A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[PHOTO] Warehouse, waiting, on Dupont Street

Warehouse, waiting #toronto #dupontstreet #dovercourtroad #dovercourtvillage #warehouse #bellwoodsbrewery

This striking glass warehouse at 950 Dupont Street, on the northeast corner of that street’s intersection with Dovercourt, will soon house new production facility for Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery. Soon, apparently: Jacques Gallant’s Toronto Star article from last August said the owners hoped to have this be a going commercial concern by summer of this year.

Visually, I’d recommend for further engagement Lori Whelan’s panoramic September 2014 photo of the complex. Textually, I would point readers to Alfred Holden’s Christmas 1998 Taddle Creek article, “Dupont at Zenith”, which uses this location as an anchor for an exploration of Toronto’s lost industrial district on Dupont Street.

On October 17, 1994, Donald Weston drove from his North York home to the industrial plant on Dupont Street in central Toronto where he had been employed since 1952. He brought with him a borrowed video camera and, just outside the main door, switched it on, briefly photographing an iron plate identifying the premises as Hamilton Gear, 950 Dupont. With the camera still rolling, he mounted a couple of steps, opened the door and went in.

Room by room, Weston, aged sixty-two, proceeded through the factory, letting the tape run. He walked down a long, fluorescent-lit corridor of shelves loaded with the tools, materials, and equipment of twentieth-century machine-making. He went through a workshop where men standing on a floor sprinkled with metal shavings were attending whirring, spinning lathes cutting teeth into gear blanks—disks of metal sliced, in another process, from heavy rods of tempered steel or bronze. Weston climbed down stairwells with his camera on his shoulder, recording walls displaying framed photographs of company products. He paused at one picture of a gear about the size of a very large round of cheese. Its hefty teeth are engaged with those of a “worm drive,” a tube-shaped gear resembling a giant piece of fusilli. The assembly has a satiny, silvery sheen, and in the film is being inspected by a thoughtful-looking man in glasses and overalls.

Weston made his way through the company’s administrative offices on the second floor along the Dupont Street side of the plant. Telephones warble now and then, voices can be heard, and a lone secretary says “smile.” Weston moved along, recording jerky glimpses of floors and drop-ceilings and hallway drinking fountains. He went into the company’s vault where, he later recalled, nothing more or less valuable than the details of client orders from the last eighty-three years were stored on reels of microfilm and in thick paper files.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 30, 2015 at 11:03 am

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