Tucked away in part of the old Lever Brothers (then Unilever) soap factory there is a small exhibit now showing.

below: Follow the yellow caution tape to find the installation…..

yellow caution tape marks a path through an old industrial space, sign on a post that says Danger no pedestrian traffic.

below: This is the sight that greets you when you first walk into the room…..   A large industrial sized funnel left behind when the factory was decommissioned dominates the room.  A few figures stand on the other side of it.

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls - three of them stand around a net on a circular frame, a large industrial funnel above them.

below: Moving closer.  Above the figures is a bubble making machine – how appropriate for a soap factory!

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls

As it turns out, these figures – mannequins or automatons – were originally made back in the 1980’s as props for the Wilderness Adventure Ride at Ontario Place.  When Ontario Place closed, these guys were abandoned.

below: He looks very intent on something. .. like destroying my camera if he could.

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls - solitary man with half an arm missing, staring straight ahead, beside a net to catch soap, a large soap bubble dropping from above him

Toronto artist Max Dean rescued their remains, cleaned them up and brought them back to life.

below: … and into the 21st century.  Playing Candy Crush to pass the time? Or checking his Tinder messages?

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls - sitting on a stool with a phone in one hand, a real woman behind him with a phone in her hand taking a picture

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls - an older man standing on the stairs and looking down

mannequin automatons as part of an art installation in the old Unilever soap factory, concrete floor and walls - the likeness of Andy Warhol, white hair, glasses on head, hand up, finger pointing

The Unilever factory site is now owned by First Gulf (a development company). Access is at 21 Don Roadway which also the DVP ramp from the Lakeshore. There is parking. Getting there by public transit is not easy as there is no access directly from the north (the railway tracks & DVP are in the way).

 

“Still Moving” continues until the 3rd of June.

Comments
  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    Mary! You have to stop doing this! … piquing my interest in yet one more thing I absolutely must see! My calendar is already so full I can barely breathe.

    That Unilever building has been a source of curiosity for me for quite some time. The fact that I might actually get to go inside is an irresistible draw. I’m already trying to figure out how I might squeeze this in.

    As usual, your photos are stunning … especially the last one.

  2. Mary C says:

    Thanks for the link!

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