Skip to content

Otaco became renowned for its unique Minnitoys after the war

West Street factory went from manufacturing farm equipment in 1910 to crafting sturdy toys in the early 1950s

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

Otaco Limited was established on West Street South in 1910 and started manufacturing equipment for the farming industry.

One of “Canada’s finest” farm wagons was the Otaco Roadmaster wagon shown here. This sturdy Roadmaster wagon being pulled by a tractor was decorated by the Otaco staff for entry in the 1952 Orillia Santa Claus Parade.

A close look at the items displayed reveal several of the popular steel Minnitoys made at Otaco.

Starting after the decline of war production in 1946, Otaco produced thousands of these quality toys including water pistols, bulldozers, transport trucks and thousands of gas tankers with popular company logos such as BA, Shell and Fina. 

On the farm wagon display can be seen the Junior Wheelbarrow which was made starting in 1952, the Minnitoy Dump Truck made in 1949 and the Steam Shovel.

The Steam Shovel was the first toy made at Otaco in 1946 and after a few design changes became one of the best sellers for the Minnitoy line. By the mid-1960s, the toy industry had changed and with the availability of low-priced plastic toys, production of the Minnitoy came to its end.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.