Canadian Grain Commission
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Grain elevator type descriptions

Grain elevators are licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission. Elevator types refer to the categories used in licensing.

Elevator types 1971 to present

There are four elevator types in current use.

  • ‘Primary elevators’ receive grain directly from producers for storage, or forwarding, or both.
  • ‘Process elevators’ receive and store grain for direct manufacture or processing into other products.
  • ‘Terminal elevators’ receive grain on or after official inspection and weighing and clean, store, and treat grain before moving it forward.
  • ‘Transfer elevators’ transfer grain that has been officially inspected and weighed at another elevator. In the Eastern Division, transfer elevators also receive, clean, and store eastern or foreign grain.

For official definitions of elevator types, please refer to section 2 of the Canada Grain Act (Department of Justice).

Elevator types prior to 1971

Summaries prior to 1971 include elevator types no longer defined in the Canada Grain Act. Searches for historical summaries prior to 1971 will display information for the older elevator types.

The table below shows the elevator type prior to 1971 and the elevator type they are currently categorized under.

Elevator type before 1971 Categorized as
Country Primary
Mill Process
Private and Semi-public terminals Terminal
Eastern Transfer