Abandoned Papermill Built In 1854 (Endangered Heritage Site)

Located in Georgetown Ontario, this historic complex of brick and limestone has become a victim of demolition by neglect. Mainly visited by graffiti artist, kids and explorers.

Established in 1854 by the Barber family as a rag-paper mill, John Roaf Barber became the plant manager in 1861 under his father James Barber who became the sole proprietor in 1869. When James died in 1880, John took over the Barber Paper Mills.

Recognizing the need for paper products, John purchased the controlling interest in his brothers business. The Barber and Ellis company, which became one of the largest stationary manufacturing companies in the dominion. John then organized and became the first president of the Toronto paper manufacturing company.

John also was a pioneer in the use of long distance electricity to power an industrial plant. This mill was where the first location in North America to be powered with the new technology.

The mill was sold to the provincial papers company in 1913 and John Barber passed away in 1917.

Provincial Papers ran the mill until 1948 and various companies occupied the complex until the 1970s. The building has been left to decay since.

In 2008 the property was designated a cultural heritage site and by 2015 it made the top 10 list of Canada’s most endangered heritage sites. A development company planned to build a condo and commercial complex that would incorporate the old mill, but that plan fell through when they ran into problems with cleaning the contaminated soil on the property.

The historic property is still sitting in the same state of decay that it has been in for the last 50 years, and is up for sale with the price tag of $5 million dollars.

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