A.R. Williams Machinery Company

  • Year Built: 1929

Mostly, it's a barn.

It may be listed as a historic building. It may even be Toronto's first ‘free-span’ industrial building. But, it's still effectively a barn. With skylights.

Built in 1929, the Liberty Storage Warehouse was built on the site of the old Toronto Central Prison. This area had become the heart of Toronto's industrial community.

After the prison closed in 1915, the A.R. Williams Machinery Company purchased part of the land to build this machine shop.

And then what happened? It's not clear. There's a 65-year gap where I can find no mention of the building. It's not until 1995 when it's mentioned as having been used for a rave event (by fellow photographer Chris Smart).

This building was renovated as a slick temporary condo sales office in 2007. Even though the building has been designated ‘historic’, it will be replaced with a 15-storey condo tower. Only the front 28 meters (92 feet) of the building will be retained.