All posts in Industrial Heritage

Canadian Pacific Railroad Station repurposed for community use


Contextual view, from the southwest, of the Winnipeg Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Winnipeg, 2006 Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006

WINNIPEG, MB – There are many untold stories of success by indigenous people in Winnipeg, but one of the first and most remarkable is the story of how a determined group of individuals turned the derelict CP station into a beacon of hope for a generation of young aboriginal people.

The corner of Higgins and Main once had the worst reputation in Winnipeg. It was the centre of seedy bars and prostitutes, a place where only the uncaring or desperate would go at night. That was 25 years ago.Now all that has changed: the bars are gone and new construction has put a bright face on the corner. The catalyst for that change over the past 25 years has been the Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg Inc., now Neeginan Centre of Winnipeg, along with a collection of agencies that reside in the massive building that used to be the railway station and offices of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The story of that change is one of courage and conviction, of entrepreneurial spirit laced with a social mission. And it is the remarkable story of a handful of aboriginal people who decided to take control and make change happen for their people in the inner city of Winnipeg.The power symbolBack in the late 1800s, the coming of the railroad to Manitoba was a game changer for everyone living here, most particularly for the First Nations, who were crowded out of their traditional lands to make room for an influx of European settlers.

Many of these settlers came through the CPR station and its adjacent immigration sheds.This massive four-storey, 120,000-square-foot office building, with an elegant hotel attached next door, was built in 1904 to 1905 as a monument to the power of the railroad. It was vacated in 1989, a decade after passenger traffic through the station had ceased and the offices were moved out of province.

Full story here


Old time trains web site updated March `1st, a site with much about the Junction railroad history 2016-03-02 17-26-27

 2016 is the 16th years for the site


My all time favorite article on the site is the HISTORY OF PRIVATE SIDINGS article which lists private railroad sidings of the past for the city, the article lists a lot of sidings that were in the Junctions.

Here is a link to their update page.


Canadian Pacific Railway gets agreement from US unions, that brings an end to a mileage-based wage system from the steam locomotive era.

DM&E employees join those from CP’s U.S. Class I, Soo Line, who ratified.


all text below the railroad


The new hourly-rate agreement brings an end to a mileage-based wage system from the steam engine era and provides CP with increased flexibility and transparency, the employee with a cycle with two consecutive days off and the best wages in the industry.

“This negotiated agreement is a major step forward for both parties and represents the biggest win-win that a railway, its employees and operating unions could have,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “The benefits it will provide to all parties, including – at the center of it all – our customers, are immediate and will build month by month and year by year.”

The agreement – which also gives BLET members the ability to participate in the employee share purchase plan – spans three years with an option for either side to revert to the former agreement if written notice is given prior to the beginning of the third year. If neither party reverts, the agreement is extended for two more years.

click image to view their site.

click image to view their site.

Goings on at CP rail

click image to view their network.

click image to view their network.

..all text below the CP Rail site

Canadian Pacific clarifies changes to Board of Directors

​​​​Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) issued the following statement in response to questions from investors and to address inaccurate speculation concerning the recent board resignations and the health of CEO E. Hunter Harrison:

On July 3, 2015, CP director Stephen Tobias notified CP Board Chairman Gary Colter that he was prepared to resign from the board at a date of the board’s choosing. 

In consultation with Krystyna Hoeg, the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Mr. Colter caused the company to issue a press release stating that Mr. Tobias had resigned from the board as of June 29, 2015. The company has subsequently corrected this error. 

Mr. Colter caused this press release to be issued without consulting with the board and without seeking board action to accept Mr. Tobias’ offer to resign.

Because Mr. Tobias was a continuing director of the company through June 30, a majority of CP’s directors were U.S. citizens, and thus CP is no longer eligible for the SEC’s Foreign Private Issuer Exemption and will become a U.S. Issuer beginning in 2016.

The CP board is committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, and strives to be exemplary in this respect. Consistent with this philosophy, Mr. Colter and Ms. Hoeg offered to resign in light of how this issue was handled. The board unanimously accepted their resignations.

Concerning Mr. Harrison’s health, Mr. Harrison recently had stents implanted in order to improve circulation and reduce cramping in his legs. In addition, Mr. Harrison is recovering from a mild bout of pneumonia which has restricted his travel. His full recovery is expected in the coming weeks. He remains actively engaged in the company’s business, but elected not to travel to Calgary to participate in this morning’s earnings call.

The Symes Rd train Wall

“When the wall was built originally it suppose to serve as a sound wall. Now that there is no track behind it something should be done to reduce its height. 100 Symes now has 15+ businesses including a brewery (Rainhart) + Sports gym (Monkey Vault). People are getting lost driving around trying to figure out how to get across. A simple rail will do to prevent traffic.”

As a sound barrier wall from the train noise, the wall had a a very short life. The land that was the rain tracks was then sold to St Helens Meat packers which uses it as a parking lot for their employees. The wall most probably belongs to the City of Toronto, or the development if the houses built on the sound side of the wall at are some type of condo development.

The best solution to increased traffic on the south side of the wall now that is looking for 100 Symes Rd. would be directional signage.

However the wall does present a rather special iconic reuse that retains the memory of the tracks that once fed the Canada Packers site.



Canadian Pacific Railway CPR Folk Festivals, 1928-1931 (a history post)

“While there is Still Time…” :

J. Murray Gibbon and the Spectacle of Difference in Three CPR Folk Festivals, 1928-1931

click image for full size view

Between 1928 and 1931, a series of 16 Folk music and handicraft festivals were staged across Canada under the auspices of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The principal architect of the festivals, John Murray Gibbon, would later popularize the now-ubiquitous and immeasurably influential phrase “Canadian Mosaic” to explain his vision of a united Canada comprised of distinct identities. This article establishes the foundational role played by the category “Folk” in Gibbon’s construction of the mosaic metaphor for Canadian cultural identity. It examines the construction of three major festivals and interrogates the very category “Folk” around which they were designed. It establishes connections between the structures of the festivals and the race, class, and gender-based cultural assumptions and ideologies that informed their organizers and participants. Finally, it explores the relationship between Gibbon’s emphasis on antimodern Folk identities and an increasingly intricate Canadian cultural matrix under the conditions of modernity.

Click image for larger view

Between 1928 and 1931, a series of 16 Folk music and handicraft festivals were staged across Canada under the auspices of the Canadian Pacific Railway.1 Largely the conception and design of enterprising CPR publicity agent J. Murray Gibbon, the festivals were structured in such a way as to reflect a deliberate vision of Canada and Canadians. A great believer in the power and primacy of the Folk, Gibbon conceived of the festivals as a means to promote cultural communication among immigrants and French and British “natives” in Canada.2 The category “Folk” operated for Gibbon on the level of primary, essential identity—he believed in particular racial groupings, or categories, and contended that the essential expression of any racial category was evident in its Folk culture. In developing the series of festivals, Gibbon was reflecting his growing concern that Canada (as a nation comprised of many racial categories) suffered from a paucity of cultural communication and interconnectivity. What was worse, the essential Folk practices and beliefs of each far-flung racial group were seen to be under sustained and concentrated assault as modern Canada moved away from its agrarian beginnings. The fear was thus two-fold: not only were racial groups failing to interact with one another and engage with a cohesive national identity, but the essential identities, the very meanings of each group, were disintegrating through the relentless process of modernity.

The wide success of the 16 Folk festivals did not entirely quell these immediate fears, but did serve as a foundation for a new understanding of cultural difference and community in Canada. Gibbon, who went on to explore the role of racial groups and essential identities more fully in his enormously influential book Canadian Mosaic (1938), stands as a key figure in the development of Canadian cultural identity.3 As the master mosaicist, Gibbon endeavored to impose order on an otherwise disordered cultural landscape through his various constructions of an inclusive Canada. His books, his countless speeches, his radio addresses, and the succession of CPR Folk festivals discussed below all demonstrate the master mosaicist at his life’s work of developing a participatory vision of Canadian identity and culture.

This ideal of the mosaic, apparently evocative yet ultimately imaginary, appeared to Gibbon in 1938 as “a decorated surface, bright with inlays of separate coloured pieces, not painted in colours blended with brush on palate. The original background in which the inlays are set is still visible, but these inlays cover more space than that background, and so the ensemble may truly be called a mosaic” (Gibbon 1938, viii). As he placed the tiles onto that background, arranging his festivals, his first large-scale experiments at the representation of a pluralist Canada, Gibbon may have been aiming towards just such a goal; but it was a pluralism built upon a stable foundation, an immutable background of [End Page 141] white Anglo-Celt (male) hegemony onto which he could manufacture his mosaic. His vision of the mosaic as an immovable surface bedecked by garlands suggests the inevitable unevenness in the power distribution he would develop.

For Gibbon, the work was imperative and pressing. “While there is still time,” he worried in 1938, “let us make a survey of these racial groups—see where they came from, what relationship, if any, they had with each other in Europe, what culture they enjoyed and how much of that culture they have been able to bring with them” (1938, viii). He believed that the representation of racial categories through primitive, archaic Folk expression would simplify cultural communication by breaking down the balkanizing barriers of foreign language, appearance, and values. In brief, Gibbon surmised that all European Folk cultures, when refined to their primitive, pre-modern essences, looked and sounded very much alike.4 The tactic, then, was to celebrate the differences in order to recognize the similarities.

Read the HTML version of the full article here

West Toronto Junction Historical Society Meeting (AGM) on May 7 at 7:30pm

West Toronto Junction Historical Society Meeting (AGM) on May 7 at 7:30pm

The West Toronto Junction Historical Society will be having their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 7 at 7:30pm. This will be held in the lower level meeting room at the Annette Street Library. Note that we will not be hosting a invited speaker for this event.

Photo exhibit on Junction industry at Junction Craft Brewery





silentjunctionSilent Junction by Kathy Toth is a CONTACT photoexhibit opening on May 1 and running until June 30 at Junction Craft Brewery

(Toronto) Silent Junction by Kathy Toth is a CONTACT photoexhibit opening on May 1 and running until June 30 at the Junction Craft Brewery.

The reception with be on May 3 from
Noon until 4 and will feature 20 images showing photos Toth has taken since documenting the Junction’s many factories since 2005.


Much of the changes you see in this neighbourhood happened starting happeneing when Toth was documenting the neighbourhood. Almost all of the industry in the junction has been driven out by the creep of gentrification and most of the buildings documented have either been demolished (such as NRI or Bunge and Benjamin – Moore) or re-purposed (Houghton as the new Money Vault and Symes waste transfer station).

Gentrification can be a touchy issue in communities, espcially when the local residents get displaced, but that hasen’t happened in the Junction, yet. Rising property prices and
it’s proximetry to high park make the Junction the next up and coming neighbourhood but echos of it’s industrial past still linger and it’s one of Toronto’s really interesting neighbourhoods with historical significance.

Kathy Toth is a local photographer and visual artist whose documentary projects focus on elements of the urban, industrial and built environment. She published a book on Hidden graffiti in Toronto called ‘Hidden Toronto’ to great acclaim last year. She has exhibited her paintings and photography extensively and is currently working on related projects.

You may view her work here

Who is Adam The Woo – A Documentary – more Junction than you think



This post is about places. Adam the Woo is an urban adventurer who documents his visits disused and abandoned places on a YouTube channel. His efforts to communicate the importance of places in communities and visitations to various disused industrial buildings all have a real connection to the Greater Junction Area. Our area has some very hard-core urban explorers. Some simply visiting out of interest, while others seek the history and value to our community from their visits. We also have so many places and things that need to explored and documented.

Adams commitment to produce videos of so many places – even Toronto – is great and his methods are simply wonderful.

Below is a documentary by Kenny Johnson with Adam the Woo which provides a glimpse into a staggering body of work.

If above embed is not working on your devise here is the direct URL

Adams web site Http://



The Canadian Pacific Railroad Junction Yard today with snow removal equip.

…1st image a view of the yard with the snow removal equipment in the orange circle, – sorry could nit get a better pic.

….2nd image the yard facing west

The most snow for years in the yard.

