A rich natural resource
In 1905, usable natural gas was discovered and the City of Medicine Hat took over the rights to distribution. City incentives, low taxes, railway access and inexpensive utilities made Medicine Hat irresistible to manufacturers in the early 1900s. This interest sparked a boom of investment from companies and more than 60 products, including everything from candy to manhole covers, came to be manufactured in Medicine Hat.
Since the first greenhouse opened its doors in 1913, Medicine Hat and the surrounding area has grown into one of Canada’s largest greenhouse clusters. The Rosery Flower Co. opened in 1913, growing acres of cut flowers, vegetables and house plants. Today, greenhouses produce peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers for Canadian and international grocery stores.
Medicine Hat proved the ideal location for stoneware companies. Until 1958, Medicine Hat’s ceramics factories churned out china, crocks, jugs, churns and bricks for homes, hotels and railways. The Medalta factory complex has been recognized as a National Historic Site and today stands as a living museum and contemporary ceramic arts hub.
Alta Glass, a producer of hand-made decorative glassware, used Medicine Hat’s low-cost natural gas to make glass from scratch. The company operated in Medicine Hat from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Medicine Hat’s brewing history dates back the 1800s. The city’s first brewery, the Saskatchewan Brewing Co., opened in the late 1880s. Founded in 1890, the original Medicine Hat Brewing Co. was a popular place for workers after a long day at the factory.