Monday, November 23, 2015

Goodbye Terminal City

Today's entry is one I wrote previously in January of 2013. The iron works has been sold and buildings torn down. However, I want to remind you of the history of the place before I say goodbye. (If you want to see what it used to look like, click the link for the 2013 entry.)

This April 1944 photo of Terminal City Ironworks was taken by Leonard Frank Studio.

The sixties was a good decade for some - it was the year I was born and 1966 was the year that Terminal City Iron Works continued to mushroom. Money Mushrooms used to be on Pandora Street but their building was bought out by Terminal City Iron Works.

By 1968, 1505 square metres (16,200 square feet) of foundry space had been added as well as the installation of a channel type induction electric melting furnace, which replaced an earlier coke-fired iron melting cupola.

Once the foundry had been upgraded, it was time to turn attention to the machine shop, which also got an overhaul. Additional pattern storage space was always being sought due to the development of new waterworks products. This company's pattern storage space grew to 743 square metres or 8,000 sq feet. Is it any wonder that the Terminal City Iron Works complex now took up an entire city block?

As of 1997, Terminal City products included waterworks fittings of gray cast iron and ductile iron in sixes from 2" through to and including 30" diameter. Terminal City was the only Canadian waterworks casting manufacturer that produced this range of fittings.

By the end of the twentieth century, Terminal City Iron Works had moved from this grand location to Langley. However, that wasn't the end of this block's usefulness.

Since 2002, this city block has been used for the film industry. That may be why some of these photos look familiar.

Psych has filmed here, as has Eureka. So has Arrow, Fringe, the short lived Alcatraz, Caprica, Dark Angel, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, John Doe and many more shows I am sure.

The entire complex is now up for sale. When I saw this, it prompted me to contact Terminal City Iron Works and I was referred to Mr. Stanley Mason - if you read Monday's entry, you will see that his family founded the company. (here's the entry mentioned.)

Mr. Mason is writing a book on the history of Terminal City Iron Works and he was kind enough to give me some information on the history of the company and the building.

This is part of Vancouver's history - a true success story. Anyone who buys this land is going to have to rejuvenate the soil due to all the chemicals that have been used there in the foundry business. With the way things are going in this city, I suspect it will be bought and eventually turned into condos.

I wish to thank Don Blanchard at Terminal City Iron Works in Langley for putting me into contact with Mr. Mason, Mr. Mason for his help and knowledge, the The Canadian Fire Hydrant and Waterworks Museum online and MovieMaps for the information.

With that, I say goodbye to the Terminal City Iron Works block. May future generations remember the hard work that went into the success this business became.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

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