Redcliff Pressed Brick, the original name for I-XL companies, was established in Redcliff, Alberta, in 1912. The Redcliff plant began shipping brick in 1913.
I-XL acquired and built several additional plants over the years, notably Medicine Hat Brick & Tile, which had been operating since 1886 on the same site.
The Medicine Hat Brick & Tile site is a Provincial Historic Resource and is thought to be the oldest industrial site in Alberta.
The company was established in Redcliff, Alberta, in 1912 as The Redcliff Pressed Brick Company Limited. The Redcliff plant began shipping brick in 1913. General Manager Herb Sissons decided to use the I-XL trademark which was imprinted into the frog of his pressed brick. In his previous career selling hotel kitchen equipment, Herb handled the I-XL brand of fine cutlery from Sheffield in England. He thought the “I excel” message was appropriate to his product as well, and they have used it ever since.
I-XL grew, acquired and built several additional plants over the years, notably Medicine Hat Brick & Tile, which had been operating since 1886 on the same site. This plant was acquired in 1929 and I-XL moved their head office to the location. For many years, the operating name of the company remained Medicine Hat Brick & Tile. Herb died in 1949 and his three sons, Gordon, Jack and Tom returned to manage the company through a period of expansion in Western Canada. The name of the Company was changed to I-XL Industries Ltd. in 1971 to take advantage of the well-known I-XL trademark.
Over the next 40 years, I-XL continued our growth and expand in Western Canada. In 2003, the multiple names for distribution companies were consolidated under the name I-XL Masonry Supplies Ltd, and recently renamed I-XL Building Products Ltd.
In June 2010, the plant in Medicine Hat was flooded and I-XL was forced to close the plant.
I-XL donated the land, buildings and equipment directly related to the Brick and Tile production facility to the Friends of Medalta Society (who act as Stewards of the National Historic Clay District) in an effort to further preserve Medicine Hat’s industrial heritage. The vision for the site includes tours of the historic brick plant, the re-creation of a soft mud brick interpretive site, which will explain the brick-making process as it was done in the late 19th Century, as well as the Artist Lodge Project for visiting artists to Medalta’s International Artists in Residence program.
The site is a Provincial Historic Resource and is thought to be the oldest industrial site in Alberta. The “frozen in time” condition of the facilities represents the operation as it was in 2010.
Source: I-XL Building Products Ltd. (2017)