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The End of Kodachrome and the Death of Kodak Heights

Posted by Rick McGinnis / July 3, 2009

kodak toronto kodachromeLast week's announcement by Kodak that they were discontinuing their iconic Kodachrome slide film made me wonder what's become of the Kodak lands where their Canadian factory stood for 80 years. The disappearance of Kodachrome is just one more milestone in the end of the film era of photographic history, but for me, the closure and demolition of Kodak's Mount Dennis plant four years ago was the one that rang the death knell resoundingly.

There's nothing left of the Mount Dennis plant but Building 9, though that might not be the case for much longer - the former home of Kodak's employee centre is a derelict hulk, open to the elements and the depredations of local kids who've smashed nearly everything breakable and covered the walls with graffiti tags. Metrus Properties, the developer who demolished the plant two years ago, has obviously put the preservation of the sole remnant of what was once called Kodak Heights at the bottom of their list of priorities, and it's hard to imagine it still being around when Metrus - or anyone - finally gets around to breaking ground.

Kodak and Mount DennisKodak literally made Mount Dennis - the aerial photo above (Building 9 is shaded with green) shows Kodak Heights in 1930, a few years after my mother began working there. The neighbourhood grew to provide places for employees of Kodak - and CCM and Heintzman and Willys Overland, to name a few of the industries to the north and south in Weston and the Junction - to live. Weston Road on either side of Eglinton thrived with Kodak's fortunes - so much so that the company's decision to cut the lunch break to half an hour in the '70s is still considered the fatal blow that gutted the street's merchant life.

Eglinton looking east from Kodak, 1929From the air, Kodak and Mount Dennis seem prosperous, but look at the vast expanse of woodland, farm and pasture to the north and east, or this photo, taken at the same time, of Eglinton Avenue looking east - a rural road that actually ended a few hundred yards to the west, just before Jane Street. This is the Kodak where my mother worked, and the Mount Dennis where she lived - a self-contained, working class "unplanned suburb" that had changed a lot before I was born, by which time Eglinton was a paved thoroughfare that roared through the neighbourhood.

Eglinton looking east from Kodak, 2009Kodak prospered the whole time, and by the time my mother had left to raise a family, my cousin had begun her long career with the company, and my sister would later work summer jobs at the plant. Employment reached a peak of over 3,000 in the '70s, but had fallen to just 800 when Kodak Heights finally closed in 2005, an obsolete legacy that the company had to shed to survive in the digital age. While I can understand why Kodak Heights couldn't survive, it's still hard to suppress sadness and even anger when I approach Building 9 from Photography Drive.

Burned-out security checkpoint, Kodak landsTwo years ago, I was aiming my camera through the fence to shoot the machines tearing down the plant; today I can just step over the fence and walk out into the wasteland around Building 9. Kodak's imposing presence in Mount Dennis still lingers enough to make me wonder that it's disappeared so completely. Besides Building 9, the only remnant is the burned-out security checkpoint by Industry Drive, and the massive pylon for the backlit Kodak billboard that faced Black Creek Drive.

The wrecked auditorium in Building 9Building 9 has become a destination for camera-toting urban archaeologists, and their photos from just the past few months reveal how quickly the building is being destroyed. As I walk through the side door to the auditorium/gymnasium that was added to the rear of the building in the '30s, I can't help but remember that the last time I was here was almost a decade ago, when I was given a tour of the plant while writing a feature on Mount Dennis for Toronto Life. The gym was filled with rows of chairs facing a screen, in preparation for a company address to the employees, most of whom already knew that time was running out at Kodak Heights. I illustrated that article with a film camera; it seems like so long ago.

The trashed offices in Building 9Upstairs, the offices have been trashed, sheer curtains sway in the breeze through broken windows, and the soggy pulp of broken ceiling tiles melt into torn carpets. My search for some Kodak artifact is finally rewarded by what's left of the camera club darkrooms - a package of blotting paper for drying prints. Downstairs, the lobby floor is covered with broken glass and shards from the shattered art deco chandeliers that once lit the sweeping staircase. I imagine my mom, an irrepressibly sociable woman, hurrying up the stairs to some company function, an image that becomes more vivid later that night, when I find this heartbreaking photo of the lobby from a 1942 employee's guidebook.

The lobby of Building 9, 1942

The ruin of Building 9's lobbyI understand completely why Kodak, eager to avoid the fate of its onetime rival, Polaroid, had to make drastic decisions such as the one to close Kodak Heights. I can also understand why local residents and politicians are pressuring Metrus Properties to try and replace the industrial jobs the area has lost, instead of filling the Kodak lands with big box retail stores. I can even understand why bored local kids are trashing Building 9 - frankly, I might have been one of them if this had happened 30 years ago. What I can't understand is how no one can see the value of Building 9, even if just as a reminder of when even blue collar life had its touches of elegance, but I'm sure my dismay is largely a personal reaction to what seems like the erasure of all that history, much of it my own.

The trashed offices in Building 9 The trashed offices in Building 9 The trashed offices in Building 9.jpgThe wasteland surrounding Building 9, former Kodak plant

Discussion

113 Comments

R / July 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm
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What a gorgeous building this must have been in the past! It's a shame that it's so wrecked now... It's unfortunate to think that if it was in a different part of time it might have been saved and converted to something useable like offices or condos... Hopefully Metrus will take another look, see the value and bring it back to life. Because you're right - it's a shame to lose all that history.
Gloria / July 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm
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It's still quite beautiful on the outside ... lovely proportions. If only it could be saved. That photo of the lobby is pretty heartbreaking.
Joel / July 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm
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Wonderful article. Is that a mural at the landing of the lobby stairs? Do you know what became of that, or has it suffered the same fate as the rest of the building?
Sandy Kemsley / July 3, 2009 at 01:31 pm
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Great article. My father worked at that plant for 40 years, retiring in the mid 80's. My only recollections are going there for family Christmas parties each year, where kids of a certain age (10?) were given a camera as a gift. The only down side is that every fact of my young life was photographed, making me camera-shy for years!
Michael / July 3, 2009 at 01:52 pm
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Very sad indeed! More so for those who will never know how much more amazing and flawless film photography is!
Bardo / July 3, 2009 at 01:55 pm
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I for one think your feelings and comments are pretty much bang-on. Human beings are creatures of place, of community. The pace of technological change combined with the sell-out of communities' industrial base for short-term gain means that necessary sense of groundedness will become ever-more elusive.
rick mcginnis replying to a comment from Gloria / July 3, 2009 at 03:22 pm
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Gloria - the building isn't fancy, but it's probably pleasing to the eye because it's built according to old formulas; if you draw a line from the bottom on one side to the top on the other, you'll notice that it intersects with the corners of the window frames on the way. There was a book called "The Old Way Of Seeing" published a bunch of years ago that detailed how these formulas, like the Golden Mean, worked in architecture, and that one of the great tragedies is that we've abandoned them almost entirely today.
rick mcginnis replying to a comment from Michael / July 3, 2009 at 03:24 pm
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Michael - I'm nostalgic for film sometimes, too (don't get me started on my old Rolleis,) but I'd be the last person to say anything bad about digital, which has made it possible for me to turn this around in a matter of hours, not days, using my trusty Olympus E-30. I love the look of my old prints, but I don't miss my darkroom - not for a second, and that, I'm sure, is one of the reasons why Kodak Heights is gone. You can't argue with simple expediency in the end.
rick mcginnis replying to a comment from Joel / July 3, 2009 at 03:28 pm
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Joel - I wish I knew what happened to the mural on the landing. It might be there, under several layers of paint, or it might be long gone. Kodak Canada wasn't exactly mad for preservation of their history at the end, or in the long decades before that. By the '50s, that sort of "heroic realism," or whatever you want to call it, was considered old fashioned, even discredited, thanks to its adoption by both fascists the Soviets - a relic of the '30s, best forgotten.
Jerrold replying to a comment from rick mcginnis / July 3, 2009 at 05:21 pm
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I shoot Olympus too. We should talk about lenses... I'd be happy to lend/borrow. :)
Oileanach / July 3, 2009 at 06:19 pm
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Perhaps the subject matter is clouding my judgement some, but this is one of the best photo essays I've seen here for some time - nice work in the photos, the writing, and the links! The pleasing simplicity of the building's lines and the surprisingly clean exterior add to the attraction.

