Local 20 Asbestos Workers Toronto 1914 Labour Day Parade

In the early 1900s, a group of men got together and applied for a Charter with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers. The Charter was approved –giving birth to Local 20 in Toronto.

Local 20 grew and prospered for almost 20 years, until 1933 – when Local 20 was forced to disband due to lack of funds and a decline in membership because of the stock market crash in 1929.

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the severe depression ended. Old factories re-opened and new ones were built. Many men were shipped off to serve in the war, leaving a shortage of skilled trade’s people at home to deal with the economy’s ever growing demand.

In 1940, a group of insulators [comprised mostly of the former members of Local 20] joined together with the intention of reorganizing the Toronto area. Armed with an application signed by 24 men, they once again applied for a Charter with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers. On May 1, 1941 the Charter was issued to Toronto and Local 95 came to be.

Within one month of the Charter being approved, ninety-one members joined. The Local opened its first office in 1948 in Toronto. As the membership grew, Local 95 began to educate and train their members. Mandatory classes were scheduled to teach new insulators blue print, specification reading, proper use and application of workplace materials, and personnel management.

During the growth period of Local 95, there were many jurisdictional disputes with Local 59 of Port Arthur [now known as Thunder Bay]. However, by the 1960s, an amalgamation occurred between the two Locals, with Local 59 merging into Local 95. Since then, Local 95 has expanded its membership to over 1500 members across Ontario and continues to expand, grow, and develop.


What is Insulation?

Insulation is a vital resource that protects a facility from energy loss and physical damage.

When installed properly, insulation can save money while protecting the environment at the same time. Furthermore, proper installation improves air quality. Insufficient and poorly installed insulation is the biggest cause of energy and money loss.

Mechanical Insulation allows you to spend less while protecting the environment. Using less energy means generating less carbon dioxide, a leading cause of global warming.

Local 95 Insulators

The international association of heat and frost insulators is the largest and most influential union of trained insulation mechanics, with over 25,000 members across Canada and the United States. Local 95 serves as a representative in support of this unionized industry.

Tools and materials required are strictly dependent on individual jobs. The choice of tools is determined by the choice of materials selected. This selection is and combination is vital to the insulation process, and the members working for our local have the knowledge and expertise needed to make such decisions and choices, as well as the training to implement the procedures regulated by the Province of Ontario.

The trade is becoming increasingly valued in our energy-conscious society, especially with the added savings involved with mechanical insulation.

Our apprenticeship programs provides new members to earn while they learn.



To work in unison to build a workforce within the construction industry that is capable and ready to meet owner and client demands. .

Mission Statement

The mission of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 95 shall be to assist its membership in securing employment, defend their rights, advance their interests as working men and women, and, by education and cooperation, to raise them to that position in society to which they are justly entitled.


The Holiday Canada Gave the World

Canadians rarely pause to consider its true purpose and meaning.

The origins of Labour in Canada can be traced back to a printer's revolt in 1872 in Toronto, where labourers tried to establish a 54-hour work week. At that time, any union activity was considered illegal and the organizers were jailed, at the behest of George Brown. As a result, protest marches of over 10,000 workers were formed, which eventually led to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald repealing the anti-union laws and arranging the release of the organizers.

The fight of the Toronto printers had a second, lasting legacy. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration. In 1882 American labour leader, Peter J. McGuire, witnessed one of these labour festivals in Toronto. Upon his return to the United States, Peter McGuire connected with the Knights of Labor and organized a similar parade held on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In 1884, another parade was held, and the Knights passed resolutions to make this an annual event. Other labour organizations, including the affiliates of the International Workingmen's Association [many of whom were socialists or anarchists] favoured a May 1st holiday. With the event of Chicago's Haymarket riots in early May of 1886, president Grover Cleveland believed that a May 1st holiday could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots. Fearing that it might strengthen the socialist movement, he quickly moved in 1887 to support the position of the Knights of Labor and their date for Labour Day. The date was adopted in Canada in 1894 by the government of Prime Minister John Thompson. Socialist delegates in Paris in 1889 appointed May 1 as the official International Labour Day.

At the time, trade unions were still illegal and authorities still tried to repress them, even though laws against "criminal conspiracy" to disrupt trade had already been abolished in Britain. Despite the obstacles, the assembly had emerged as an important force in Toronto. It spoke out on behalf of working people, encouraged union organization, and acted as a watchdog when workers were exploited. Occasionally, it also mediated disputes between employers and employees. By the time the landmark parade was organized in 1872, the assembly had a membership of 27 unions – representing wood workers, builders, carriage makers and metal workers, and an assortment of other trades ranging from bakers to cigar makers.

One of the prime reasons for organizing the demonstration was to demand the release of 24 leaders off the Toronto Typographical Union, who had been imprisoned for the "crime" of striking to gain a nine-hour working day. Held on Thanksgiving Day, which was then observed in the spring, the parade featured a crowd of about 10,000 Torontonians who applauded as the unionists marched proudly through the streets. In speeches that followed, trade union leaders demanded freedom for the ITU prisoners and better conditions for all workers. It was a defining moment in Canadian Labour History, opening the door to the formation of the broader Canadian labour movement over the next decade and sowing the roots for what is now an annual worker’s holiday around the world.

The Toronto parade inspired leaders in Ottawa to stage a similar event. A few months later, on September 3, 1872, seven unions in the nation's capital organized a parade more than a mile long, headed by an artillery band and flanked by city fireman. The Ottawa parade passed the home of Sir John A. MacDonald, the Prime Minister. He was hoisted into a carriage and taken to City Hall where he made a ringing promise to sweep away such “barbarous laws" as those invoked to imprison the ITU workers in Toronto. He kept his word, and before the year ended, the hated laws were gone from the statute books in Canada. The Toronto Trades Assembly was replaced in 1881 by the Toronto Trades and Labour Council, which in turn played a major role in founding the Canadian Labour Congress in 1883.

Today, Labour Day is more often associated with fairs and festivals, and has come to be the last summer weekend at the cottage, rather than its true purpose – a heartfelt celebration of workers and their families. The holiday has become a victim of the labour movement's enduring success in improving the lives of working Canadians. We are able to take paid holidays, have safe work places, medical care, unemployment insurance, fair hours, union wages, and weekends off. But how many of these advances would have happened if it were not for the long-forgotten heroes who fought so hard to make unions, and Labour Day, a reality in the first place?

Wherever it is celebrated, the purpose remains the same. In the same spirit it began in so many years ago, it remains a day that affirms the dignity and honour of working people everywhere.


The PCCC [Professional Craftsman Code of Conduct] is an International Best Practices Program for Heat and Frost Insulators, established to promote the highest quality and quantity of work by our members. This Code of Conduct lists a set of rules and regulations that members are required to adhere to. It sets a standard of work ethic, which leads to jobsite excellence and customer satisfaction. It enables our members to complete a project leaving a lasting impression of quality workmanship.


A QCC [Quality Control Craftsman] is appointed to communicate the PCCC and to monitor its movement.