The Metalworks® - Story

The Mill

It began with a maple tree.

In 1827 the tree was felled and a city was born. A few short years later, on a humble patch of land just steps from where the tree once stood, a milling family began a long tradition of industry.

In 1830, on the bank of the Speed River, a millwright named Horace Perry established Guelph Mills, the city’s first large-scale industrial development.

Shortly thereafter William Allan and his sons immigrated to Canada and took ownership of the mill, renaming it Allan’s Mill and Distillery.

Over the next forty years Allan’s Mill and Distillery would expand to include a flour mill, distillery, brewery, livestock farm, copper shop, forge, metalworking shop, planning mill, woodworking shop, lime kiln and stone quarry. It had become Guelph’s largest company when in 1876, after a devastating fire, Allan’s Mill closed for good.

The Metal

At the turn of the 20th century Guelph embarked on its long tradition of metalworking. It began in 1899 with The AR Woodyatt Company. They manufactured hardware, lawnmowers, irons, and barn door hangers until 1902 when the property was sold.

The Taylor-Forbes Company Ltd. quickly built a sizable new foundry and machine shop on the site. They became known both at home and abroad as one of the country’s most prolific manufacturers of lawn mowers and general hardware.

In 1956 Taylor-Forbes passed the torch to The W.C. Wood Company who continued making hardware and added freezers, milk coolers, and electrical farm equipment to their production.

W.C. Wood closed its doors in 2010, but over 100 years of forging, forming, and manufacturing metal left a galvanizing mark on this historic site.

The Team

The Fusion Story

Lee Piccoli founded Fusion Homes with the sole purpose of creating a home building company that could offer the highest level of service, reliability, and integrity. A fresh vision to create superior homes without sacrificing quality or service in an industry full of cost cutting competitors.

Since then, Fusion Homes has evolved into an industry leader with over 2,000 homes built in 5 cities across Ontario and an unprecedented 6 Tarion Awards of Excellence for Satisfaction.

“I get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction,” says Piccoli, “seeing an empty piece of land evolve into a community; a place where strangers become neighbours.”

The Partners


Over twenty years ago, Steven Kirshenblatt and Clifford Korman, partners, founded Kirkor Architects + Planners. Since then, it has developed into a firm of nearly 60 architects, interns and technologists who support a robust client list, including major developers both close to home and around the world. Kirkor’s focus is creating responsible, sustainable and economically viable developments through smart growth strategies, so they’re a natural partner for a project that will last long into the future.

General Contractor

VanMar Constructors Inc. got its start many years ago in 1973, when brothers Eric and Bernie launched a firm called Van Maren Construction. Several years later, brother Art joined the company. Since their modest beginnings in framing and concrete construction, the Van Maren brothers have built everything from townhomes to hotels, non-profit social and co-operative housing, care facilities, seniors housing, luxury high-rise condominiums, and office/retail to industrial buildings. In the process, they’ve earned a first-class reputation with owners, lenders, investors and design teams.