IMG_7480 round


cpr yard feb 19 2014

The 6 Lloyd company – the developer Stanton Renaissance


As the 6 Lloyd site will probably be just as big or than the Heintzman Place development – which has turned out to be a great boon to the Junction community, the blog though it would interesting to post some of the information about the developer of the site. Stanton Renaissance  highlights on its web site the leadership of Louie Santaguida, it is a major thrust of the text on the firms website is the characteristic management of the company by this seemingly driven individual. The  Heintzman Place development was also developed by a driven leader .  Brownfield developments often need driven and idealistic developers to be built,  before Options for Homes Michel Labbé stepped in the Heintzman Place was a empty and disused old Canadian Tire retail store building.

Photo credit - Youtude screen cap from Luigi Santaguida 2010 Ryerson  Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

Photo credit – Youtude screen cap from Luigi Santaguida 2010 Ryerson Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

 Mr Santaguida certainly knowns the 6 Lloyd Ave site as one of the former companies –  the Terrasan Group  cleaned up the old paint factory site.

The 6 Lloyd Avenue nee Benjamin Moore site

The 6 Lloyd Avenue nee Benjamin Moore site


If the city decides to change the zoning of the site to allow the construction of condos, hopefully with the condition of a light industrial component, this developer may just get the lot back as part of the community.

The blog really wants to stress how  important for this site and the community the dual use of residential and real light industrial/commercial use is. Mixing these two types of use will be creating a balanced community and probably lead to greater revitalization of the Mulock Ave/ old Weston Rd area with lighter industry and more residential/commercial  uses.

All text in italics from the Stanton Renaissance website.

With Louie Santaguida at its helm, Stanton Renaissance has carved a unique position within the new development community in Toronto, the GTA and southern Ontario. No ordinary developer, this is a company with deep roots in the revitalization of land; with vast experience in the transformation of spoiled land into viable, green and ultimately buildable land. The company specializes in the transformation of dysfunctional areas – particularly communities with unrealized social, environmental and economic potential.  These are the communities that turn on Mr. Santaguida’s juice – the more challenging, the better! His vision is extraordinary; where most see urban rot and ugliness, Louie Santaguida sees vibrancy, growth, potential and success!

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This is the face of Stanton Renaissance. The company is run by Louie Santaguida and it is his vision that has created perhaps the most unique development company in Canada. Stanton Renaissance embodies Louie’s philosophy and unrelenting drive.

With his background in chemical engineering, Louie’s career has included stints in environmental clean- up, construction, development and even a foray into creating the perfect snack chip! What’s Cooking Louie had perfected beet, sweet potato and Yukon Gold chips long before they became staples in Canadian supermarkets.

Louie has worked on some of Toronto’s most well-known properties including Sky Dome, Air Canada Centre and The World Trade Centre to name just a few.

Louie Santaguida is a visionary. He has an uncanny ability to transform properties from dysfunctional, derelict areas into beautiful, viable, exciting residential communities that redefine neighbourhoods and provide residents with exceptional value and lifestyle options. Always located around public transportation hubs, the people who live in a Stanton Renaissance community often do so without the need of a car. Buildings are built with the ultimate in green technology and are always environmentally responsible.

Presently, Stanton Renaissance is developing numerous sites throughout Toronto and the GTA as well as southern Ontario.

With Louie Santaguida in charge, there is no question that the communities he takes on will be transformed into fabulous places to live, work and play.

Here is some information on another of the firms projects,

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On The Go Mimico features contemporary design with unobstructed views of the lake and city, the latest finishing features, large stylish balconies, Italian designed and manufactured gourmet kitchens with Caesar Stone countertops, gorgeous backsplashes, stylish stainless steel appliances and one of the most exciting new technologies that will save residents significant money on heating and cooling costs. On The Go Mimico will incorporate Toronto’s first high rise integrated GeoExchange and Cogeneration technology that works with nature to borrow the energy from the earth in the winter and put it back in the summer, redirecting and recycling to where it is needed. In fact residents at On The Go Mimico will save around 30% on utility costs and on monthly condo fees because of this progressive and innovative technology.