It is interesting to see how fast the site has been cleared. If you look at this area in Google Earth, the default photo shows many more buildings intact (a claimed Dec 2005 though things look far too green). August 2007 shows many buildings demolished but three large ones remain, and the most recent available (Nov 2007) shows just the lonely building #9.
Adam Sobolak / July 3, 2009 at 08:22 pm
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There's a sad, lonely tokenism to Building 9 being the only "designated" survivor, especially considering how the exquisite neighbouring International Style administration building was, in fact, the "public face" for Kodak Heights over the last four decades of its existence--a little creative heritage vision could have incorporated that as well. And not just on modern-preservation grounds; from a planning standpoint, it and Building 9 together could have formed a more effective and self-justifying "critical mass", both in commemorating Kodak and in guiding future creative planning visions for the site. Building 9 all by itself is so forlorn and pathetic, no wonder it's been subject to such abuse...
B. / July 4, 2009 at 03:18 pm
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It's nice to see what it looks like inside in daylight (and not lit by tea lights alone/when being kicked out by police).
Really interesting building and history.

Too bad about the asbestos in it...though I guess it's a one time thing so that's probably not too bad.
Jonathan / July 4, 2009 at 05:24 pm
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Nice shots! The rest of the plant was in a semi-derelict state for a while (full power to some areas) before demolition, and was really neat to explore - this last remaining building, however, has seen better days...

jonathan@blogTO
Oileanach / July 6, 2009 at 03:38 pm
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Interesting: the proposed Eglinton LRT is suggested to have a maintenance facility on this old Kodak land. See the PDF at http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/eglinton_crosstown_lrt/pdf/2009-06-15-to-25_display_boards_part1.pdf, page 30.
Mike / July 6, 2009 at 04:43 pm
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I lived all that for almost 10yrs. I was there right until the end. Great place to work. Many good memories. So sad to see how the place looks like now. Too bad there was no way to at least try and do something with that one building.
Kathy Anderson / July 8, 2009 at 08:31 pm
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I worked at Kodak for 18 years. I spent 1 year in plant services on night shift cleaning building 9. Its sad to see what has happened to it.
rick mcginnis / July 8, 2009 at 08:47 pm
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Maybe it's time to shame some people - Gabrielle Mair is head of Industrial and Office leasing at Metrus Properties; her e-mail is gabriellem@metrusproperties.com. Antoniette Grossi is head of Retai leasing at Metrus; her e-mail is antonietteg@metrusproperties.com. Francis Nunziata is the councillor for Ward 11; her e-mail is councillor_nunziata@toronto.ca. They should know what's happening to Building 9 and what you think of it.
Rob Whitney / July 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm
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I worked there for almost 20 years and have not been back to the site since it's official closing. Very sad to see how fast it has become nothing but empty wasteland.
Don Slinger / July 9, 2009 at 09:02 am
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These great shots bring back memories for me, since I worked there for 30 years, and had an uncle who predated me at "The Kodak" for 46 years between the end of the war, yes, World War I, and the arrival of the Beatles at the end of 1963. Just one correction on your first photo from 1930. The highlighted building is Bldg. 7, the main office. Bldg. 9, the recreation building, was built to the left (west) of B-7 during World War II. It housed the cafeteria, training centre, gymnasium, which doubled as an auditorium, the Manager's Dining Room and the Camera Club. At the very top was the projection room, where spotlights were aimed at the stage during annual productions of the Kodak Theatre Group.

I love the photo looking west on Eglinton Ave in 1929. When I look to the left, down near Jane St., I can see the farm where my mother was born in 1916. She was one year away from beginning grade 9 at York Memorial Collegiate when this shot was taken.

I too, recently took some photos of Building 9. I did not enter the property, but took my shots from beyond the fence. I still consider the property sacred ground. And no amount of demolition or trashing can tarnish the memories of my days spent there working with truly wonderful people in the most unique manufacturing environment in the world. Unfortunately that world is gone from North America forever.
Kathy / July 9, 2009 at 09:19 am
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I do scrapbooking and would love it if people could email photo's they may have of Kodak, together with their stories. I would love to put a scrapbook together. My email address is kbarkley3560@rogers.com
Thanks
Kathy
Chris Durand / July 9, 2009 at 10:39 am
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I'd like to touch on some parts of Kodak other than the buildings. Specifically the people and the culture.The Kodak company paid a wage dividend every year based on the company performance. I believe it only failed to pay it in 1930 during The Great Depression.
It had company sponsored hockey teams, basketball teams, baseball teams, bowling clubs both indoor and outdoor, a curling club, a camera club, a theater club and more.
They helped pay for night school for many employees. They had a policy of promotion from within. They had job fairs at the local high schools suchs as York Memo, George Harvey, Runnymede and Weston Collegiate. I worked Night Cleaners,Paper Finishing, Film Coating, Brampton Warehouse,Consumer Markets and Consumer Electronics over my 35 years there. Blue collar or White collar, this company was unique and so were the people. Buildings come and go, and time moves on. It would be great to preserve building 9 as an historic building and a tribute to the contributions made over the decades by Kodak Canada to the community and the country and bring back the plaque that marked the barracks where thousands of Canadian recruits stayed before being shipped off to the trenches in WW1. There are few people who's lives have not been enriched by pictures
c. durand
Bruce Walker / July 9, 2009 at 10:58 am
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I recall I had my name engraved on a 'Hole in One" golf trophy that was mounted on the west wall of the entrance to Bldg 9 (8th Hole Scarlet Woods Golf course across the street in case anyone was interested!!!) Peter Spring was there....Paul Hurley was on the trophy 3 times!!! (show off). It would be very interesting to see if it is still on the wall.

When I started at Kodak in 1979 that building was a hub of activity for employees. I watched 2 guys don boxing gloves and punch the living daylights out of each other on the stage for 30 minutes then go back to work sitting side by side in the ad department. Mel Rubenstein and a guy named Peter...cannot recall his last name.

"Hey Mel, your nose is bleeding..."

Thanks for the memories!

The buildings may go but at least the pictures will be around for a long time to come.

Bruce Walker 726971
Ken Shaddock / July 9, 2009 at 11:53 am
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These pix are hard to look at... I have not been back since 2001 and in a way am happy with that. Not sure where to start but I too will ramble a bit. In a way I am happy that my father-in-law (Bill Cook) cannot see these pictures. He's the reason I applied to work at Kodak and I had the priveledge of working 34+ memorable years there. He started 1936 at $19/week and the place became his pride and joy - after his wife & daughters of course. It was his generation that called the company "The Kodak". After 43 years he retired as foreman in Emulsion (Building 13). He and some of his co-workers founded the company's 'Camera Heights Credit Union' in 1946. Their first deposit was $35.00. That credit union was one of the reasons why some of us had any money or were able to buy houses. When we were hired (me in Feb 1967 as "Tubber 38") we were encouraged to join the credit union and begin weekly payroll deposits. Camera Heights helped me buy land finance cars, built a house... my mortgage in 1970 was the absolute max they would lend us back then... $15,000.00!

I too played sports as some have mentioned... golf, basketball, bowling and lots of pick-up stuff. A wonderful man by the name of George Grigor planned and ran it all. He was one of many reasons why we were lucky to have worked for the company.
Diana Stapleton / July 9, 2009 at 03:06 pm
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For me the biggest shame is that Mount Dennis community is in dire need of community facilities. Back before Kodak moved out it was suggested that this building be protected and used as a community centre. I guess by the looks of it, it has been used by the community, just not in the way I envisioned. I hope that the city and Metrus find a way to make this building a useful memorial to Kodak and to Mount Dennis.
Wayne Wright replying to a comment from Chris Durand / July 9, 2009 at 06:01 pm
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What a shame that something that holds so many fond memories for so many people could be ravaged by a handful of hooligans in such a short time.
I started at Kodak in 1977 in Plant Services and was assigned to a cleaning routine in building 9. After completing my customary stint on night cleaners I worked day shift for several months, then was put back onto night cleaners....back to building 9. The fact that I was assigned to building 9 made it a little easier to swallow.
I remember thinking that this facility offered so much to so many people, there was always someone playing basketball in the gym, volleyball leagues, 2 billiard tables, the Camera Club, there was something for everyone.
I hope that Metrus can see the value in restoring building 9 to it's former glory so that it can continue to be a memory maker for years to come.
Just as note regarding barracks for soldiers, if I'm not mistaken, was it not building 5 that was used for that purpose? Anyone care to clarify?

Al Brotherton / July 9, 2009 at 09:46 pm
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WOW...it's just heartbreaking to see these photos. Kodak was of course once considered one of the THE VERY SPECIAL COMPANIES to work for and for most of the 35 years that I worked there it didn't disappoint. I feel so very blessed and fortunate to have the great memories that working for this company provided. Of course the reason why we are so saddened today by what these pictures reveal is that these buildings (such as building 9)hold a treasure trove of memories for (and of) all the people that worked there. For us who care so much it would be terrific if building 9 were spared and somehow the memories preserved. She was a "grand old lady" that is now but a "faded movie star".
Sue Nelson replying to a comment from Bruce Walker / July 10, 2009 at 09:26 am
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I remember Mel and Peter very well. Peter's last name was Dunning and he was quite the photographer. He took a beautiful picture of my sister that still sits on my father's side table. I worked for Kodak for 36 years myself and met so many wonderful people there...lifelong friends some of them. It breaks my heart to see these pictures, especially the photos of Bldg 9. I remember taking the kids to the Christmas parties...I remember dancing and singing on that stage while performing at the "Kodak Shows"....I remember learning how to develop film in the darkroom upstairs...I remember playing shuffleboard at lunch time...I remember watching the "guys" play pool (when there used to be 2 pool tables on the main level). At least I still have a picture of my "25th" anniversary taken at the bottom of that wonderful staircase. I hope there is some way to preserve this building and can only hope they realize the importance of doing this....before it's too late to save.
Aaron Bacher replying to a comment from Sue Nelson / July 10, 2009 at 10:57 am
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Isn't it funny how, after working for Kodak, you are so sensitive to what pictures say to you! After all, many of us spent years looking at photographs, whether we were trying to find out "what went wrong" or to compare how great the colours were!
Building 9 brings back fond memories for me as well. I gave several seminars in that auditorium for Kodak employess as well as photographers from around the city.
I remember also "hosting" camera club nights there, where avid amateur photographers from clubs all across the GTA would come to honour their "winners". The employee store used to be located in that building (opposite Gord Baker's office) and we would open it for them to purchase film at "employee prices". Well, the comments we used to hear about being able to do this for them, even though it was only once a year, were amazing. When they first walked into that building and saw that staircase, you could hear them talking like they had just arrived in a very special place - this was, after all, Kodak Canada's head office, and although we worked there and took the place for granted after a while, for "outsiders" this place was Mecca!
Yes, it is very sad indeed to see what has happened, not only to building 9 but to the rest of the company as well. It almost seems as if none of us really ever worked there at all.
But we did.
And I, like many of you, have some very special memories, not only of the buildings, but, more importantly, the many people I thoroughly enjoyed working with both in Montreal and here at "head office" in Toronto.
How could we ever forget those special sales meetings, especially the one where so many of us played Trivial Pursuit, and which ended with us "going for the wedge"!
Dale Hamilton / July 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm
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I've been working as a community development coordinator in Mount Dennis for 2 years, as well as sitting as a member of the Weston Mount Dennis Network, a community group formed out of an intense interest in ensuring any future use of the former Kodak site be beneficial to Mount Dennis. This network has been requesting a meeting with Metrus for years, without success, even though there is great local interest in preserving the building and converting it for community use. At a recent public meeting, TTC announced that they are in negotiation with Metrus to purchase the property as some kind of transportation hub. My recent calls to TTC to get an update have, so far, been unsuccessful.
The Kodak land issue will be a key scene in the upcoming Mount Dennis Community Play (Sept 19, 20, 26 & 27). This play project has received funding from all three levels of arts councils and will feature a team of theatre professionals working with Mount Dennis residents in telling their own story-it's as much about community development as it is about theatre. It will take the form of a theatrical walk & bus tour and will take the audience right up to the front of Building 9, stopping just short of trespassing. During this past May's Jane's Jacob Walk in Mount Dennis, we performed an excerpt from the play in front of Building 9 and featured two long-time former Kodak employees playing Kodak workers in the 1970's
I'd like to invite everyone interested in preserving Building Nine to get in touch with me and I will hook you up to the Weston Mount Dennis Network and the Mount Dennis Community Association. Please also let me know if you would like more information about the play project. Maybe a Kodak reunion could take place in conjunction with coming to see the play? I'd be happy to help organize this.
Dale Hamilton, Everybody's Theatre Company

Oileanach replying to a comment from Dale Hamilton / July 10, 2009 at 01:05 pm
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The TTC interest is probably for a maintenance facility for the planned Eglinton and Jane LRT lines (I provided a link in my earlier comment above). I imagine it would also become a transfer point and perhaps thereby gain some retail and grow to be an activity centre of some sort. It would be great if Building 9 could be a centrepiece for the project!
Ken Shaddock / July 10, 2009 at 02:00 pm
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Is the old quadrangle gone... that beautiful park with the big old trees behind Bdg 7, west of Bdg 4, east of Blg 9, south of Bld 3?. That small hospice of green if I may with its grand trees was beautifully maintained by the company and provided refuge from the office hub-bub and the acres of pavement. That alone would have been a great place to preserve for the people of Mt. Dennis and where a plaque of remembrance could have been placed.

Funny how we saw these places as normal fare when we worked there and now we are outraged that these places are being trashed. I would have been better off (not good, but better off) with implosions (as was done in Rochester) and complete erasure of any trace of Kodak over this mutilation of a historic site.

