Lines Bros Canada LTD St. Patrick Street Montreal, P.Q.  on bank of the Lachine Canal

Tri-ang had subsidiary companies with ten factories in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Were if not for high tariffs, manipulated exchange rates, restrictions or imports of goods into many countries, and ever increasing freight rates, export from the U.K. of completely manufactored products would be far greater than it was.  To solve this problem it became necessary to manufacture inside the various barriers. This was not only to increase British trade but to protect Tri-angs designs, patents and trade marks.

In 1947 a companie was founded and Lines bougtht a large freehold factory and 11 acres of land in Montreal, Canada's largest city and the mainport into Quebec and Ontario. Considerable space was provided for warehousing a very large variety of completed Toys and Prams imported from our English factory and Kines produced, on the spot, some millions of dollars worth of "domestic" goods per annum

Exterior Vancouver B.C., showroom.

The showrooms and service warehouse in Vancouver was intended to help the dealers in the great Western Provinces of Canada. It was Lines freehold property and it was hoped that the investment in British Columbia wought bring Lines trade relations with British Columbia nearer, clearer and better.

G. & J. Lines introduced the Thistle trademark in 1910. In 1913 G. & J. Lines moved to a new location called Thistle Works in Down Lane, Tottenham in North London.

They produced pedal cars. like the ones below. The green pedal car is a 1916 Renault. The blue one was built in 1920. They had a wooden construction and radically spooked wheels.




It proved difficult to persuade Canadian buyers to go in for the latest English models. Therefor it became necessary to "Go Canadian" and provide a complete range of utterly North American products.

Thistle surprised itself, and what Director Joseph Lines would have sais if he had seen some of the "hot" items in the Canadian list would hardly have been printable. Canada got its own design department and toolroom and in addition the right to draw on Lines experimental brains in London.

There is no doubt that had Lines not ventured into Canada in this way their exports to that great Dominion could not have exeeded one-tenth of their value.


There were three agents (showrooms) in Canada:

St. Patrickstreet in Montreal

Wellinton Street in Toronto, Ontario


Corner of Kingsway and 17th in Vancouver.

In 1964 a new showroom was situated in Waterloo Quebec


Lines Bros LTD SAWMILL , Sutton Canada

Sutton was (is?) near the forests and thus timber was less expensive that in Montreal. Lines had their own timber kilns heated by wood waste from their Sawmill, it was also economic.


As said, Thistle produced the same range as Tri-ang. However, besides their own decals, Thistle changed some specifications of several models like the

Tri-ang 200 series.

American collector Jack Barton was so kind to sent us the pictures below this text.

The truck with the blue cabin has different tyres, which should not mean that they are not original.

In various countries Tri-ang sometimes bought the tyres from a local factory.

All Thistle 200 lorries had a left handed mounted steering.  The rear door latch is opposite from the English 200 Van.

It is strange that these Thistle 200 series are the only Thistle pictures I could find .

Thistle door latch

Tri-ang door latch


April 2012 I received a picture of a Thistle Loco with besides the regular triangle decal, a Canadian Pacific decal on the side .

The same loco was produced in New Zealand and in England. More about the Tri-ang trains: click here


New Zealand




Do you collect Thistle toys or do you have any further information about Thistle? Please contact me.

Thank you !

click below :    


Thistle produced a large range of Pedal Cars. Below you will find the some of these pedal cars, starting with the 1951 series.

Thistle - President -

The aerodynamic pedal auto.

This is the equivalent of the

Tri-ang Centurion.

Thistle produced two different


The President and a Tri-ang 100 de luxe.


Thistle Commander

Thistle Chiefstain Crash wagon

Thistle Station wagon

Thistle "Jeep" Fire truck

Thistle "Jeep" roadster

Thistle "Jeep " Pick-Up

Rear view Station wagon

Thistle "Bantam "

Thistle "Bantam" Fire Chief

Thistle - Comet- Racer

Thistle Major Tractor

The Thistle Tractor came with several

accessories as a Sulkie, a trailer and a Bulldozer.


From several fellow collectors I received pictures of their Thistle pedal cars.


Mr. Pat Leblanc send me the pictures of a Thistle Bantam Fite Chief.

It is an equivelant of the 1955 Tri-ang Duke Fire engine.

The pictures of this Thistle Station Wagon were send by Canadian Donna Utley

Canadian collector David Keirstead is the proud owner of this fabulous Thistle 100 de Luxe. The flagship of the Thistle pedal cars.

It is in a great complete condition. The most beautifull I have seen. Thank you for pictures David!

Mr. Christian Morreau send me the pictures of a Thistle Corvet.



The Thistle Comet Pedal Auto and the Thistle Service Station Jeep

were shown in a 1957 advert

The pictures of this rare Thistle Service Station Jeep were send by Vintage Toy Oasis in Canada
Canadian Rick Fields is the proud owner of this Thistle Major Tractor . (The tractor has its original rubber smoke pipe)
Brenda Yerxa from Canada surprised her husband Joe with this great restored Thistle Rocket 30

Tony Pepin from Canada send me pictures of his rare Thistle Rocket 88

Sandy Keating from Canada is the lucky owner of this rare 1951 Thistle Police Radio pedal car.



This Thistle Meteor pedal car is own by Mr. David Sargant. . His sister got it in 1957, then it was passed onto David. His three kids played with it, and now his granddaughter has her eye on it!

It is a rare pedal car in a great condition and the only one I've seen with a dashboard.
David Sargant, Thank you for the pictures!


This pedal fantastic car belongs to Mr. Rick Dexter. I have never encountered this colour scheme of style of graphics and

I have no doubt that it is in original condition.

Thank you for the pictures Rick!



Canadian Doug Shand is a serious Thistle collector. He is an auto refinish tech by trade, with 34 years of experience in the field of auto restoration and refinishing. 

Doug provided a lot of information and pictures for this Thistle. Thank you Doug!

March 2012 Doug is restored a Thistle Lightning.

A restored Thistle Major Tractor

An original Thistle Fire Chief

Thistle Rocket 60

Thistle Fire Chief

Thistle Lighting

It made Doug's grandson happy!

Thistle V70 Ladder wagon

Thistle Rocket 70 Fire Chief

Thistle Station wagen Circle T Range

Thistle Construction  Co

Thistle Rocket 60 Dump Truck

Thistle Zephyr ??

Through the years, Thistle used different decals.

The unusual decal left was put on a Thistle Doll Rocking chair.

This chair was probably a Canadian design for the

North American market.

(I couldn't find a Tri-ang equivalent in my catalogues)

I received the pictures from Brenda Rogerson. Thank you!

Brenda wrote: I Found your site while trying to find information on a doll's

rocking child that I have, with  a label on it "Thistle reg'd trade mark"

What a surprise to find out that the company was near by in Montreal and

that I live between Sutton, Qc where the sawmill was located and Waterloo,

Qc. where the showroon was later located.


How Doug Shand is restoring his Thistle Chiefstain  CLICK HERE :

For several Thistle pedal cars we restored and reproduced complete decal sets : click here
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