Printing Press

There are some smells that stay with you, the moment you smell it, it takes you back to a place and time. I remember distinctly the very first small newspaper I worked at. The Grandview/Gilbert Plains Exponent. They printed their newspaper right on site. And when you walked into the doors of the place, the first thing that hit you was the small of the newspaper printing ink.

But you knew in that space, with that smell, a produce was created. Each week, as this was a small weekly newspaper, the press would fire up and the paper would roll off. Here I would see my photos being published, it was the start of my newspaper career.

At the end of June of this year, the Toronto Star was shutting down it’s printing press operation after printing their newspaper in their printing plant. With the advancement of technology, the printing of the paper would be outsourced to a more efficient, faster printing plant.

I wanted to go and document the last days of the plant, and how the pressmen worked to get the paper off the floor. Since I thought we were losing a bit of Canadian history here, I took my Deardorff 8×10 large format camera to the plant and did some portraits of the pressman and their presses.

Shooting traditional black and white negatives (Ilford HP5 Plus film) I spent a few nights with the pressmen in their last days of printing the newspaper. While most of the guys and gals their were sad to see this place being shut down, they also understand it’s a fast changing industry.

I hope these images capture the look and feel of the works there and where they worked.

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