This old relic on Toronto's waterfront could soon be home to an epic observation deck
The massive silos along the Toronto waterfront that belong to the abandoned Canada Malting Plant are soon getting an upgrade that will see them become more than just another landmark along the city's skyline.
As part of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan & Canada Malting Silo rehabilitation, a City-led waterfront and neighbourhood revitalization initiative being delivered in phases by multiple City divisions and external partners, the two massive buildings will be repaired and repurposed for public use.
BQNP Update #31: Ever wonder what's inside the malting silos? Empty storage tanks, 10&14 storeys tall, that held barley waiting to be turned to malt for brewing beer. This summer we begin a rehab of these historic structures to complete needed repairs in prep for future uses. pic.twitter.com/m6FTIwpoh3— Bryan Bowen (@bryanmbowen) May 12, 2021
Built in 1928 and 1944, the two silos have been a longtime part of Toronto's skyline and image. Though out of commision since the mid 80's, in 2010 the Canada Malting Silos were designated as heritage buildings.
#OTD, 2 years ago, we were at the Canada Malting silos - 1 of only 2 remaining on #TOwaterfront. A remnant of Toronto's industrial & shipping past, they were built in concrete in 1928 to store malt. Abandoned in the 1980s, they're a designated historical site. 📷 @DumaPalette pic.twitter.com/9AIfrBJwr0— Heritage Toronto (@heritagetoronto) August 16, 2020
Now, the multiphase project begining in late Summer 2021 will help establish these silos as a public space that could be used for anything from events, galleries and museum space, film sets, and various other creative uses of the space.
Toronto's derelict Canada Malting Plant will soon anchor a huge new event space https://t.co/s0Xj0ZvFvb— Lorraine York (@Lorraine_York) March 25, 2019
ERA Architects Inc. is involved with the repair of the buildings where they hope to preserve as much of the history as possible while keeping it safe for any visitors.
"The thing we're doing right now is stablizing the buildings so they're not a danger to the public and they're going to keep standing for the next couple of decades," Scott Weir, Principal at ERA Architects told blogTO.
"The intent is really to try and salvage what we can from the site currently."
The last eyesore on the Toronto Waterfront? A groundbreaking ceremony today will mark the start of renovations of the Canada Malting Silos property, at the foot of Bathurst Street. The project includes public spaces, and some improvements for Billy Bishop Airport. @680NEWS pic.twitter.com/gcX3pqKwjT— Mark Douglas (@Douglas680NEWS) October 25, 2019
Immediate needs for the revitalization are repair of the concrete structure of the building, cutting out areas of rot, and making sure reinforcing structure is not rusting and can remain stable for years to come.
Stabalizing bridges, cladding, and replacing windows are other areas of need.
Better access to waterfront, transforming old admin building into arts hub and repairs to historic Canada Malting Silos among $15M of improvements coming to Bathurst Quay neighbourhood, with an expected completion in 2021. (Rendering courtesy of City of Toronto.) @globalnewsto pic.twitter.com/FQ4rqcYLWX— Albert Delitala (@AlbertDelitala) October 25, 2019
While many components will be replaced and repaired, the team at ERA is hoping to keep much of the signage and metal attachments in place that were so important to the silo's original function as a way of preserving the history of the two iconic buildings.
On top of using the silos as an event space themselves, or as a backdrop for neighbourhood events, the view from the top of each silo presents a unique vantage point that isn't available anywhere else in the city.
ERA Architects Inc
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