A trip through the now demolished Mr Christie Factory in Toronto, Ontario
On November 1, 2012 it was announced that Mondelēz Canada would be closing the Mr Christie’s plant at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Park Lawn in Toronto. This decision would put 550 people be out of work, but rumour had it that the plant would be torn down and replaced by condos.
“With the facility’s aging infrastructure, and underutilized manufacturing capacity, further investment is not a viable option. Therefore, we have determined it is best to close the facility because it no longer supports our strategy of making the most efficient use of our manufacturing assets.”
The 625,000 square-foot factory has been churning out Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and other snack foods since 1948. Area residents and drivers along the Gardiner Expressway often noticed a sweet smell in the air when cookie production was in full swing.
The bakery was shuttered in 2013 and with it, 550 jobs were lost. Immediately, speculation began about the property’s future. Would it become high-rises and if so, how many and how fast? The property owner at the time, Mondelez Canada Inc., ambitiously suggested 27 high-rises could be built on the 27-acre property – a proposal that put the Humber Bay Shores neighbourhood and city hall on the defensive. Since then, there has been little movement either in official plans or on the site. But, just recently, demolition workers began taking down the former factory, sparking new discussions about the site’s future.
Standing in the way of any development for the past four years has been the site’s zoning as employment, which the city seems intent on keeping. Mondelez applied to rezone the property, but the city denied it and has been fighting the former owner’s appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board.
I explored this abandoned factory in January of 2015, here are those photos
You can read more about my adventures in Urban Exploration on my Huffington Post Canada blogger page