The five connected buildings known as 401 Richmond once housed an immense factory that for 70 years made tin containers by the millions. But by the 1970’s industries were moving out of downtown Toronto, and the complex had fallen on hard times. There was a bid to tear it down and turn the site into a parking lot. Then in 1994 the complex was rescued and restoration began that turned it into Toronto’s best-known arts-and-culture hub, with some 800 people working here. Stories about the evolution of 401 Richmond – stories that stretch across the whole of the 20th century and into the 21st – are told in a new Urbanspace Gallery exhibition.
Above: Sales and office staff of 401 Richmond’s original owner, the Macdonald Manufacturing Company.