Saturday, June 22, 2013
Kodak's Building 9 was once employee hub of Toronto complex
From early photographs, which now lie in archives, the building complex appears majestic, housing thousands of Kodak employees in the early 1920s.
In 2013, the last remaining building became home to squatters, teenage graffiti artists, and the property of Metrolinx, the government organization that oversees public transportation in the GTA.
At one time, this abandoned building was a key and active component in Kodak’s international camera production and distribution.
Building 9 was constructed in the 1940s and served as an employees’ building, offering recreation and relaxation to Kodak’s constantly expanding staff.
Inside, clubs like the Kodak Heights Camera Club could be found. The club housed the majority of cameras released by Kodak throughout the years for employees to use and admire. On the cusp of the emerging digital age, Kodak was unable to keep up and compete with companies like Canon and Sony, and filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
The actual Mount Dennis location, or Kodak Heights, was officially closed down in 2005. Following almost immediately, the corporation demolished buildings one through eight. The last building was spared while the company sat in talks with different potential buyers.
Metrolinx bought the space in 2012 for $48 million, and had plans to make it the final destination point for their Light Rail Transit (LRT) line they’ll begin construction on soon. After talking to the community, however, the space is now up for re-evaluation in an attempt to retain the historical culture of Kodak Heights.
There are several plans in the works right now, all centering around how to restore the building and the best use for the building.
If Metrolinx decides to use it for LRT space, the landscape will change by 2016. If a muesum is erected, it will change by 2017.
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