Casa Loma Campus to 909 Kipling
Ironworker apprenticeship began formally with mandatory in-school training in the mid to late sixties. The courses that were offered in the early stages included Ironworker Theory, Ironworker Practical, Math, Blueprints and English. As the program matured into what it is today it moved through many stages of development both in the makeup of the classes and the locations where they were held.
All of the six locals in Ontario participated in the formalized apprenticeship by completing their in-school requirements at George Brown College, Casa Loma Campus, Toronto. Apprentices from across the province met and trained at this central location with classes running two to three at a time from September to June. Although there were many apprentice instructors and coordinators over the years there were three who almost all apprentices who trained there will remember: Phil Richards, John Layton and Ray Slaney. Brother Slaney continues to teach and supervises the weld shop at Casa Loma.
The Ironworker apprentice program remained at Casa Loma until the last class in 1995. In advance of this date there was a move to extend the reach of apprenticeship to regional areas and Ironworker Locals that had training centers were given the opportunity to take on the training in-house. Some locals had moved away from the central training site previous to 1995 – Local 736, Hamilton transferred to the local college in 1989 and took it in-house in 1996. Local 700, Windsor began their in-house program in 1992. Ironworkers Local 721 Toronto opened their doors to the first Ironworker apprentice class trained at 909 Kipling Avenue on April 7, 1997. The first Instructor to teach the Ironworker apprenticeship at Local 721 Training and Rehabilitation Centre was Brother Darren Mahoney. Training for welder upgrading, window-wall/curtainwall and reinforcing as well as many other journeyman upgrading and trade rehabilitation courses had been ongoing at this site since the inception of the training center in 1989.
Currently the Training center handles five intakes of Ironworker apprentices per year from September to June. The class curriculum now consists of the following: Ironworker practical, Ironworker theory, Trade Math, Blueprints and Welding. Individual breakdown of each component varies with each of the three intakes: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Each Course runs as a block release program for eight consecutive weeks, Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. till 3:30 pm.
Reinforcing Rodworker apprentices also do their in-school training at Local 721, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.