Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tuesday Treasures

Travel Tuesday
Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

October 2018 - Toronto ON

Click here to visit other historical buildings in the area. You can also click on Liberty Village in the tags below this post.

A short excerpt from a National Film Board Somewhere in Heaven about Liberty Village before it got trendy and was an artists' haven.

Originally home to heavy industry, Liberty Village has undergone a startling transformation and emerged as the creative and innovative heart of Toronto. Where once machines hummed and physical labour ruled, today an exciting new reality is crafted from that enduring collaborative spirit and passion for creativity.

The Toronto Carpet Factory (built between 1899 and 1920 by the Hayes family) is a classic example of English Industrial style, with the operational buildings encircling the boiler house. The Barrymore brothers manufactured woven carpets but converted the looms to make coats and blankets for our soldiers in both World Wars. They also manufactured furniture just down the street on Atlantic Ave. York Heritage Properties purchased the Toronto Carpet Factory in the 1980’s and converted it into office and commercial use taking great pains to maintain the historic and architectural features of the building including its high ceilings, operable windows, wooden floors and exposed bricks and columns.

There are many smokestacks scattered around Liberty Village. Looking back towards the carpet factory.

The Toronto Carpet Factory comprises eight buildings on a 4-acre, one-city-block site, with a total rentable area of approximately 310,000 square feet. The buildings, built between 1899 and 1920, are similar in architecture to other industrial buildings built in Britain and America during that time. They were constructed in the classic 19th century style of perimeter buildings forming a cloister around a central quadrangle and powerhouse. All of the buildings are of heavy timber construction with load-bearing brick walls, wooden columns and beams, and hardwood floors. All roof decks are wooden, with the exception of the boiler room/generator room which is concrete slab.

If you zoom on the legend on the mural you will see its current tenants are very trendy with names like:

5ive 15ifteen Photo Company
Digital Black Magic
Brainbox Media
The Word on the Street I attended their annual Toronto book festival a few weeks ago.
War Child Canada
Nude by Nature not what you think, it is an Australian makeup brand
Sinking Ship Entertainment
Shoeless Joe's Bar and Grill
School Bakery and Cafe

Mural - William Lazos

In its time, the site was considered to be "state of the art", completely self-reliant, with its own steam-generated heat, power and electricity capabilities, fire pump and an underground cistern storing 625,000 gallons of water for emergency use. The cistern, still operational, remains buried beneath the floor of 72 Fraser Ave. A maze of catacombs (steam pipes), still deliver heat through the site. Ceiling heights range from 12' up to 22', and 24' in some of the corridors of Mowat Ave.
Alterations to the buildings have been undertaken with the utmost care to retain the integrity of all original architectural detail. York Heritage Properties, the owners of the Toronto Carpet Factory like to refer to their method of renovations as "invisible mending" - repairs that don't draw attention to themselves.

I was looking for this mural, not realizing how fabulous these buildings were!

Siobhan Kennedy developed the concept with Jim Kushnir & Sara MacLean | Mural Artist: William Lazos


  1. ..a neat old industrial sight. Those "magic carpet' mural are wonderful. Thanks zJackie for linking this week, enjoy.

  2. Quite a beautiful area to explore on such a day. I'm actually unfamiliar with this spot.

  3. I had a studio there for 10 years until the gentrification started. It was a great old building to wander about in and visit like-minded friends.

  4. So interesting! Love the carpet mural!


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