I have written my MPP and cc'd my MP. A pepple in a pond I suppose but it's something. It would be helpful if a thousand ex Kodakers wrote Queen's Park.
Ken Shaddock / July 10, 2009 at 04:27 pm
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BTW, I added the comment about writing MPP's because of the agreement with the province that Metrus recognize the place as a Heritage Ontario site.
Ken Shaddock replying to a comment from Bruce Walker / July 10, 2009 at 04:30 pm
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Since I don't tweet or facetube myself I thought I'd say hi... er hey Bruce Walker.
Jean Hall / July 10, 2009 at 04:40 pm
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I have very special memories of Kodak Canada. I worked for Kodak for 22 years and had the privilege of meeting many wonderful people. I have many family members who worked for Kodak including my father-in-law, Alf Hall, who worked there for 50 years. Alf attended the closing ceremony of the manufacturing plant and was invited to pull the horn which was once used to signal that lunch break was over and employees should return to work. Alf passed away January of this year at age 96, and I am glad that he did not see the above pictures of his beloved Kodak.
Natalie Francoeur / July 10, 2009 at 05:16 pm
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It's very sad and unfortunate what has happened over these past years. My whole family worked at Kodak (Mom, Dad, Sister). I, myself, after high school for a temp position in switchboard (1992). Boy did the phones ring off the hook!!
I am very touched when I see the pic of the auditorium. I recall being a child going in there when Kodak held their amazing and massive Christmas parties. Being in the auditorium watching Mickey Mouse Classics in black & white on the projection screen. Probably could have sat there all day watching Mickey until it was time to go visit Santa and get my fabulous present!
While we look at these pictures and reminisce on Kodak Canada; may we always cherish the good times and move on from the bad times.
Gord McNelly / July 10, 2009 at 07:46 pm
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I was employed by Kodak in March of '61 at $22.50 per week and was there for 38 years. I first worked with Gord Allen, who after he quit, was charged with murder, but aquitted, in a love triangle. In the early years it was customary for the guys to eat lunch in the auditorium and watch the girls play vollyball. Later I coached a girls vollyball team called the Screaming Eagles in the pursuit of the "Silver Slipper". For me there was lunch in the cafeteria, playing pool, basketball, golf lessons and movie nights in building 9. And, who could forget the Managers Dining Room, where the food was the same as served in the cafeteria, only cold and more expensive, so I was told.
Tony Hall / July 11, 2009 at 07:12 am
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I was employed as a summer student for a few years and a short term temp a few times... taking full advantage of my families legacy (The Hall Family). I think we all had to be employed at some point - as a right of passage. I have fond memories of Kodak Canada - and the history it provided for many. These pictures expose what man does when there are no boundaries or simply no respect for others. They speak of the self centered sickness that voids itself from community. Kodak built community - surely there are enough benefactors out there who have a voice to shout out against the plight of what is left. Building 9 should be restored and stand as a testimony, if not to honor those who have gone before us to contribute to a better world, then let it stand for its own rights of heritage. I will be the first one in line with my paint brush. Whoever has influence in this matter - let me know how i can help.
Doug Snow / July 11, 2009 at 03:52 pm
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I was born in Mt Dennis (on Grandville Ave). My older brother and I would walk by Kodak on Saturday mornings to take swimming lessons at York Memo. We used to think that the water pond was full of acid and if you fell in to it we would die. We had neighbours who worked at Kodak and I got to go to the Friday night shows with the "Blackmans". Another neighbour Mr Thompson let me hitch a ride in his model T Ford to Weston Road when he was going back to work after lunch. I often rode on the running board and hopped off at Guestville and Eglinton, so I could go to the bank or English and Moulds for errands my mom had send me on.
Little did I know then that I would spend my whole adult working career at Kodak. My 33 years there bring back many great memories. I started on the tub files for $55 a week in 1959 and retired in 1992. I remember the first few years of hockey on Monday nights at Keesdale, bowling on Tuesday nights at Plantation bowl, basketball on Wednesday nights in Bldg 9 and curling at Avalone on Saturday mornings. We sure had lots of recreation at Kodak. The best thing about the place was the people you met and worked with. The bosses not so, but the fellow workers were great. It's too bad that vandalism has destroyed the recreation building. It would be nice to preserve it if possible. I would be intersted in lending my hand to help in the preservation. The best of people I met at Kodak, I married.
Christine Sommer / July 13, 2009 at 12:57 am
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I can't believe the photos and am SO saddened to see them and read the article. How many wonderful memories I have over the 37+ years; all the Family Theatre nights, the plays, all the years of our wonderful Children's Christmas Parties! My now adult kids, were always involved either as one of the mascots, or helping the
kids in and out of the cars, pitching bean bags, doling out the cotton candy and popcorn. I am so very fortunate to have made many wonderful friends over all those years and can reflect back to the days women weren't allowed to wear pants to work, but hey, the hot pants were OK!
I remember not being allowed to cover for our receptionist from the time I began 'showing' with my first baby...what would customers think. Oh goodness, I could go on and on, but with tears in my eyes, I'm closing for now. Kodak...truly, Thanks for the Memories!!
Oileanach / July 13, 2009 at 01:14 am
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Funny coincidence that this building appeared in an article in the Star Saturday: http://www.thestar.com/article/664502.

It seems people have been using it, but it's unclear how much damage was done before they had the event.
Lisa Kennedy / July 13, 2009 at 10:41 am
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I worked at Kodak Canada from 1990-1997. It was truly a terrific place to work. It is hard to see the pictures of places you once walked demolished but thankfully the greatest of memories live on. I as well had many family members who worked for Kodak for many years and one member that still does. Although it has changed greatly throughout the years the friendships that were made at Kodak during that time are ones that still live on.
Judy Beatty (EverallL / July 13, 2009 at 11:07 am
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Kodak was a family tradition in my family beginning with my Grandfather in the 1920's and later two uncles and my mother. I joined in 1958 and my sister in the 1960's. We loved it, as we could walk to work. My Dad and Grandfather had a fruit and vegetable market just around the corner on Weston Rd. with lots of Kodak customers. Kodak was a great place to work with good pay and provided unheard of facilities for their employees. Every year a stage production was presented to the public from the stage shown in one of the pictures. I'm sorry to see what has happened to Kodak and the surrounding area, but I have wonderful memories of Kodak and growing up in Mt. Dennis. A special Hi! to Doug Snow
Tom Taylor replying to a comment from Jean Hall / July 13, 2009 at 04:51 pm
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Hi Jean...I worked at Kodak from 1968 to 1972 and knew your father in law. I also worked with Barry and Ron Hall. Please say hi to the guys from Tom Taylor.
Although my stay at Kodak was short compared to most I have some great memories of the people I met there and it is very sad to see the neglect of a building that helped to provide so many memories over the years.
Betty Hall / July 13, 2009 at 11:14 pm
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These pictures brought tears to my eyes because for 29 years I passed through that security gatehouse. I entered into a community of buildings that was so vibrant with life and friends. A memory no one can take but how sad to see what remains!! I agree fully with Tony Hall, my nephew. I believe there are many of us who would be willing to help in restoring blg. 9
Chris McCrimmon / July 14, 2009 at 02:40 pm
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The company I worked for From 82 till 97 Multicare printing machinery, used to go to the basement printshop and there was a row of multilith presses that we used to repair. I remember the reception area vividly. what a waste of a building
Tom Gorham / July 14, 2009 at 03:53 pm
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Ken, Aaron, Jean, Christine, Doug, Natelie, Sue, Al, Bruce, Chris and Don; With all of us having 25 years plus at this site, its very difficult to see one's own family home in the condition that it is now in. Most of us started right out of school and planned to build a life there. For most of us, that is exactly what we did. The Rec building shows that at least it was left at the end for all of the memories to focus on. These people that have come forward aren't just speaking about some old heritage building. They are reliving some of the most important years of their lives.

Weddings were planned, Jack and Jill Showers were conducted using the "Old Ball and Chain on the Groom", babies were celebrated deaths mourned, and Canadian Musical excellence was celebrated on stage in B.9 , such as Toronto's own "Little Ceasar" of Little Ceasar and the Cousuls".

