April 23, 2012

Desolation Row

Richelle Forsey
Straight out of a scary teen novel is the abandoned Canada Linseed Mills. Built in 1910, it's been sitting abandoned on Wabash Avenue, about a minute's walk from my house, since the late 1960s.

Despite passing here with the dog every day, I've never been inside. It's locked, fenced and barb-wired off from the public. But obviously some people have made it inside, armed with spray cans, cameras or sorry tales.

There is a strong move afoot to have it turned into a community centre as it sits next to a very active park and playing field whose clubhouse was also recently rescued from dereliction. 

Apparently it couldn't be a creepier locale. What the brochures don't tell you about this guano heaven is that one is greeted by a snapshot of a nude man tacked on the wall by the hidden entrance. There's a trough in the basement filled with 6 feet of murky, stagnant water with an ominous block and tackle pulley overhead. There's one room filled with candles. And a room containing home made sex dolls and foam rubber spray- painted with anatomical features. The pigeons shuffle and waffle overhead thinking you hear others whispering.

Some excellent photos have been taken by people braver than I. A good curator should let the pictures do the talking...

Olena Sullivan

Thomas H. Haddow

Thomas H. Haddow

Toni Wallachy

Shelly White

Richelle  Forsey

Michael Pietrocarlo

Enter 40 Wabash Toronto into Google Maps for a drive by.


Diane said...

Hey, great photos! where is the naked man? Sometimes we have the most extraordinary treasures so close by.

Ingrid Mida said...

This is so cool. Wish I could get in there. I love the combination of decay, graffiti and history.