OK – Up to now I’ve been writing about my experience as an intern here, and the emphasis has been mainly on the work I’m doing, what I’m learning, and the people I’m working with.
But this account would not be complete without at least a portion of it devoted to this absolutely marvellous building we are housed in. It is called Le Nordelec, which is a reference to the fact that it was originally the Northern Electric Complex. Located in Point St. Charles, the Northern Electric complex was completed in several phases spanning the years 1913 to 1948, eventually occupying the entire block bound by Richmond , Richardson , Shearer and St. Patrick streets. This enormous factory produced cables, wiring and electric switchgear. You can read more about the history of this area and this building at http://lenordelec.ca .
For now, I just want to tell a little about how instantly I fell in love with this building. It is HUGE, and it is old and funky in a way that certain old buildings can get when they have been converted from one use to another over the years. There are strange passageways, some with metal tracks still embedded in the floors, between the various towers of the structure. There is one whole outside wall made of huge plates of rusted metal, held together with rivets as big a a baby’s fist – straight out of Blade Runner. There are abandoned washrooms, some eviscerated to the walls, and some with broken fixtures left in place – I guess if they ever need the space they will do something about that, but for now it is eerily reminiscent of the abandoned industrial buildings in many of the better horror flicks of my youth.
I could go on and on about how completely captivated I am by this building – I spend many of my lunch times walking through the hallways and exploring it – but I think it might be better to show you, so I have set up a photo album here so you can see a bit of what I mean.
Control the slideshow with the arrows on the sides (they’ll appear when you mouseover them).