The Mill

Corner Brook, Newfoundland (Map)

Fall 2010.


I distinctly remember driving home from Nova Scotia and passing through the city of Edmundston, New Brunswick.

I stopped to take a picture from the highway above town, as I had never seen a city like this before - with a skyline dominated by steam from the companies supporting the town.

It was something that I envisioned out of Northern Quebec or Siberia. I was pleased with the surprise of finding it here in Northern New Brunswick (even if I didn't have time to stop in Edmundston for further investigation).

Fast forward 18 months and I came to Corner Brook - which has a similar highway that passes above the city, with a similar main building, producing similar skyline dominating steam.

Whereas I was so enamored with Edmundston since I'd never seen anything like it before, the scene is now completely normal to me.

For as long as I've lived here, I've wanted to see what was behind security at the paper mill; even simply what the buildings looked like from outside. I had seen the views from the Lewin Parkway, from the various paths, from across the bay - but it is a large enough facility that you know there are interesting interior corridors.

As I passed security, I was excited enough to simply see the old exteriors of the buildings, the exteriors which aren't covered in sheet metal to appease the general public (like the front of the building is).

Going inside, I also couldn't complain about finally seeing the interior after 2 years of only seeing the exterior.

The explanations also made the interior tour invaluable as well. I was shown where the bark is stripped from the trees and moved aside, and then where the debarked trees (above) come down a conveyor...

...towards the tumbler, which aligns and sorts the tree pieces.

We had to walk for a bit to reach the next step of the process, so we detoured into the repair areas and the canteen.

The canteen was straight out of 1973 and I was delighted to get a Powerade there.

We continued along past where the trains used to come in, noticing that the tracks are now flooded with water.

The trains of Newfoundland stopped in 1988 & their loss in industry uses, is something that never crossed my mind.

As we walked & walked, we were really getting into the bowels of the plant.

I enjoyed this as well & was happy to be getting a different tour than the standard one you likely get with a group of tourists.

We finally met back up with the paper process, as the mush produced by the previous mechanism seemed to be entering & exiting the pits of hell at this point...

...then as it exited, the mixture was pressed down, heated & rolled...

...and voilà! Paper!

(Beware the incoming rolls though).

In addition to the one active machine we toured, we were also shown the two dormant paper machines (and there's another active machine as well).

These dormant machines haven't run in a few years.

Since I was already past security & had the opportunity to see the administration building, I figured that I better; so that when I'm constantly stuck at the unintelligent light on the Lewin Parkway, I wouldn't find myself gawking at the administration building in regret.

Anyway, the administration building wasn't anything special, but I liked their company curling trophy.


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