From left, Kevin Finney, director of Brantford Economic Development, MP Phil McColeman, Heritage Hockey Sticks owner Graeme Roustan, MPP Will Bouma, and Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis in the soon to be new home of Heritage.  Barry Gray / The Hamilton Spectator

Heritage Hockey Sticks Inc., which has been making ice hockey sticks for elite and amateur athletes for more than 100 years, is moving its manufacturing operations to Brantford.

The company is relocating from a century old facility in Cambridge to a more modern and efficient building on Spalding Drive. The new 62,000 square foot location is twice the size of the Cambridge plant and should allow for a production increase of 300 per cent.

The company is owned by W. Graeme Roustan, who also owns The Hockey News and Sports Illustrated, and he will be investing $2 million in the new facility.

Heritage Hockey recently landed a deal to be the exclusive supplier of wood hockey sticks for Canadian Tire Corporation.

The move to Brantford will be a gradual one, taking throughout 2021. “To move a factory of this size takes a lot of time and co-ordination. It’s not done in a week or a month,” Roustan said. “We want to do it in such a way that it doesn’t disrupt any production or deliveries.”

Many of the current workers are expected to make the move to Brantford, and Roustan anticipates the workforce will grow to 100 people thanks to the new commitment from Canadian Tire.

The company has outlived its domestic competitors — it is the only mass-producer of wood, ABS, foam-core and hybrid composite sticks in Canada or the United States.

 “I am very pleased to welcome renowned hockey sticks manufacturer, Heritage Hockey Sticks to Brantford”, said Mayor Kevin Davis. “As the company name aptly states, Heritage Hockey Sticks has been making sticks for elite Canadian and American hockey brands and players for more than 100 years, and given our city’s deep roots in hockey, I think Brantford is a perfect fit for their new facility. Named the tournament capital of Ontario for very good reason, Brantford has a long tradition of sporting excellence, having hosted hundreds of local, regional and provincial tournaments each year for decades. Of course, we are also proud to be the birthplace of hockey legend, “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky and home to the world's most famous hockey dad, our Lord Mayor Walter Gretzky, who remains integrally connected to our community. We very much look forward to having Heritage Hockey Sticks become part of our economic landscape and to the positive impact their addition will make to our local economy.”