Monday, July 8, 2013

Abandonment Issues: Canadian Foundry

Photo by James Victor Salmon 1955
Photo by James Victor Salmon 1955 (Cropped) (Photo found online)

Photo by James Victor Salmon 1955 (Cropped) (Photo found online) 

Very little historical information can be found regarding the former Canadian Foundry in the historic Mimico neighbourhood in Toronto's south-west city of Etobicoke.

SuperSS, a fellow explorer, conjectured and extrapolated based on location specifics, his own research and his personal experiences playing on this site as a child in the early 1970s. He put the estimated construction date "somewhere between 1913 and 1924." Given the proximity of about 100 yards from the old Mimico rail car servicing and train yards, combined with his childhood memories, he figured that Canadian Foundry "was probably making parts for the old Grand Trunk Railway and then CN (Canadian National Railway)." "I remember a lot of train wheels being around the property when we were kids. We used to borrow hand operated rail cars and race each other up and down the side tracks."

Eventually several silos were erected on the site and "American Colloid used these silos and mixed molding materials for the metal-casting industry, they mixed various products and individualized formulas for a number of foundries prior to leaving this location."

It is unknown when American Colloid left this location. It is also unknown if they used the foundry structure itself or just the silos.


A concrete mixing company purchased the property sometime in the past few years. They are using the silos for mixing of concrete and parking their mixing trucks in the lot beside the silos. They are apparently renting out the rest of the available parking space, as the lot is jam packed with trucks and large trailers with up to date license tags. They have also been storing a random assortment of things inside the old foundry, including a stash of Halloween decorations, which made for some creepy images captured and shared by SuperSS and other explorers in April of this year. By many accounts, including SuperSS and a neighbour that I spoke to at the time of our visit, the new owners of this plot of land are not well liked in the community. It is reportedly widely believed that the green fence that they have erected around the property is less about keeping people out than keeping secrets in. Sketchy questionable activities are rumoured to have taken place, but no one will elaborate on what exactly those activities have been. These are just rumours, nothing substantiated, but we would be foolish not to keep this rumoured sketchiness in mind as we approached the old foundry. We would also have to be cautious of the two german shephards that we were warned are sometimes on guard.

After an incredible experience exploring the historic Loblaw Groceteria last week, we made our way to the former Canadian Foundry. As we approached, the two german shephards were indeed barking angrily and we almost turned around and left due to their aggressive presence. But a dumpster was sitting in front of an open garage door and I couldn't resist peeking inside the building.

Further inside, the dogs were still barking relentlessly just beyond the rear fence, but if they could access us we would have been bitten by now, I told Ninja. It is not a very large building and we made quick work of poking around and photographing the two expansive rooms and colourful reflections in the large puddles, as well as some minor details and Halloween decorations.

Unfortunately our visit came a little too late to capture the full creep factor that other explorers encountered in April, as most of the decorations had been removed. Gone were the ghouls and goblins, the skeletons and mannequins. Gone were the children's toys and the masks and the plastic merry go round horses. Gone was the headless pajama clad child's body riding a tricycle.

The remaining decorations that we did photograph were likely about to take a ride in that dumpster outside as well.

As I said, to the soundtrack of two aggressively barking guard dogs, we made quick work of it.





















On our way out, we were approached by a neighbour who shared his negative opinion of the landowner and what little he knew about the buildings history. We spoke with him briefly, but our conversation was cut short by a text I received from another fellow explorer, that had us rushing back to the car.

The text informed us to come and meet so and so at the spot we were hoping would open up. So of course, much like the Halloween decorations at the Canadian Foundry...we were gone.

Thanks for checking out the Canadian Foundry with us.

click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES

1 comment:

Puppets said...

Definitely by exterior architecture images PRE-1914 design and construction. If you contact me I can help you out with several factories, churches, hospitals and related institutions as I intensely research these for the Canadian WW1 era including archival research. Glad to help out. John