Toronto's Last Abattoir to Auction Off Slaughtering Equipment
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Toronto’s Last Abattoir to Auction Off Slaughtering Equipment

Purchase a piece of Hogtown history, or check out the century-old Tecumseth Street facility.

When it was announced earlier this year that Hogtown’s last pig slaughterhouse was closing, and its operators, Quality Meat Packers and Toronto Abattoirs, were bankrupt, many were surprised that urban hog slaughtering wasn’t already a thing of the distant past. Residents near the abattoir on Tecumseth Street, meanwhile, were relieved to be free of the porcine odour that emanated from the facility.

But while the pigs may be gone, the machinery once used to process them will remain in place until it’s auctioned off Thursday (note: bidding requires a $500 deposit). The public is allowed to roam the buildings to preview the 1,100 lots. (Lot 416: Stainless Steel Loin Stuffer!)

The City of Toronto built the historic abattoir in 1914 to serve small butchers, and although slaughterhouse construction is not part of any mayoral candidate’s platform today, a century ago food safety and the regulation of domesticated livestock were part of a broadening municipal government mandate. Not by accident the abattoir was located next to the city incinerator and above the recently buried Garrison Creek, which had been diverted into underground sewers—both projects aimed at ensuring the health of Toronto residents.

Plant expansions following the sale of the facility in 1960 have resulted in the reassembly of many of its interior spaces, and the corner towers that recalled Italian monastic architecture are long gone—yet a glimmer of the historic site’s original grandeur still remains. The massive, labyrinthine industrial complex littered with disused slaughtering equipment offers a fun, if slightly creepy, look at the industry that gave Hogtown its name.

Photos by Zachary Youngerman/Torontoist