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Tower Automotive

One of the original large industrial complexes, complete with one of the first taller multi-story buildings to be built in Toronto, the building originally housed the Northern Aluminum Co, which went through several name changes until finally becoming Alcan at the time the building was sold to Tower Automotive of the United States. When Tower ran into financial difficulties, however, the building was sold for redevelopment.

Location attributes for Tower Automotive
Location   Toronto, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1919 :: 2006
Status   Repurposed
Difficulty   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The property consists of the large tower building and the lower machining areas, the latter of which have been mostly demolished as part of the redevelopment (which is current on hold). The tower, however, will remain even after redevelopment is complete... partly because it is also designated as historical. As noted before, it was one of the first tall buildings in Toronto, and also one of the first to be equipped with an elevator. Prior to it being used for automotive parts manufacturing, Alcan used the property for continuous sheet metal manufacturing.

The tower building (the only one I explored due to the fact that the sun set on me and my flashlight was not being that co-operative) has standard early 19th century architecture; fluted columns on every floor supporting the upper floors. Each floor is painted in a different colour scheme... the 4th floor is strictly white, while the 7th floor is done up in a yellow/green scheme.

On the top floor are the offices; they have been thoroughly trashed and tagged since the closing of the building. The 10th floor roof also doesn't offer very much in the way of views; a 7 foot wall rings the roof equipment and blocks any view. However, the south stairwell has a nice set of windows at the 10th floor, allowing for an unobstructed view of downtown Toronto and most of the Yonge St. stretch.

Other than the impressive views and old architecture, Tower doesn't offer very much. Most of the building has been thoroughly gutted, with every floor of the tower more or less emptied. Don't let this stop you from enjoying what it has to offer.

A new life has been breathed into the building. In September 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has made Tower Automotive it's home.

Chutes and Stairways - December 2009
Going Up? - January 2010
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