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Firestone Building

Masked from Burlington St in Hamilton's industrial sectors by a brand new recycling facility, the old Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Canada plant sits, untouched in decades of neglect. Its current state is a far cry from the year 1919, when the plant was first built, with the first tire rolling off the line 3 years later.

Location attributes for Firestone Building
Location   Hamilton, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1919 :: 1988
Status   Demolished
Difficulty   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

By 1979, though, the company was drowning in debt, losing upwards of $250 million per year. Many of Firestone's plants were shut down and company assets were sold to save the company. It partially worked; in 1988 Bridgestone Corporation Japan bought the company. With this purchase came the end of Firestone Hamilton as a manufacturing plant, and the facility was left to rot.

For the most part, anyways. Hamilton City Council, now aware of the "frequent trespasses" at the plant, have decided to demolish it. How long it takes before this endeavour begins is unknown, but it is in the pipeline.

For now, though, the multi-floor, massive property is ripe for the exploring. Most of the plant has been gutted; the manufacturing equipment long removed and only large spaces remain. The control room, hidden from natural light remains mostly intact, as do several weight scales and large hoppers. The conveyor system on the roof also remains intact.

One just has to watch their step (22 years have left holes in the floors), and also look over their shoulder for the security that patrols the neighbouring recycling plant... the old Firestone plant sits on land owned by the recycling plant, so the security guard does have jurisdiction.

But the few hazards are worth the visit, especially for those who want mostly-untouched desolation to explore.

Got word that demolition on the plant has started as of last weekend... I don't know for how long, or how much of the plant is going to remain afterwards. A real shame too, as I thoroughly enjoyed Firestone.

And photos have surfaced over at UER showing the last bit of the complex hitting the ground... she's done, folks.

Pedal to the Metal - September 2010
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