Of course, On The Go Mimico has other important features too – an accessible green roof with BBQs, an eco-carwash, a pet grooming station, a high tech gym with yoga and Pilates studios and a very hip Party Room. There will also be a gourmet fine food store, espresso and coffee bar, meeting rooms and guest suites to accommodate overnight visitors. Surrounded by the warm and friendly community of Mimico, (identified as Toronto’s top emerging community and one of the ten best places to live in the GTA) residents will enjoy an eclectic variety of shops, bakeries, cafes and restaurants as well as lush parks and lakefront trails.

But the big story here is the opportunity to live literally “on the GO” for tens of thousands of dollars less than living in the downtown core.

To create a fitting Presentation Centre for On The Go Mimico, Stanton Renaissance refurbished Mimico’s circa 1916 CN rail station, located in Coronation Park on Royal York Road. When the Presentation Centre is no longer needed, the company will return the rail station’s interior to its original design and give it back to the community as a historical rail museum.

The condominium features 242 suites from 537 sq. ft. to 2,700 sq. ft. including two levels of 11-foot high ceiling penthouses. Prices start in the mid $200’s.

108 and 162 Vine Avenue proposed – Amendment No. 231 Official Plan Designations & Mapping – Employment Areas

GovanBrown Construction Managers 108 vine ave

108 and 162 Vine Avenue

building  – formally the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd /Roman Meal Bakery(orginial builder)  – then Canadian Eastern Rogers Company – now GovanBrown Construction Managers

All text proposed – Amendment No. 231 to the Official Plan of the City of Toronto with respect to the Economic Health Policies and the Policies, Designations and Mapping for Employment Areas  Page 79

Zoning for this address

Retail developments are permitted by way of a zoning bylaw amendment and supported by a satisfactory transportation impact assessment provided the do not exceed 2,000 square metres of retail gross floor area.

Some images of the marvelous building.





The shop Smash has piece of reductionist campaign furniture in stock

At 2880 Dundas Street West Smash recoveries always has a stockage of objects of difference and desire. Yet at times the shop has sat on their floor, in the case of the field campaign furniture it was sat in the window this past Sunday, a object of gravitas in being and making.

Campaign furniture such as this piece, the period of the making and reason for the object itself completely defines the role functional made objects can play in political aggression.

The piece is only understandable seeing it in reality, and accepting its reality, a worktop and information store for a activity that should not occur.

That’s why no picture of it for this post.

….and for a collector of furniture objects a great buy!

Off post aside, this blog author cannot pass the Smash shop with having Adrian Forty excellent book of 1992 – Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750 come to mind, the store and the book share an affinity.

the book at a online shop

108 Vine Ave at the height of operations of the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd


Click on Image for full size view


GovanBrown Construction Managers Canada is revitalizing the iconic Junction industrial buildingsat at 108 Vine Ave. Most recently the long term home of Canadian Rogers Eastern Limited, the building was build by and for the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd.

Above is an image of the building at the height of the Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd use of the building.


Below is part of a Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd. advertisement.






What now for 150 Symes Rd now that it has been sold? (heritage incinerator building)

Build Toronto has stated it has sold the Symes Rd heritage incinerator building, this blog stuttered at the prospect of what could happen to the building and site.

It appears Build Toronto has brokered a deal and provided funding for the development by way of a vendor take back mortgage.

here is part of Build Toronto’s statement on the sale,

The investor’s vision to retain the entirety
of the building for adaptive re-use was articulated
to Heritage staff, who threw their enthusiastic
support behind this project. Where development
proposals for heritage buildings typically involved
maintaining only the façade of a building and
constructing new within, this was amongst
the only development proposals presented to
Heritage staff that intended to preserve the
architectural integrity of the building in its entirety.



Backing from all of these stakeholders as well as
Councillor Frances Nunziata ultimately helped
move this deal forward. BUILD TORONTO is also
offering flexible financing for this site through
a Vendor Take Back mortgage, taking on some
of its risk to demonstrate its firm belief in this
adaptive reuse development

Full case study from Build Toronto hosted here at the blog and here at Build Toronto.