The Buildings of Liberty Village 4 – The Toronto Carpet Company (43 Hanna Ave)

This is the fourth in a series of posts on the main buildings in Liberty Village that will be modelled 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)
  3. The Buildings of Liberty Village 3 – The Hinde and Dauche Paper Company (43 Hanna Ave)

This time, its another of the large industrial complexes, in this case, one which occupied the entire block between Mowat Avenue and Fraser Avenue between Liberty Street and King Street West, the “Toronto Carpet Manufacturing Company”.  This impressive complex included several buildings, all of which remain, and which have been repurposed into a variety of office and restaurant uses.

There was once a spur where the no-entry sign on the west side of Mowat Avenue (its still partly visible closer to King Street). The five storey building is Building 7 of the Toronto Carpet Manufacturing Company, the building across the bridge was originally the Russell Motor Car Company, later Barrymore Cloth (part of the carpet factory) according to insurance maps.

Now that I have actually started construction of the layout, I’ve realized that this will likely be one of the earlier buildings constructed.  It is in a corner of the room, and will hide the corner and be one of the furthest away structures from the edge of the layout.  It will need to get built earlier rather than later so the scenery can work its way out from the backdrop and so I’m not constructing other buildings in the way. On my layout, there will be spots for two cars here, one beneath the overhead bridge on Mowat Avenue, and one along the south side of the building/north side of Liberty Street west of Mowat Ave.  A 3rd car could maybe be spotted east of Building 7 (D on the track plan) on the right side of the image above, but because of space constraints, it would look lost as cars on that spur were actually switched deep into the courtyard of the Carpet Factory complex and wouldn’t have been sitting out by the street.  I don’t think I need that extra spot to make the layout work, so will likely forego it.  That also lets me skip a switch machine as the spur won’t be active.

June 07 18 - Liberty Layout - West.anyExtract of the layout plan showing the Toronto Carpet Factory, Building C (formerly the Russell Automotive plant) and D, the Carpet Factory Building 7 extension.

The main building itself I will be modelling is the “extension” to Building 7. It is an absolutely gorgeous early 20th century five storey industrial building, and luckily for me, the original building permit plans for that portion of the building are in the holdings of the Toronto Archives. I was able to visit and take pictures of the plans for the building facade, layout, window and other details. Some of the pictures of the plans are below.

Plans from the Toronto Carpet Manufacturing Building 7 Expansion, by William Steele & Sons Ltd, Philadelphia, Dated May 3, 1911 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 2351).

With these plans in hand, in the near future I am going to start working on drawings for the window frames. I am planning on 3D printing masters for the windows, and casting the ones I need in resin. This is both cheaper, and if something happens to a window, an extra resin casting is a lot cheaper than another 3D print. This will be a technique I use for a lot of buildings where there are non-standard looking windows, or windows which really define the appearance of the building. If I can use commercially available parts I will, but to achieve the look of the area and in replicating real buildings, sometimes you need to do custom work.

1945 Fire Underwriters Plan of the Toronto Carpet Factory showing the spur into the plant, the track still exists today as seen on the right.

I will write separately about the Russell Automotive plant which forms the western part of the Toronto Carpet Manufacturing site, connected to Building 7 by an overhead walkway. It’s an interesting building in its own right.

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