The Victoria Roller and Rice Mill housed a ship-breaking yard that evolved into one of Victoria’s most comprehensive and popular hardware story. Image : BC Archives Item B-04318
In 1885 the current home of Capital Iron, originally built as a bonding warehouse for commissioning agents Dickson, Campbell & Co, became the home of the Victoria Roller Flour and Rice Mill, a subsidiary of The Mount Royal Milling and Manufacturing Co of Lachine, Quebec.
Thermopylae taking on a pilot at the mouth of the Columbia River. Photograph by Robert Reford. Vancouver Public Library
In 1890 Mount Royal Milling purchased the clipper ship Thermopylae, once the world’s fastest sailing ship for £5,000. After re-rigging her to a barque rig, she served carrying Canadian timber and coal to Rangoon, returning to Victoria with of rice brought in from Thailand, Vietnam, and China to be processed and packaged at the mill as Dainty Rice, a Canadian favourite. The rice and flour mill operated until 1923.