When I was a child I didn’t much like downtown Waterloo because of the pervasive smell of the Seagram’s Distillery that hung over the city core.
Those days are long past, as manufacturing that decreases the quality of life is better relegated to more isolated locales. Waterloo today enjoys the reputation of being one of Ontario’s more livable cities.
The Seagram industrial complex was remade into upscale loft housing some years back.
Originally there was an enormous pyramid of old barrels out front, making a wonderful historic bit of historic public art, but that has now been replaced by the more sedate “Barrel Warehouse Park”.
These days the park is graced by public art consisting of a few gigantic bits of miscellaneous machinery that presumably were once employed in the distillery business.
There is also an odd little man-made waterfall cascading out of a featureless concrete wall…
… to the floor of a sloped concrete enclosure. Presumably the puddle at the bottom is intended as a wading pool for local children.
But it is the ranks of identical windows flanked on one side by identical blue shutters that provides the real art to this architectural gentrification project.