Former Site of the Oberndorffer Cigar Factory

Street Address : 298 Ontario Street
Period : 1850-1900

From 1899 to 1927, this was the site of Simon Oberndorffer’s Cigar Factory. Occupying 298-304 Ontario Street, the old four-storey brick building had a frontage of sixty feet and a depth of a hundred and twenty feet. A staff of forty-eight workers was employed to produce fine cigars, the most popular of which were the “la Parepa” and “Grant” (the latter named after Queen’s University principal George Grant). The building was demolished in 1947.

Oberndorffer, originally of Bavaria, learned the cigar trade in New York City before making his way to Kingston in 1857. He became one of the city’s prominent public men, elected alderman of Cataraqui Ward in 1892. When he died in 1913 at age 83, his son Marcus took over the cigar business before closing it for good in 1927 to take on full-time management of the Clarence Street Garage.

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