Photo exhibit shows the beauty of the machines in historic Leslieville bread factory

Photographer Laird Kay’s work (above and below) gives a macro look at the workings of an old bread factory.

Before the old Weston bread factory at 462 Eastern Avenue is redeveloped, Toronto-based photographer Laird Kay has preserved its raw industrial image with a photography project.

“I like photographing industrial machines and showing the beauty of machines,” Kay explained.

He also likes “taking them (the machines) out of context and just showcasing the details, all the rivets,” he said. “I wanted to showcase all the lines and the curves.”

Developers Graywood and the Alterra Group of companies, who through a joint-venture partnership plan to create a mixed-use residential development that incorporates the old Leslieville building, reached out to Kay about taking on the project.

Kay has included 10 close-up images in total, the result of a two-day shoot and week-long period of editing.
The developers provided some guidance to Kay in terms of what they wanted to see from the finished work depicting machines.

“They wanted them abstracted, they wanted them looking minimal and sculptural and respecting history,” noted Kay.

Although he lives in the city’s west end, Kay does have some personal memories related to the Weston area. “I remember being in the east end and seeing the flour trucks on Eastern Avenue there,” he recalled. “I remember the smell of the neighbourhood,” he added.

The photos are being displayed at the building in which they were taken as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, which runs until the end of the month.

Anyone interested in checking out Kay’s work in person can stop by the red-brick factory this weekend (May 19 and 20) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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