Toronto Behind the Boarding: Bunge Canada
The demolition signs around part of Toronto's Junction foretell the imminent doom of the Bunge industrial complex. The company produced a variety of edible food oils, and the complex itself housed both the administrative as well as the production side of its business. A fire prior to its closure ensured that the aesthetic environment of the abandoned premises would include much of the complex's content: the tools of both blue and white collar workers. These items - some of which are severely fire-damaged - suggest the chaos of the building's final days. Besides offering some incredible views of the city (and some really nifty machines), the building gave the impression that the workers were merely on a long, auspicious break.
Instead of trying to capture all of this in words, let me to show you Bunge as I saw it:
Following are the features which initially drew me to the building - all manner of pipes, catwalks, and twisted metal:
My next stop was the abandoned laboratories - full of goodies in disarray:
Beyond this was a series of administrative offices that rivaled even my own desk-area for messiness:
At this point, I headed up to the highest roof to see what view the complex had to offer:
Cursing myself for not visiting the nearby Harvey's beforehand, I was becoming quite hungry; unfortunately, the only food around was less than appetizing...
Now I came to the most interesting point - the burned-out sections, contents remaining. With keyboards, mice, monitors and coffee mugs still at the ready, it was quite a bizarre scene. By the end of this section, I had managed to cover myself almost entirely in soot.
I was forced to do a double-take with this first shot - it is the melted and re-formed cover to office overhead lighting; for better context, take a look here.
The penultimate stop was by far the most interesting, yet my final visit before a hasty exit to the old locker/change rooms confirmed a feeling that had been growing throughout my entire visit. Although quite ordinary on the surface, the personal details left behind gave me a strange nostalgia - one for a place I never knew. This strange oxymoron in emotion strikes me often in spaces such as these.
Of course, I did not get to see everything, but I did not want to overstay my welcome either; the complex will soon be razed to make room for a big-box style shopping plaza.
Although this is somewhat sad, it seems inevitable, given the changes to the surrounding neighborhood over the past decade. But for the workers -- and, now, for you and me -- the mall will always stand in the shadow of Bunge.
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