When I used to work in the North End I would sometimes bike between the Bennetto and Keith neighbourhoods crossing over the tracks at Victoria Avenue. Taking a few neighbourhood side streets, to avoid the industrial highway of Burlington Street East, I would always pass by a huge old abandoned factory. You would’ve seen it too if you’d ever driven down that way.
On Victoria Avenue North past the General Hospital and just before Burlington Street East you would’ve seen the old Studebaker factory. It’d be hard to miss. It was a 4 block monstrosity of a factory, where in all honesty at least 3 football fields could’ve fit inside its 7.5 acre lot. I used to marvel at it every time I passed by.
Like many of the older factory and industrial spaces tucked into Hamilton’s landscape this one too had been empty for some time. The last Studebaker to be rolled off the production line at this factory was in 1966.
Recently there was some talk of the space being repurposed as a film studio (would’ve been awesome). But as per the fate of many of these industrial relics, it is currently in the process of being torn down. A new industrial complex will be built in its spot. (for more info see an article from The Spec here).
Just last week I paid my respects to that old factory. It is currently being torn down to the ground into a rubble of red Hamilton bricks. I was able to snap some photos of whatever reminants of it that remained.
In its former industrial incarnations it housed production for everything from Otis elevators to the classic Studebaker -it was even used a weapons factory during World War I and II!
I was happy to note that the corner portion of the building will remain intact to be a repurposed as part of the new industrial development.
Not to mention, I was pleased to see that it wouldn’t end up as just another brown field like the one directly across the street from the Studebaker lot.
Hamilton, the times they are a changing.