For the upwards of 2500 people at this site, we were family. It is sad to see what is left, and it is still hard to dream about some of those products that never made it to the consumers. Perhaps that could have been the product that would have taken us into the 21st century. When one goes through the characters that we worked and lived with it often cluminates to hear what "Big Red" (Sorry Bill), one of the more notorius Westonites at the Kodak Site, would have to say about the photo. I suspect for those that believe in ghosts, Building 9 is a respository dating back to the days when the Department of National Defense used one of the buildings to billet WWI troops.

It was a big part of West Toronto Life, if not of a Centre of Ontario Manufacturing and Development Excellence.

As you can see by all of our thoughts, this place will never be forgotten, but it is hard to see it in this condition.
Tom Gorham / July 14, 2009 at 03:54 pm
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Ken, Aaron, Jean, Christine, Doug, Natelie, Sue, Al, Bruce, Chris and Don; With all of us having 25 years plus at this site, its very difficult to see one's own family home in the condition that it is now in. Most of us started right out of school and planned to build a life there. For most of us, that is exactly what we did. The Rec building shows that at least it was left at the end for all of the memories to focus on. These people that have come forward aren't just speaking about some old heritage building. They are reliving some of the most important years of their lives.

Weddings were planned, Jack and Jill Showers were conducted using the "Old Ball and Chain on the Groom", babies were celebrated deaths mourned, and Canadian Musical excellence was celebrated on stage in B.9 , such as Toronto's own "Little Ceasar" of Little Ceasar and the Cousuls".

For the upwards of 2500 people at this site, we were family. It is sad to see what is left, and it is still hard to dream about some of those products that never made it to the consumers. Perhaps that could have been the product that would have taken us into the 21st century. When one goes through the characters that we worked and lived with it often cluminates to hear what "Big Red" (Sorry Bill), one of the more notorius Westonites at the Kodak Site, would have to say about the photo. I suspect for those that believe in ghosts, Building 9 is a respository dating back to the days when the Department of National Defense used one of the buildings to billet WWI troops.

It was a big part of West Toronto Life, if not of a Centre of Ontario Manufacturing and Development Excellence.

As you can see by all of our thoughts, this place will never be forgotten, but it is hard to see it in this condition.
Dale Hamilton / July 15, 2009 at 08:58 am
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The Kodak scene in the Mount Dennis Community Play (see my previous posting for details) is still being written. I'd love to incorporate some of the memories posted above. Let me know if, for any reason, you don't want your memories included. I won't use any names, just the memories themselves. Dale Hamilton, writer/producer, Mount Dennis Community Play.
Joy (Mullen) Hogben / July 15, 2009 at 11:43 am
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I worked at Kodak on the switchboard with "Muriel" from 1959 to 1962 when I married David Hogben who also worked there for a couple of years. The picture of the auditorium brought back memories of the musical productions that were put on by the employees each year. I was in Oklahoma and South Pacific. How sad to see the deterioration of the plant and the offices.
Connie Brooke / July 18, 2009 at 01:38 am
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Yes, these pictures are quite sad. I worked at Kodak from 1970-83. They were great times and so many wonderful people came into my life. One who really caught my attention was the man I married, Bob Brooke. Our children, now 26 and 23 still remember Kodak Xmas parties and all the fabulous people who we met and socialized with...too many to mention. We are so fortunate to have all those amazing pictures of Bob with his buddies at sales meeting and social gatherings. I would like to give my regards to all of Bob's and my Kodak friends and hope you are doing well as we are.
Kodak will never be forgotten.

shauna / July 18, 2009 at 09:18 am
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I remember going to the annual Christmas party in Building 9 (my mother worked there for 30 years). We would watch films in the theatre, visit with Santa and recieve our gift from the jolly one himself (a 110 camera for the final year when you turned 10), one year I even met R2D2! The property looks so eerie now, haunting, like the opening credits of a horror movie.
Ken Shaddock replying to a comment from Connie Brooke / July 22, 2009 at 08:42 pm
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Hi Connie... gosh it's great to see your memories added to this blog and to read that you and the kids are well. I regret not having kept in touch. Nadine and I are also well and enjoying life in cottage country... 2 miles north of where you and Bob visited. Brookie continues to be one of the most talked about guys when some of us old farts get together. Glad you have those pictures. Ken
chris durand / July 29, 2009 at 06:42 pm
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Hey Connie, so sad that people lose touch and get caught up in their own little worlds. I think of Bob often, such a loss to all of us.
Look for me on facebook if you want, I keep in touch with a lot of old Kodakers there.
Bill Kendall replying to a comment from Joel / August 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm
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The mural was painted over and replaced with framed pictures depicting the history of the people at Kodak Canada.
AutumnMarie / August 18, 2009 at 04:43 pm
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Does any of the former Kodak Factory still exist?
rick mcginnis / August 18, 2009 at 05:02 pm
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AutumnMarie -

What you see in the photos is it - Building 9 and the burnt-out security hut. There's nothing more. The other day I had to tell a Kodak vet that the elm trees behind the administration building - the ones they worked so hard to save over the years - are also gone.
Linda Greig replying to a comment from Wayne Wright / August 19, 2009 at 03:00 am
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Building 5 was used as barracks by the Department of National Defence to billet WW1 troops. The bronze commemorative plaque was removed from building 5 when Kodak evacuated the site. This plaque along with many other valuable Kodak items were moved to the current Kodak Office location on Monogram Place. There were also two plaques that listed the names of the Kodak Employees who passed away while serving their country during WW1 and WW2. These two plaques were located in the lobby of building 9, on either side of the main doorway.
Jane Ashwood (Boyko) / August 29, 2009 at 05:50 pm
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I worked at Kodak from 1972 until 1984 and thought it was the best place in the world to be working. The pay was good, the people were great, and the memories many. How many times we all walked through Building 9, stopped for a chat with George Grigor on our way to the cafeteria. Those walls held so many stories and so many secrets of things that were going and shouldn't have been going on. I loved setting up for Christmas in M.E.C. and having everyone down for coffee. Couldn't have worked with a better bunch of guys and of course a couple of the girls. Sad to see the emptiness. It definitely was a place you could say "Thanks for the Memories." Still have some of the old Kodakery's around to remind me of a time when......Great editor, Don Dempson and crew. Those were the days.
Gabrielle Mahan (now Meyers) replying to a comment from Don Slinger / September 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm
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Wow... I see so many comments from folks I use to work with at KCI. Though I moved back to the US in the late 90's and still work for Kodak but in the US, these pictures absolutly break my heart. I have such good memories of the 10 years I spent in those building and of the amazing successes we had as Kodak employees. I remember dressing up as the Kodak Kolorkin for all those children's Christmas parties held in the auditorium. So many great memories - time flies by too quickly.

Progress is not always pretty. What a great loss.

Peter (Mike) Meyers / September 4, 2009 at 01:00 pm
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As a U.S. based employee for 31 years, I worked at the Kodak Canada facility yearly each fall starting in the late 80's. I would spend approximately 3 weeks maintaining and calibrating all the quality control equipment for manufacturing traceability.

My memories are very vivid of all the buildings in the picture presentation. I was treated to lunch in the Manager's Dining Room and I can picture the beautiful staircase leading to the lunch room. This is also where I met my wife (Gabrielle Mahan Meyers) in the previous posting.

As all things change, we don't always agree with the outcome. Many of the buildings I supported in Rochester have gone by the wayside as those at KCI.

