Universal Seal Story

The next generation has arrived and is motivated to grow this long-standing polyurethane hydraulic seal company since 1967. If you find yourself in the picturesque town of Bancroft, Ontario, en route to the majestic lakes of Algonquin Park, follow this route: take a right turn from HWY 62 onto Musclow Greenview Road, and after a brief drive, you’ll discover the hidden gem that is Universal Seal on McDonald Mine Road. Couriers are wellacquainted with this location, as Universal Seal exports its products to 20 countries from the enchanting Township of Hastings Highlands.

Ms. Kim Haythorthnwaite, the current owner of Universal Seal, assumed full control in 2019. The founder’s patented design continues to uphold its quality standards today.
Kim’s professional journey included leadership roles at a private software technology company in Boulder, Colorado, and Fleet UK.

Armed with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, she specialized in designing and launching new software products in the North American market. Her father, Jimmy, acquired the factory in 1989, and Kim has closely monitored its progress ever since. After raising her two sons and successfully launching numerous software products, she seized the opportunity to become more involved in the family business

Following her father’s passing in 2015 , Kim leaned on the dependable General Manager, Mr. Blaine Shannick, whose unwavering presence at the factory dates back to 1987. Their relationship transcends the typical GM-CEO dynamic; they trust each other implicitly and deeply respect the knowledge they bring to the table. Blaine’s tenure at Universal Seal began when the computer system crashed in 1987 , and fresh out of Loyalist College, he steadily climbed the ranks to secure the top position in 2008.


Universal Seal, the long-standing polyurethane hydraulic seal company, has been steadily progressing year after year. Now, under the leadership of Ms. Kim Haythorthnwaite, the next generation is poised to take it to new heights. With the unwavering support of the trusted General Manager, Mr. Blaine Shannick, and a dedicated staff of 30, Universal Seal is embarking on an exciting expansion journey.

Why Expand? Kim and her team believe that the time is ripe to leverage the company’s historic reputation and proudly fly the Ontario and Canadian flag. Currently, Universal Seal allocates only 2% of its capacity to Ontario and a mere 8% to Canada. The focus has predominantly been on serving global clients, sometimes at the expense of local demand. This oversight will now be rectified.

Expansion Plans:

1. Worker Accommodations: The geographical workforce poses a challenge, so Universal Seal plans to construct standalone units to house 4 workers per unit. Additionally, a common house will provide meals to staff members 7 days a week. Collaborating with trade colleges for culinary expertise will ensure efficient kitchen operations, purchasing, and meal planning—a win-win for both the company and budding careers.

2. Recreational Facilities: Alongside the housing project, Kim envisions creating a vibrant and healthy environment for the out-of-town workforce. Here’s what’s in store:

  • Volleyball Court: A place for friendly matches and team bonding.

  • Frisbee Golf: An exciting outdoor activity for leisure.

  • Boccia Court: A strategic game that fosters camaraderie.

  • Outdoor Hockey Rink: A nod to Canadian culture, where workers can unwind and celebrate their contributions.

With the natural beauty of Hastings Highlands, including opportunities for hunting and fishing, Universal Seal aims to create a workplace where employees can truly appreciate the region’s values and take pride in their work. The legacy continues, blending tradition with innovation, as Universal Seal expands its footprint and embraces the future.


Kim’s sales team is energetically advancing to identify seal products needed by their factory neighbors. They’re engaging in face-to-face meetings to foster these connections. The team’s optimism stems from the belief that Canadian manufacturing is once again in the spotlight. With sectors like Mining, Automotive, Hydraulics, Hydro, Oil, and Gas thriving on Canadian soil, there’s an opportunity for Universal Seal to provide high-quality products and reduce reliance on foreign suppliers.


If you’d like to get in touch with Universal Seal, feel free to call the office or reach out to Craig Baldocchi at 514-691-6319 , cbaldocchi@universal-seal.ca. They’re ready to assist!

148 McDonald Mine Rd. Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0, Canada
Toll Free: 1-800-267-0676 (USA and Canada)
Phone: 613-332-3182