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Canada Malting Co. Stay of Execution

The Canada Malting Co. silos and plant facilities at the foot of Bathurst Street is the most visible reminder of Toronto's past waterfront industrial heritage. Listed on Toronto's inventory of historic properties since 1973, it is the most intact remnant of the original silo complexes that took advantage of the harbour.

What might not be as obvious to the casual observer passing by (save for those who visit Ireland Park and for those who venture past the fences that surround the hulking facility), is that there are 2 buildings that comprise the malt plant: The tall silos and the separate malting facility to the immidiate west of the silos. The two are separated by an internal courtyard of sorts and are connected by an enclosed aerial walkway.

But the question of what to actually do with the carcass has always been a very difficult question.

In the past there was, among other proposals, a call to turn it into a music centre called Metronome Canada, but that died an early death. More recently, the foot of the building became home to Ireland Park.

Back in May, 2007, Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) received a structural condition assessment report that identified many significant problems with the entire facililty, and recommended that it all be demolished. A further heritage impact assessment report concluded that there is merit (and challenges) associated with preserving the entire facility, however, if demolishing the western building meant the silos could be better preserved, then so be it. Industrial heritage triage, of sorts.

Ultimately, though, the question of the fate of the facility has yet to be answered. On Tuesday of this week, Toronto and East York Community Council adopted a report recommending that any Toronto Council decisions regarding the future fate of the facility be delayed until Toronto Economic Development Culture and Tourism deliver their report on the feasibility of using the facility for the Toronto Museum Project. This report is currently expected to be presented in April, 2008.

(Photo by blogTO Flickr pooler mycanvas.)
For more info, here is the Toronto Staff Report (PDF).


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