Thanks for the memories of all those great people I had the fortune to meet at Kodak Canada.
Gayle Patching / September 19, 2009 at 02:05 pm
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These pictures are truly heartbreaking. I'm glad Bob, my late husband, won't be seeing these pictures as I know they would upset him, too. The basketball games he took part in - in that broken down gym and the number of times we brought our kids to the Christmas parties! Lots of memories took place at "Kodak".
John McCombs (son of Graham) / September 23, 2009 at 04:04 am
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I had the priviledge of working at Kodak in a summer position in the late 80's and early 90's but my memories are as a kid going to see Bugs Bunny cartoons on the big screen in the gym and of course the X-mas parties. My father, W.G. McCombs lives in Orillia, and through his stories I do recognize alot of the last names here. Next time I visit him I will show him this site. I for one am saddened when I saw these pics as I'm sure my father would be too but he would also remember some of the great people that worked at Kodak and this would know doubt bring a smile to his face.
Skye replying to a comment from Joel / November 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm
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Im sad to say It was at one point Painted over; and the paint has begun to peel off. Even if there was a little bit of the mural left it would've been covered with graffiti.
Don Dempson / November 18, 2009 at 02:24 am
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WOW. I had heard about these pictures and now to see them --- what a travesty. So many memories, so many fabulous people and now a wasteland.
The grand old buildings, quad, fabled old elms, smoke stacks, rail lines, lawn bowling area, kids parties, AV shows and basketball games are just a memory now but all the images are embedded forever.
Great to see and read so many words from "the Kodak family", the people who really made Kodak what it was - an education.
Howdy (now from Vancouver Island) to Ken "Hondo" Shaddock, Chris Durand, Jane Ashwood, Linda Greig, Tom Gorham, Chris Sommer, Gord McNelly, Al Brotherton, Bruce Walker and special regards to Gayle Patching and Connie Brooke. For me, from 1972-97 those were the days and as Paul Anka said "The Times of Our Lives".
The ghost of George Grigor still haunts Building 9 and whether it was on stage or the hardwood, in the basement in MEC, the manager's dining room, the old camera club room or the AV room George and Bob Bromley can still be heard encouraging the rookies and giving advice to the retirees; badgering the managers and watching young love blossom.
Over the years it's been nice to remain close to so many Kodakers and to re-live and remember. I can't think of another company that brought so many characters to the table and even today continues to keep the dots connected. Cheers to everyone.



irene wilson / December 5, 2009 at 09:54 am
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i am trying to get in touch with a former kodak worker her name is ann clark she was from glasgow ,she has a son martin who is a teacher,i would be very gratefull if anyone can help me find her its very important thanks irene wilson
irne wilson / December 8, 2009 at 06:14 am
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error on the name ann clark was ann trainer please help me find her regards irene wilson glasgow scotland
MABEL SHEPPARD / December 10, 2009 at 07:07 pm
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I worked in roll film office from 68 to 78. I was visiting Toronto the year the demolition was happening and we took a drive by the site. It was sad to see the end of a workplace that was the best you could ever find. I still keep in touch with a couple of the girls by email.
I also have some items - the pewter plate, the stamp, the photos of the moon walk and of course some old cameras from the company sales.
I always wished that I had stayed there until retirement.
MABEL SHEPPARD / December 10, 2009 at 07:07 pm
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I worked in roll film office from 68 to 78. I was visiting Toronto the year the demolition was happening and we took a drive by the site. It was sad to see the end of a workplace that was the best you could ever find. I still keep in touch with a couple of the girls by email.
I also have some items - the pewter plate, the stamp, the photos of the moon walk and of course some old cameras from the company sales.
I always wished that I had stayed there until retirement.
MABEL SHEPPARD / December 10, 2009 at 07:09 pm
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I worked in roll film office from 68 to 78. I was visiting Toronto the year the demolition was happening and we took a drive by the site. It was sad to see the end of a workplace that was the best you could ever find. I still keep in touch with a couple of the girls by email.
I also have some items - the pewter plate, the stamp, the photos of the moon walk and of course some old cameras from the company sales.
I always wished that I had stayed there until retirement.
MABEL SHEPPARD / December 10, 2009 at 07:11 pm
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I worked in roll film office from 68 to 78. I was visiting Toronto the year the demolition was happening and we took a drive by the site. It was sad to see the end of a workplace that was the best you could ever find. I still keep in touch with a couple of the girls by email.
I also have some items - the pewter plate, the stamp, the photos of the moon walk and of course some old cameras from the company sales.
I always wished that I had stayed there until retirement.
Pete Brown / January 18, 2010 at 10:48 am
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A lot of familiar names sharing their memories. I had seen the sad pictures over the past year, but it was interesting to read through the commentaries.

Building 9 and the KRC program drew me to Kodak. Having worked summers while in school, I saw all the sports groups and knew this was for me. Unfortunately during the last decade of my 35 years, the recreation program disappeared and the corporate focus on reduction in numbers took most of the excitement away from Kodak Heights. But as time passes you tend to remember the good times and the great people.
Jacqueline / July 10, 2010 at 08:06 pm
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I just came across this website. Is there any status update re: this building? What a tragic situation - especially considering that the building was designated "Heritage Ontario" through an agreement with the current owners.

I sometimes wonder whats to become of this country we live in, when we think we're a "young country" for no other reason than we don't preserve our history.

For what it's worth, if the building is still standing I think someone should print out this blogpost and all its comments and paste a copy on every door and wall in the building. The psychopathic thugs who don't care will just laugh, but perhaps some of the youth with a conscience, who aren't so far gone and are just following the "leaders", will start to see the light and realize just what they're doing, and who they're following. Same principle applies for anyone with a conscience at Metrus "management".
Isabella / July 12, 2010 at 03:53 pm
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As I look at the pictures of the lobby, before and after, I can't help feeling that this is a nice metaphor for what Obama is doing to America right now.
minuteman / July 12, 2010 at 05:25 pm
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I worked there briefly for an electrical contractor shortly before the place closed. we were moving some machines to set up a line whose function would be to take big rolls of paper, and cut them into 8 1/2 by 1 pieces and package them. I got the feeling at the time that they were just trying to keep something going on there while the value of the land increased. There weren't many people still working there, but the still had the best cafeteria of any place I have ever worked.
Aj / August 9, 2010 at 02:59 pm
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We have posted several comments about the closure of the Kodak factory see them at http://DistilEnnui.com/blog/

Distil Ennui shoots Stock, Advertising & Fine Art photography, and they have just shot a beautiful series on location that this reminds me of www.DistilEnnui.com .

