Before the construction of permanent metal sheds such as Shed 16, warehouses had to be taken down as winter approached or risk being destroyed by ice,
Originally, food products passing through the port were stored in the open on the quays, exposed to the elements. Later, they were placed in temporary wooden warehouses that were dismantled every year before the arrival of winter because they could not withstand the pressure of ice and flooding.
With the construction of higher quays at the turn of the 20th century and the growth of the port, about 20 permanent sheds were built between 1904 and 1920, including Shed 16. Designed by John Kennedy, port engineer, these metal structures were used to warehouse merchandise transiting the port.
As the port’s vocation changed during the 1970s, most of the sheds were demolished. Only Shed 16 survived in its original form, having undergone few modifications over the decades.