Visit to the Canada Linseed Oil Factory

The Canada Linseed Oil Factory sits in the far southeast corner of Toronto’s Sorauren Park. Closed in the 1960’s, the abandoned factory is a dark, damp, and disgustingly dirty home to an innumerable amount of pigeons, travellers, street kids and everything in between. Yet, I’ve never been able to forget about it.

Back in high school a friend of mine had grown up in the area and affectionately referred to the factory as “The Zombie House,” something his family had dubbed it to dissuade the children from wanting to go near it. Jump to 9, 10 odd years later and we were suiting up for our first foray into the building.

The abandoned Canada Linseed Oil factory is surrounded by fences. The shorter fences have barbed wire across the top to deter climbers.

Years later I can see the Zombie House as it really was, a pigeon crap covered, tetanus-rife, complete and total hazard zone. But the memories of hanging out on the tar covered roof, searingly hot due to the summer sun, with my dumb friends, doing dumb things, stuck with me.

Which is why this summer, after my friend Robin expressed an interest in seeing it for herself, I went back.
These are the photos of the day Robin and I returned to the Zombie House. I may have been 5 years older but I certainly was no where near as brave as I was back then. I suppose there’s an element of fearlessness from my teenage years I didn’t realize I’d outgrown.

The first floor of the factory is almost entirely devoid of light, hence the slow shutter speed and blur.

One of the many graffiti murals inside; the floors were littered with broken glass, empty spray paint canisters and bird feces.

One of the many pigeons in the factory looks down on us from its perch on the ceiling.

An entirely dark room on the first floor; there was a figure resembling a pyre in the middle of it.

The second floor of the factory; all the windows were in a similar state.

The bathrooms on the second floor were destroyed. There were porcelain shards everywhere.

A view of the second floor’s many graffiti murals and the bathroom wreckage.

Another graffiti mural on the second floor; this one featured tear outs from pornographic magazines.

We decided to stay low on the roof to avoid being seen by any passersby. I still had to get a shot of the Toronto skyline.

One of the factory’s pigeons sits in the broken window panes on the third floor.

Right before we left we had a look down the old elevator shaft.


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