Rights Managed Licensing and Canvas prints can be ordered from their stock image library www.AlexanderJamesStockPhotography.com
rick mcginnis replying to a comment from Aj / August 9, 2010 at 03:10 pm
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Looked through your site for references to this post, Aj, and found nothing, which leads me to believe that your comment is just spam.
Lyne Trott (Shufelt) / August 18, 2010 at 05:29 pm
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I recognize some of the names of the people who posted. Francoeur, Patching and maybe a few others. I worked at the Montreal office from 1979 to 1987 and then in Toronto from 1987 to 1993. It was the best place I worked at. I will never forgot the people and the friendships that were built over the years. I still keep in touch with some great Kodak friends. I really missed the place after I left and seeing it like this hits a cord. It is really sad to see. I was in CESD and dealt with Kodak people all over Canada, the US and around the world. Oh and the fries in the caferia, still the best I ever had!
Lyne Trott (Shufelt) / August 18, 2010 at 05:31 pm
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I recognize some of the names of the people who posted. Francoeur, Patching and maybe a few others. I worked at the Montreal office from 1979 to 1987 and then in Toronto from 1987 to 1993. It was the best place I worked at. I will never forgot the people and the friendships that were built over the years. I still keep in touch with some great Kodak friends. I really missed the place after I left and seeing it like this hits a cord. It is really sad to see. I was in CESD and dealt with Kodak people all over Canada, the US and around the world. What a great place it was!
Lynda Watkins Corker / January 11, 2011 at 06:19 pm
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WOW! The photos were shocking. My parents (Ruth Robins & Bill Watkins) met at Kodak and my grandfather - Bert Robins worked there as a tool and dye maker; my uncle - Ed Robins was a Chemist; and I worked there as the 'perennial summer student' as well as full time in the late 60's, 70's and 80's. What times we had - I attended Christmas parties as a child and then took my own children to them. I played on the 'Marketing Screaming Eagles' volleyball team that Gord McNelly coached. Such wonderful memories of great times, but most of all of people who really meant alot to one another and to 'The Kodak'. Wouldn't it be great to see the area revived?
Steve Troake / February 25, 2011 at 05:23 pm
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Yes, shocking on one word for it. I’d also say disheartening. My dad, Wilf Troake, who passed away very recently, worked at Kodak Heights (Mount Dennis) for many years in the Stockroom of the Film Coating Department. I happened upon this site looking on the web for a link to the Kodak Canada Retirees Club, with no luck. Looking though all these pictures also stirred my childhood memories of Kodak Children’s Christmas parties where we all saw Santa, got gifts (labeled by age – Boys 8 years old, etc.) and we then all sat in the gym and watched cartoons and ate cake. Sad to see the condition of that gym now. I almost want to go there now and see it all for myself, just not too sure how safe that is. My sincere thanks to Rick McGinnis for taking the photos, doing all this work and posting it here (I HAVE to ask: Was it a Kodak camera you were using?). I also worked for Kodak as a summer student at the Brampton plant, which is now completely gone and covered over with new subdivisions and roads. It’s all a bit hard to believe, but time marches on as does our brave new world of industry. Sigh. Anyone wishing to contact me regarding my dad can do so by replying to this comment.
D Sands / June 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm
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I just wandered around the building today and it's been even further damaged over the past couple years. My Dad, Peter Sands, worked at Kodak for a couple decades before he prematurely passed away in 1988 at 48. Kodak as far as I knew at my age at the time was doing very well. My kids are now the same age as I was in the pictures I have from the Kodak Christmas parties from the late 1970s in building 9. I remember fishing for metal fish in what I recall as the hallway. Its frightening to think that what I once saw as invincible is now gone...
My memories have faded a fair bit over the years. If anyone has an recollection of my Dad or stories to share, please post them. I would be greatly appreciative as would my brother.
Steve Troake replying to a comment from Doug Snow / June 15, 2011 at 02:59 pm
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Message to Doug Snow... Mr. Snow! I missed seeing your comments above when I read this webpage months ago. Wow... lots of memories as neighbours and as my very first hockey coach (HUSTLE!). Hope all is well with you and yours, and I welcome you to write me if you'd like to touch base. Stephen.Troake@pwc.ca

- Steve
find people / July 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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I'd like to follow you if that would be ok.
http://www.seeyprofile.com/
Mike / October 8, 2011 at 09:04 am
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So sad... I've started my own documenting of this sad place.
To think, with Kodak starting the downward spirial into the financial abyss, it's only a matter of time before this is repeated around the globe at many other Kodak facilities...
Lyne Trott / October 9, 2011 at 08:57 am
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If it does close down completely, I feel like we need a closure of some sort. Maybe a gathering at the site for a "wake". It's just so sad to see this great big giant icon disappearing from America. What would Mr. Eastman think?
Denise / January 20, 2012 at 07:46 am
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What a beautiful article and memories in the comments. This landscape is worthy of a book I think. Having seen many local books on various Toronto neighborhoods and considering Kodak's role in the development of Mount Dennis, there are probably two books to be visualized: one on Mount Dennis and the other on Kodak Heights. I'd buy both.
Cameron Topping / January 24, 2012 at 01:24 pm
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Two Generations of my family worked at that plant and I have many memories of the place before it got shut down from when I was a Child. Im only 17 years old but I was exposed to a lot of how the industry worked. My late passed Grandfather started working there in 1934 and my father started work there in 1980. Wonce you know how to make a picture with the use of Silver Nitrate you own the world is what he would always say to me.
John Kerr / February 4, 2012 at 07:42 am
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I worked for Kodak for a very short time, 1978 - 1987 at the Brampton plant. I would go to Toronto to use the darkrooms in Building 9. So sad to see the vandalism that has taken place as it was a beautiful old building. I have fond memories of my days at Kodak despite the turmoil of the last few years in Brampton.

I left Kodak when they closed the facility in Brampton to return to school to become a Library Technician. Ha! the graphical web browser did the same thing to library jobs that the digital camera did to Kodak. I am still working in the library field, but I know that I would not be as well off as I am today if it were not for the years that I worked at Kodak. It was a great company to work for.


Cameron Topping / February 13, 2012 at 10:48 am
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Would you of happened to of worked with a person named James Topping or Jim Topping?
Carole / April 18, 2012 at 09:30 am
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THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this wonderful article and all the comments. After passing by the building last Sunday and then this article in the paper. I felt haunted. Then reading everyone elses comments, I feel surrounded. So many hold the same memories of this building and of working at Kodak. My dad, George Cruickshank, basically worked there all his life until retirement. He was a carpenter. These pictures would make him very sad.
Cameron Topping replying to a comment from Carole / May 15, 2012 at 02:34 pm
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Wow. Thats freaky. My mothers side of the family holds the last name Cruickshank.If you can. Add my e mail adress. Cameron_Topping@hotmail.com
Pat Neely replying to a comment from Sue Nelson / July 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm
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does any one remember when the plant in Brampton was taken down
Greig Stewart / January 18, 2013 at 09:50 pm
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My dad was Bobby Stewart (Scottish of course from Glasgow) who worked at Kodak from 1951 until 1982. He was a stone mason and worked in E&M for most of his stint there. When my mom died in 1970, George Grigor (a close friend of my dad) took care of the funeral arrangements at Flynn's (where else).
Kodak was everything to him and the people he worked with were everything to him. He came to Canada to make a better life for himself, his wife and me. Good choice dad!
Since he passed in 1988, he was spared with seeing what happened to Kodak Heights. Just as well.
iSkyscraper / January 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm
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Metrolinx now owns Building #9 and the rest of the site. It will play a big part in the Eglinton LRT. Beyond that, who knows.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / January 19, 2013 at 04:06 am
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WHY, WHY, WHY, couldn't they keep the motherfracking plant as well as the main building? All of those buildings could have been converted to lofts, but now only ONE of these iconic buildings exists, thanks to these idiots. Blaming kids for vandalism isn't going to work this time; the REAL vandals are this company and companies like them that need to condoize EVERYTHING in Toronto.

At least, the TTC might put the lands to some good use (if they're even going to use them.)
Kim Comiskey / March 29, 2013 at 08:24 pm
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I worked at Kodak Canada Inc. for 7 years in the late 70's to 80's in the cost accounting department after graduating from Ryerson University. It was a wonderful place to work and the people that I worked with and came to know as time went on, became your family. For instance, Doug Snow was not only my boss, but on occasion the whole cost accounting department used to go and play baseball near his home after work, and then end up at his home with his great wife Gini, for burgers and beer. I often wonder what happened all the nice people that I worked with and where they are today. Well at least I know that Doug Snow is still alive and well - Hello to you Doug !! :) These pictures are sad to look at because they remind me that I'm getting older and buildings that I once worked in are gone forever. But they bring back good memories for me and make me think about how lucky I was to work with a great bunch of people, and for such a great company - Kodak!
Peter Gatt / June 22, 2013 at 06:21 pm
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I like the images that you have taken of the Kodak Building # 9.

I am sure you are all aware of Metrolinx buying the building and planning to convert it into a LRT Hub, but are you also aware that the Photographic Museum of Ontario is trying to purchase the building from Metrolinx (or work with them) to make this building the new home for the museum?

