History of Thwaites Farms Ltd.
Feeding Canadians since 1946.
Our history begins in 1909 with Reginald F Thwaites (1895-1995) who lived at Bernardo’s Home for destitute boys in England moving to Canada through an immigration program through the orphanage to work on farms in Canada. He came to Canada at just 14 years old. Reginald worked on a cattle and hay farm then moved to a fruit farm where he learned and appreciated the challenge. By 1920 he had purchased his own farm in Jordan Station, Ont. His eldest son Ronald K. Thwaites (1923-2003) enjoyed the farm life, but it all fell on his shoulders in 1938 when his father Reginald was having health issues, and Ron was forced to quit school in grade 9 to run the farm full time. Ron ran the family farm for several years until he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1942. He served in Europe during WWII until 1946 when he made his way back to Canada.
Ron’s younger brother had taken over the family farm in his absence. Once home Ron purchased what is the original section of Thwaites Farms Ltd. in Niagara-on-the-Lake in April 1946. The original farm was 20 acres with a small house, a small barn, and a horse. The original farmhouse is still there, (the middle of the current farmhouse) and the original barn where the horse was kept is currently the office.
The original farm was mixed fruit crops set up to keep a couple of people busy all season long harvesting strawberries, cherries, peaches, and pears and in the winter, Ron would work at General Motors in St Catharines.
Ron married in 1957 and started his own family. John, his eldest and current owner, was born with the same love of farming as his father but wanted to turn the humble family farm into a business. John went to the University of Guelph and received a degree in Ag. Economics. He streamlined the crops and started purchasing more land and planting grapes in the early 80s. John grew the farm from about 50 acres to 150 acres quite quickly and maintained those acres as he grew his family of four boys. In the late 90s, as John saw some of his boys shared the same love of farming as he did, he started to grow the business once again. Adding more land, the farm continued to grow as the next generation joined the business. Graham (Packing Manager/ Orchard Manager) joined the farm full-time in 2003. Nelson (Asparagus / Field Manager) joined the farm full-time in 2007. Corbin (Equipment and Maintenance Manager) joined full-time in 2017.