American Can Company
- Year Built: 1929
- Year Closed: 1991
For a building described as the one that ‘introduced art deco to Simcoe’ I had high hopes.
But, art deco? Where? The building I arrived at resembled an abandoned parking garage. Detailing — art deco or otherwise — was hard to spot in the building's advanced state of disrepair.
The American Can Company was built in 1929. The 3-storey factory was a high-volume manufacturer of — unsurprisingly — tin cans.
During World War II, the plant was repurposed to build artillery and shell casings. It was one of the larger employers in the area and operated until 1991 when the factory was closed. A few years prior (1988), the American Can Company had been bought by Ball Packaging.
- View photo with title: Joists and Reflections
- View photo with title: Perspective 101 - Portrait
- View photo with title: Elevator Access Stair
- View photo with title: In The Elevator Shaft
- View photo with title: Production Floor
- View photo with title: Walls Without a Purpose
- View photo with title: Columns, Beams and Tower
- View photo with title: Peeled Back for a Good Look
- View photo with title: A Sunny Day in the Land Without a Ceiling
Given that it was still in use in 1991, it's impressive how quickly the site has succumbed to natural elements. There were plans to renovate the building as a condominum in the early 1990s, but those plans failed to execute. With the roof removed, the wood and concrete floors have been exposed to rain and numerous freeze/thaw cycles. They're in pretty rough shape and the building is now considered too damaged for reuse.
A conversation with the owner revealed that brass ornamentation used to cap the columns and other details. However, the site had been picked clean in the previous two decades and was used as a sort of buffet for local scavengers.
I've yet to find photos of the building in its prime where that promise of ‘art deco’ might be fulfilled.
- View photo with title: Red Pipe
- View photo with title: The Tire
- View photo with title: Flaking Paint on Column
- View photo with title: Unsafe
- View photo with title: Broken Window
- View photo with title: Tower Base
- View photo with title: Column and Beam Connection
- View photo with title: Water Tower and Roof
Only included for completeness. Lower your expectations accordingly!
- View gallery with title: Shipbreaking Yards - Industrial disposal and recycling on a huge scale. Interior and exterior photos of boats in a ship breaking yard, in the process of dismantling.
- View gallery with title: Carbide Graphite Group - An industrial wasteland. Photos of a former graphite electrode plant during mid-demolition. Primarily contains images of exterior equipment with some interior administration spaces.
- View gallery with title: A.R. Williams Machinery Company - Interior photos of a 1929 free-span machine shop/warehouse in the Liberty Village area of Toronto.