The Photographic Museum of Ontario has been trying to speak with Malon Edwards, a spokesperson for Metrolinx and Glen Murry, the minister of Infrastructure (they over look Metrolinx) and neither have been willing to sit down with the museum to at least have a conversation about what is best for the building and the community.

For more information about the museum, it's progress of to offer support, please visit:
http://www.photographicmuseumofontario.org/
Murray Johnson replying to a comment from Cameron Topping / July 26, 2013 at 06:36 am
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I worked at the lazy K for 17 years from 1976 until 1993. Jim Topping and i worked together in building 13. I spent time training him when he came into our department.
Murray Johnson replying to a comment from Steve Troake / July 26, 2013 at 07:14 am
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I worked with Wilf for many years and spent some time in the stock room room working with him. I worked in Film coating from 1980 to 1993.
Murray Johnson / July 27, 2013 at 08:35 pm
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I developed the training department in building 13 (film coating and then Film Sensitizing). As a result I trained over 1500 employees on WHMIS in the early to mid 80's out of building 9. I worked in plant services, plastic molding, film coating/film sensitizing, Corporate training, and touched almost every other department during my corporate expense reduction years (almost 10 years).

The Lazy K was more than a job, it was a way of life. We worked together, live together and grew together. Dave Rowles, Dave Hattey, Dave Wilmot, Bob Brophy, Terry Lewis, Terry Foster, Jim Topping, Wilf Troak, Bill, Don, Gord and on and on. In my 17 years I must have made more than 1,000 friends and miss them all. I left abruptly in the mid 90's and never kept in touch...such a loss for me. To this day I still wake up after a satisfying dream about my days at the Lazy K.

Does anyone remember the Kodak Ghost....I know who he was. How about Yoda? Milan was there before and after the one and only union strike. Such a big part of my life that it left a hole in my heart when it disappeared. Anyone who was part of the film coating/film sensitizing crew when I was there please get in touch with me..... murrayjohnson@rogers.com
Andy Kivisto replying to a comment from D Sands / August 4, 2013 at 11:01 am
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To the son of Peter Sands: \
I worked for your dad for only 1 year around 1969 in the data processing department. I met my wife there at that time also and we are still married. She is the sister of Steve Troake, whom you see blogging here. Even after such a short time I have fond memories of you dad and he was probably one of the best people I have ever worked for. I was a long haired, young, brash hippie guy so I was a round peg in a square hole. We had some Rochester boys come up and do assesments to see if were really up to working in data processing arena. After the test came back you dad called me in the office and, looked me straight in the eye and said "What the 'hell' are you doing here?" He said it in kind way because all my interest lay in the arts. Music, painting and writing and certainly not in numbers. If I remember I left shortly and moved to Vancouver and that was that. The really odd thing is that years later I was back living in Toronto and I was perusing the Toronto Star and came upon a large obit and a picture. I never paid attention to those things but for some reason I stopped and looked and read it. That was your dads obit and all those fine memories came back. I am now 65 and probably still a bit of a hippie and your dad is one of my fond memories, even tho we only knew each other for a short time. All the best, Andy
Kathy replying to a comment from Wayne Wright / September 8, 2013 at 08:25 pm
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You are right Wayne it was building 5 and there was also a black plaque that was to the left of the stairs. Who knows what happened to it after they tore that building down?
Kevin Astridge / September 18, 2013 at 01:37 pm
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I worked in the credit department with Mr Mooney and Mr Rossi for a short period of time relative to most employee's at Kodak from 1990 to 1997. It was a period of significant change at Kodak Canada . Sad to see Kodak Heights looking like this after all these years.
Sylvia replying to a comment from Murray Johnson / September 20, 2013 at 01:09 am
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Any chance the Bill you are referring to is Bill Oliveira? He's my dad, but I really don't remember what building he worked in. He was there for 34 years (I think) and he retired early before Kodak closed down.
Dale O'Brien (McLean) / October 3, 2013 at 02:08 pm
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I am so sad to see what has happened to building 9, I started work at Kodak as a summer job in 1972 and left in 1984 to be home with my children. During my stay I worked in Order Entry and then in Purchasing (secretary to the manager) Oscar Bauer. My father Jack O'Brien (Red) worked for Kodak for 43 years most of his time in Paper Emulsion then he replaced George Gregor as the Recreational Director. I can't express how much it meant to me to be able to go to work with my Dad. As a child I enjoyed all Kodak had to offer; the Christmas party, the Friday night movies, the annual live theatre shows. Little did I know that later I would be employed and participating in the Live Theatre, I clinched a leading roll in Oaklahoma... As time went on I met and married John McLean and had two amazing children Kelly and John. Once my children were older I wanted to return to work and pursued my career in education, where I presently work now. Seeing these pictures brings back fond memories and at the same time seeing the devastated condition of building 9 much sadness.
Dave / January 25, 2014 at 08:01 pm
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I use to work there. It is so sad. My kids went to the Christmas parties there in that building.
Tony replying to a comment from Cameron Topping / February 19, 2014 at 06:47 pm
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I worked with a Sam Topping in the the old Power House (Bldg. 1). Sam retired and I remained for another 20 years ending up in the "new" Utilities Co-Gen plant Bldg 21. It too was totally destroyed just after a handful of years.All new generating equipment scrapped! $25-$30 million gone.I think Sam passed on.
Charles Carter / February 27, 2014 at 10:36 am
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I worked at the Kodak plant in security as a student, and my Dad, Harry worked in film recovery in Bldg 3.

Up until 7 years ago, you could still see his '67 Leafs victory calendar hanging on the exposed wall, as they finished demolishing all of the buildings, except Bldg. 9.

Looking back, I must say that Kodak was a great place to work. The antics of the night shift security crew, made the time pass quickly and many laughs were shared along the way.
Peter Gatt / April 8, 2014 at 05:58 pm
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The Photographic Museum of Ontario is trying to save and preserve Building # 9. We have already spoken to Metrolinx and the love the idea of converting the rest of the building to a museum. We now have to convince Maabelle McTavish from the Mount Denis Community Association, who isn't interested in perserving the history of Kodak or photography but rather to make low income housing there instead.

For more information and for support of our mission, please visit our website at:
http://www.photographicmuseumofontario.org/ or on our facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/photographicmuseumofontario
Paul Brown / June 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm
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Yes a great place to work and socialize, the people were family for sure. My father, Angus Brown worked there for 36 years (1957-1993). My brother Peter for 20 years and I for 3 as a summer student. I remember my father taking me to bldg. 9 to do all the sports activities on weekends. I would play and my father would talk to the security guards and to who ever else was their working or otherwise. I think my father knew almost everyone there.
Sad to see the property to see the way it is now I hope it is restored to it's former glory soon.
Derek Morrison / August 7, 2014 at 09:20 am
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Hi everyone,
I writing to you from Australia regarding a book I am writing and wish to make contact with some of the Kodak workers who remember about the waste water from film processing that Kodak shipped to Lafayette Pharmacal on a regular basis between 1944 and 1978 where Lafayette Pharmacal used it as a contrast agent in x-rays. Kodak also sent it overseas to the UK over the same period. It was shipped in one gallon brown glass jars, to both Lafayette Pharmacal and to the UK, I hope a few of you x workers remember this and can help me with some details for my book, and if you wish I can mention whom were the sources so you can refer to later, I will also send you a copy of the published book as a thank you.
Kind Regards,
Derek
wayne wright replying to a comment from Sylvia / August 20, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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Was your dad Obilleo? He worked in Testing B-5 then the dept. moved to B-8 until the ite closed. I worked with him for quite a few years in Testing.







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