Abandoned bread factory on the brink of demolition is getting one final tribute
‘It was important for us to get the community back into the building one last time’
If you've ever wondered what the inside of a bread factory looks like, you're in luck.
The historic rise and fall of an old Wonder Bread factory in Leslieville is being commemorated this month.
Weston Bakery facility, known for the delicious aroma that used to waft from its walls, was a sort of landmark in the east end before it shut down four years ago.
Still furnished with its original bread-making machinery, the factory's doors are being opened to the public for a photo show on the weekends of May 12-13 and May 19-20.
The exhibit is part of Scotiabank's CONTACT Photography Festival and will feature photos from Toronto photographer Laird Kay.
"I wanted to capture the movement and the feeling of the space — abstract the machinery and show them as sculptures," he said.
Although portions of the building's frame will remain intact for historic and nostalgic purposes, it's being gutted to make room for new condominiums being built next year.
That, in part, is why Neil Pattison of Graywood Developments, felt "it was important for us to get the community back into the building one last time."
'People are not comfortable with change'
"We wanted to celebrate the history of the building," Pattison said. "I remember driving down the street, walking past, you'd see people wearing their white coats, wearing their hair nets."
And community members have mixed emotions about the plan for this plot of land.
"People are not comfortable with change," Pattison said. "It wasn't compatible with the neighbourhood."
"It wasn't exactly what the developer wanted and it wasn't exactly what the community wanted," said Coun. Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth). "It was a true Toronto compromise."
'I support it'
Community member Sheree Spence has been living in the neighbourhood for 18 years and has mixed feelings about the development.
"I'm going to miss the bread factory," she said. "Every day I would step out of my house and smell it in the air and it was just a wonderful smell, it's like home."
"It's life, it's evolution," she said.
Helen Yabu agrees.
"A condo in that area would certainly be much more pleasing to the environment than an abandoned factory," she said. "I support it."
With files from Lisa Xing