Lantic Inc. refine 500,000 tonnes of sugar a year, served to us in the form of fine, superfine and icing sugar, sugar cubes, brown sugar and molasses. Lantic also supplies liquid sugar, delivered by tank trucks to food companies or by tank railcars to other distribution centres. In Toronto, Lantic has a dry blending facility where six enormous mixers produce blends for crystal beverages, iced tea, cocoa, gelatine, etc.
Its clients include such major players in the food industry as Loblaws and Pepsi, chocolate manufacturers and other confectioners.
The sugar that arrives by ship has already been more than 90% refined at the plantation, because sugar cane is quite delicate and spoils quickly. First, the cane is crushed and its sugar is extracted into water. Then the juice containing the sugar is clarified and evaporated. This results in syrup that, in turn, is cooked to crystallize the sucrose. That results in raw sugar, which can then be stored for a long time, loaded onto a ship and transported to Sutherland Pier in the Port of Montreal and on to the Lantic Inc. refinery.
Lantic’s business territory is wide-ranging. in addition to its operations in Montreal, the company is the leading refiner, processor, distributor and marketer of sugar products in Western Canada, where it operates a cane sugar refinery in Vancouver and a sugar beet processing facility in Taber, Alberta. But don’t look for the round red Lantic logo on the grocery store shelves; its products are marketed under the Rogers trade name.
Refining in Montreal since 1841
The sugar refinery, winter 1917
The first sugar refinery opened in 1841, in Montreal, thanks to the port that made it possible to receive raw cane sugar from the West Indies. It was named the St. Lawrence Sugar Refining Company, and had chosen a location on the Lachine Canada. But a fire destroyed the refinery in 1887. Its owner, Mr. Baumgarten, then turned to the city of Maisonneuve, which enticed him with tax exemptions for 20 years plus a right of way for a railway line. In 1980, the refinery was acquired by Lantic Inc., which doubled production capacity by 2000.
Learn more at:
Canadian Sugar Institute