Richard L. Hearn Generating Station

Metal stairs rise from the ground floor to the second level of an abandoned industrial power station. The ground is muddy and covered with pools of water. Exposed steel columns and beams recede into the distance.
  • Year Built: 1951
  • Year Closed: 1983

Simply, it's a giant-sized power station.

Built in 1951, the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station was a coal-fired electrical generating station in Toronto, Canada.

The station employed about 600 people and operated for 30 years before being decomissioned in 1983. In the early 1970s it was converted to burn natural gas. While this reduced pollution, it also reduced efficiency and increased operating costs.

The building is huge. The turbine hall alone measures 300 × 45 meters (1000 × 150 feet). It remains one of the largest buildings I've explored. There were many levels in a maze-like environment with hundreds of stairs. After three visits to the station, I still feel I missed many areas.

In recent years the station has been slowly dismantled. It's been used sporadically for a number of movie productions but otherwise, has been empty.

Some waterfront revitalization projects have considered the site and there have been recent proposals for it to house a sports facility.

These photos were taken between 2004 and 2006, a period in which the station was undergoing significant dismantling and demolition. Many descriptions for these photos were provided by former station employees. These provide considerable context for which I'm quite grateful.

For a more detailed history, see the The Richard L. Hearn Generating Station wikipedia page