Monday, January 31, 2022

Rehabilitation and restoration of Canada Malting Silos

Toronto's Bathurst Quay neighbourhood is getting a makeover and that includes work on the 2010 heritage designated Canada Malting Silos located south of Bathurst Street and Queens Quay. The hulking, concrete conglomeration of structures was closed in the late 1980s after approximately 60 years storing malt for the Canada Maltings Company - Canada's largest malting company.
Mayor John Tory said “This Bathurst Quay waterfront project has been an enormous undertaking dating back many years. I am thrilled about the progress that’s been made so far and applaud the efforts made by all of our partners who all share the same goal of improving our city’s waterfront. While we move forward in our next phase of construction, residents and visitors are able to continue to enjoy many parts of our beloved waterfront including new and improved facilities.”

First the eastern seawall was repaired in 2010 and work has continued in planning for the use of the site, to be incorporated with the upgrade of the adjacent waterfront area. In November of 2021 Mayor John Tory announced the beginning of phase 2 construction of the neighbourhood starting in the fall of 2022 and finishing in 2023 (parts of the media release included below) and transforming the area into a major tourist and cultural destination.

"Rehabilitating and restoring the heritage-designated Canada Malting silos. This work includes creating a pedestrian “portal” through the silos, containing an interpretive installation on the history and significance of these heritage-designated structures, as well as enabling investments (such as restored hydro connection, water-proofing, and other repairs) in the structures to support their future planned re-use and activation."

"The third and final construction phase – set to begin in summer 2022 – will deliver a significant new waterfront plaza on the malting property that will include seating areas by the water’s edge, purposefully-designed spaces for hosting occasional special events, and ambient lighting that can transform the malting silos into iconic waterfront beacons. The final public realm design will also include a new parkette and public art mural on nearby Eireann Quay, to connect each of the Bathurst Quay projects to each other, to the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood, and to the water’s edge."

The Toronto By-law 30-2011 designating the cultural heritage designation of the complex at 5 Eireann Quay (previously Bathurst Quay) describes the property's structures design value as "The Canada Malting Complex is significant in that it displays two rare surviving examples of grain elevators, a building type developed in North America. The 1929 and 1944 silos represent the evolution from the first wooden structures designed for the processing of grain in Buffalo, New York in the 1840s. As the result of improved materials and advanced technology, reinforced concrete silos were designed to resist the explosions and fires associated with the grain trade. The monumental scale, functional design and unadorned forms of the structures speak to the technological processes that took place inside them. The Canada Malting Company's south silos were indicative of the first generation of solid concrete grain elevators whose cylindrical configurations were expressed on the exterior of the structures. The 1944 grain elevator (or north silos), designed by T. Pringle and Son Limited of Montreal with architect E. C. Miller, represented the next generation of the building type, where the storage bins were concealed by straight exterior walls that offered additional capacity in the corners and crevices between the circular bins."
Work in 2022 will include fixing the roof, exterior wall repairs along with waterproofing and pumping water out of the silos. You can see the scaffolding installed on the west side of the south silos now to allow for work on the walls. Once this phase is done the work to repurpose the property will begin.

Updated photos April 2024 see more after the jump.
It's looking good on the outside. The fences blocking off the trail along the waterfront sides of the silos are gone now

There is a large sculpture resembling a boat beside the silos

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