Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Concord Floral
It was the spring of 1997 when the last stems were clipped on the Pink Osianas in the warmth of the greenhouse at Concord Floral. One last time, the Bridal Whites and Golden Fantasies alike were packaged into beautiful bouquets or simply bundled and shipped out across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Before it's closure in 1997, Concord Floral was the GTA's largest supplier of roses. Since, it has sat abandoned, and is slowly but steadily being reclaimed by nature. In an ironic twist of fate these same plants that brought prosperity are now overtaking the building that once contained them.
It was the spring of 2011 when we approached the quarter million square foot greenhouse. We stumbled onto the skeletal remains of what appeared to be a coyote. Death revealed itself to us before we entered the greenhouse, a juxtaposition of what was to come. Although the plants appear dead, there are still signs of life throughout the greenhouse, and the roses re-appear each year in greater numbers. A perennial reincarnation not granted to the coyote.
Beautiful brand new graffiti by KANE & BACON of the legendary HSA Crew drew us to our entrance.
Engulfed by a wall of heat, i immediately removed my coat and tied it to my waist, and began snapping photos. Mesmerized by the geometric patterns through the lens of my Canon Rebel stock, I traversed the skinny overgrown walkways, with ninja in tow. Awkward steps over falling trellises and overgrown roots and branches, side to side, crossing the central walkway in a loose grid. Gardening gloves, shovels, hydroponic lights, dripline irrigation, ladders, thermometers, hoses, hardhats and rakes were a sample of the things left behind.
A long central walkway bisects the length of the main greenhouse. Precariously, loose wooden planks cover a series of underground tunnels of irrigation piping. Another stark contrast, the humidity in the greenhouse and the chilling cold tunnels below. Unfortunately, none of my underground shots were worthy of posting. Next time I will bring ye olde tripod.
Upon re-opening the door and exiting the greenhouse, after an extensive explore, we were met with a wall of cold spring air colliding with our perspiring foreheads. A minute later, we were inside the heart of the main building, that would have pumped life into the greenhouse, keeping it alive, pulsing with electricity and water. A steam pressure gauge was still buzzing on the wall, breaking the otherwise impeccable silence. Footsteps and camera clicks, oohs and awws, a quick kiss, passing the camera back and forth.
As the coyote experienced first hand, everything comes to an end. This mission was no exception.
A return trip was planned to capture the greenhouse in its full glory during summer months, with the roses in bloom, but Concord Floral is under demolition.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES