The Buildings of Liberty Village 3 – The Hinde and Dauch Paper Company (43 Hanna Ave)

This is the third in a series of posts on the main buildings in Liberty Village that will be modeled on my layout.  The previous Buildings profiled are:

  1. Brunswick-Balke-Collender (40 Hanna Ave)
  2. Sunbeam Incandescent Lamp Company of Canada (219 Dufferin Street)

The Hinde and Dauch Paper Company is another fine (ok, that’s my opinion, I love the look of early 20th century industrial buildings) industrial complex built starting around the turn of the 20th century, and expanded and modified over the years.  Many know the facility as Irwin Toys who occupied the building later in its life after Hinde and Dauch left.  I understand there were at least some public toy sales that people older than me apparently remember, but when the site was redeveloped into condominium lofts in the mid 2000’s, the building became known as the “Toy Factory Lofts” because of the association with Irwin, and any remaining vestiges of the Hinde and Dauch painted signs was removed when three stories were added to the building.

43 Hanna Ave in less than good condition (late 1970’s?) courtesy of the Toronto Archives (Series 1465, File 58, Item 36), and today, complete with additional stories and converted into Condominium Lofts in the mid 2000’s as Liberty Village became a happening area.

The building occupied a triangular site on the north side of Liberty Street.  There were railway sidings on both the east and south side of the building, serving a number of loading docks.  The building was at its ultimate build-out as an industrial complex, four storeys in height with large banks of windows to allow light into the factory facilities. Inside the building, as can be seen now in the condos, was an impressive structure made of Douglas Fir posts which support the exterior to this day, old school construction, not poured concrete, heavy brick walls supported by the timber framing.

IMG_4384.jpgExtract of Underwriters Insurance Plan Vol 2 Sheet 86 showing the Canadian General Electric Plant at Duffern St/Liberty St/Mowat Ave in 1945 (Toronto Public Library Collection).

By the early 2000’s, industrial uses in the Liberty Village area were winding down, and developers saw opportunities for major changes in the area to introduce residential and commercial uses.  The area is very close to downtown Toronto, and the thought process for the development industry was changing, as more people were willing and desiring to live close to work and the activity of the downtown area.  Lanterra Developments were one of the first into the area, turning the vacant factory into a 215 unit live-work loft style condominium, adding three storeys to the building in places and introducing the first major commercial to the area.  Not things relevant to my layout, but interesting to see how the area developed over time.

Two views down East Liberty Street.  The first from a realtors website shows the building before redevelopment (, the second shows the courtyard where the boiler house once was, and the three storeys added to the eastern portion of the building in the mid 2000’s when it was turned into a residential condominium.

For my layout, again the compromises of compression in the current design are catching this building out by making it heavily compressed in the corner of the layout.  Despite this, even a portion of this building will be an impressive end piece, and have space for several cars to be spotted for switching.  Hinde and Dauch would have received raw materials in the form of cardboard, which they then converted to boxes and packaging, shipping out finished products.  From the Fire Insurance Maps, it also appears that they received coal by rail for their boiler house to provide power to the factory.  This will mean at least two types of cars being delivered, boxcars and hopper cars.  On the layout, some compression again will likely see the 2nd spot on the east of the building as the “coal” spot, despite it appearing that this was actually a separate siding from the shipping/receiving track.  Its a compromise, but one which will hopefully create some operational challenge for crews if they need to spot a coal hopper in the right place.

Oct 31 17 - Liberty Layout Concept 1-FastTracks 3.anyExtract of the Eastern Corner of the Layout Plan, 43 Hanna Ave is building “H” on the plan.

One decision I will have to make is whether to compress the painted signage along the roof parapet level, or selectively compress it to get it all in.  That is something that will need to wait until I am actually building the model to see what looks right.

The painted signs on Hinde & Dauch, the east side circa 1959 (from Ray Kennedy’s Old Time Trains), and the south side of Hinde and Dauch circa 1990’s, again courtesty of a realtor’s website on the Toy Factory Lofts (

This will be one of the major industries on my layout, and I’m very much looking forward to trying to do justice to the look and feel of the building, even in a compressed form.

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