John McLaughlin opened a small plant in Toronto, Canada, in 1890 to manufacture soda water, which he sold in siphons to drugstores as a mixer for fruit juices and flavored extracts. After hundreds of painstaking experiments, McLaughlin achieved the perfect formula for his Canada Dry Pale Dry Ginger Ale in 1904. In 1919, McLaughlin began to ship the product to New York City, and two years later the first Canada Dry plant in the United States was opened on 38th Street in Manhattan.
In 1923, P. D. Saylor and Associates purchased the entire company from the McLaughlin family and formed Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. Consumer demand soon outgrew the production capacity of the New York City plant, which sparked a program of national expansion. It was during this growth that the famous "Down from Canada Came Tales of a Wonderful Beverage" advertising campaign was developed.
There's no doubt that the pleasant qualities of ginger ale made it the perfect mixer to mask the taste of home brew during Prohibition. For Canada Dry, the Roaring '20s roared with success. Even the high price of 35 cents for a 12-ounce bottle didn't hinder the progress of sales. The '30s saw the introduction of Canada Dry's Sparkling Water, quickly followed by tonic water, collins mix and other fruit flavors as mixers.
For Canada Dry, the '80s was also a time of several ownership changes. In 1986, Canada Dry found a home when it was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes of London. Today, Canada Dry is part of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the leading producer of flavored soft drinks in North America and the Caribbean. Today the Canada Dry portfolio also contains club soda, tonic water, and sparkling seltzer water in a variety of flavors.