Mega Machines

Mega Machines in The Junction

My love/hate relationship with super-sized industrial machinery likely began when I was about four years old. While visiting Cape Kennedy with my folks in Florida, they thought it would be a wonderful idea to surprise me with an up-close look at a NASA Space Crawler. After I had finished wetting myself and shielding my eyes, I began to peek through my fingers...

Skip ahead 22 years to this past weekend, when what began as a short-cut between between two abandoned buildings in Toronto's Junction turned into an auspicious detour that revealed some very impressive, very large construction equipment near the railway line.

There are few things in and around that city that capture the imagination of the masses in the way that construction does (or demolition, for that matter). We seem to be captivated by the building up and breaking down of our built environment. Although a part of me is still terrified whenever I see the towering machines that make these things possible, the child in me still finds himself looking back, and up, in awe.

Mega Machines

Mega Machines

As we approached the stretch, we strained our eyes to try and find signs of workers. We saw a pair of gentlemen hopping down from the tractor treads of a

Mega Machines

piling hammer

Mega Machines

, one of the iron giants, but quickly realized that they were not workers or security, but were there due to the same curiosity that lured us...

Mega Machines


As fortune would have it, we had several ultra wide-angle lenses on hand between us, which is really the only way to properly capture the mass and scale of the resting monsters...

Mega Machines

Mega Machines

Well, in some cases dueling monsters...

Mega Machines

Mega Machines

In addition to the incredible machinery that appeared to us, we also saw a great deal of infrastructure, ready to be buried in the ground by the tracks...
Those of you who are interested in urban exploration are likely aware that it comes in different flavours, a popular one being 'drainers.' My two sojourners that day fall into this category (myself being far more interested in abandonments and rooftops). It was no surprise to me, then, when one of them (fruitlessly) attempted to explore what she decided was 'the worlds smallest drain'...
As we began to plan our exit, we finally saw our initial destination -- an abandoned Cadet Cleaners. To our chagrin, as we approached, we heard the nasty crunching noise of demolition -- we had come one day too late..
Slightly dismayed, we began to retrace our steps, taking a few final snaps of the drills and cranes that scattered the area...
Despite having missed our planned destination, we were all in agreement that we had a very fortunate sub-journey that afternoon. Had we explored our 'point B' first, we would certainly have missed out on some amazing sights.

Very few things inspire me with the very pure, almost child-like curiosity and wonder that mega machines do. Although part of this curiosity is based in fear, encountering and exploring the juggernauts which build and destroy our surroundings makes for a particularly cathartic experience. Although I would not go out of my way to seek these monsters out, a chance encounter gave me yet another opportunity to...look between my fingers.

(To see the rest of the set, as well as high-res. versions of the images above, you can check out my flickr slide-show below.)

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