Urban Exploration

229 Wallace Ave: Looking Out

229 Wallace Ave: Looking Out

Taken during a quick exploration of the former D&M Hardware building at 229 Wallace Ave.

Red Box

Red Box

Red box on a grey wall, inside of the former D&M Building Supplies at 229 Wallace Ave. Currently being demolished to make way for new industrial / commercial lofts.

Wallace Ave.: D&M Hardware Demolition and G.E. Water Tower

Wallace Ave.: D&M Hardware Demolition and G.E. Water Tower

The former D&M Hardware building on Wallace Ave. is currently being demolished to make way for new commercial / industrial lofts.

Looking north-east from the CN/GO Newmarket tracks.

Kaunas, Lithuania: Šv. Jurgio bažnyčia

Kaunas, Lithuania: Šv. Jurgio bažnyčia

Šv. Jurgio bažnyčia (St. George's church) in the old town of Kaunas, Lithuania.

This Bernardine monastary and church date back to 1468 when a wooden church was built here. In 1471, they started to build the brick version, which completed by sometime around 1503. In 1812 when Napoleon's army came through, they used the church for storing flour. The last major renovation happened in 1936 but then during the Soviet occupation it was again turned into a warehouse (for medical equipment, apparently) and ended up suffering major interior damage. In between it suffered several fires, wars, and various alterations and reconstructions, but it's still standing.

When we were there in July 2009, it was just starting to undergo some major renovations. It was open to the public, filled with temporary seating, and already being used for masses. The catacombs under the altar are all exposed, and much of the artwork and architectural details are still intact, although damaged. I could have easily spent many hours in there with a camera and tripod, but alas, I only ended up getting a few quick snapshots.

Further reading (Google-translated Lithuanian websites):

Tower Automotive - Looking down the elevator shaft

Looking down the elevator shaft at the vacant Tower Automotive building on Sterling Rd.

Tower Automotive: Filth Trees

Tower Automotive: Filth TreesTower Automotive: Filth Trees

The "view" through a window at Tower Automotive on Sterling Rd. The window was covered in so much grime that "filth trees" started growing up from the bottom.

On a completely unrelated note: One of my favourite photography websites is shorpy.com, "a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s." This week they featured a wonderful street scene pic from New York City, 1905. There's so much going on this this photo: Dead horse laying in the brick street, filthy barefoot kids paying in the gutter water, the poses and expressions on the faces of the kids, etc. Fantastic. Make sure you look at the high-def version.

Tower Automotive - What's behind the curtains?

Tower Automotive - CurtainsTower Automotive - Curtains

Another photo from inside the Tower Automotive building at 158 Sterling Rd. Most floors had the same basic structure (tall ceilings, large tapered columns, etc.), but they all had unique colours and other furnishings.

Exploring Tower Automotive

Tower Automotive - Ground FloorTower Automotive - Ground Floor

Taking a short break from posting photos of our vacation in Europe. Here's a more recent one from the vacant Northern Aluminum Company / Algoods / Tower Automotive building on Sterling Rd. in Toronto. It's an absolutely beautiful old industrial building dating back to about 1914, which due to its height is a very prominent feature in our neighbourhood. The owners let a group of us in to explore and take photos on December 7 2009, and I'm hoping to go back again soon.

Although it's currently vacant, a developer has purchased the property and is actively working on cleaning up the soil and has some major development plans for the whole area. Glad to see this building will be preserved and re-used.

I will post more photos of this building soon.

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