Piano Building in Canada
Piano building in Canada began in the early 19th century and grew into a major, thriving industry between 1890 and 1925. By this time, the quality of most Canadian pianos was so high that only the most renowned brand names were imported. However, few companies survived the Great Depression. Radio, record players, television and sophisticated sound systems gradually displaced the piano as the focus of home entertainment, and trends in music education saw students choosing a wider variety of instruments. As a result of the declining demand, companies amalgamated, were taken over or went out of business. Foreign manufacturers moved into the Canadian market by the 1950s; by the 1960s, Japanese pianos were strongly merchandised. By the 1980s, only three Canadian companies remained: Heintzman & Co., Sherlock-Manning and Lesage. The last of these, Sherlock-Manning, was shut down in the early 1990s.