The Last Days at The Toronto Star's Printing Plant

The Toronto Star is closing its printing press in Vaughan and will contract out printing operations to Transcontinental Printing.

The move to close the printing plant, which opened in 1992, will affect 220 full-time employees and 65 part-time staff.

In this video, photographer Todd Korol visits the Toronto Star's press plant for the last time and captures portraits of the people that worked there.


Share this entry

Comments (10 - click here to join in!)

James Edgar

Great Idea for the portraits. I miss using large format cameras like his 8x10. I had a 4x5 and used 8x10 when working as an assistant.

As for the star closing its plant ,it's sad for those losing jobs but it does seem to be the new normal. Either outsourcing or obsolescence has a lot of people having to make way for a new way to do things.

July 4, 2016 @ 1:08 PM

Cambo

@James

If only the TO Taxi drivers thought the same way. The old way of doing business does not hold up in 2016 anymore, and you can't blackmail city councils and stage meaningless protests to help your cause.

July 4, 2016 @ 1:21 PM

Alison in Ottawa

That breaks my heart...my father worked for the Star and I loved seeing the pressroom on the occasional Saturday when I went to work with him at the old plant at 1 Yonge Street....Very sad for those employees, those print based jobs will be hard to come by somewhere else.

July 4, 2016 @ 1:24 PM

Ryan G

Great little video. I can just imagine the bosses of the people featured in this:

"Carl!...Carlos the man.....heyyyy..how's it going!! Good weekend? GREAT! Annnnyway.....we'd like you to go ahead and appear in a video about the extinction of your job that will appear on thestar.com which will be viewed thousands of times online as part of our larger digital media and monetization strategy. Ya it's monday at 10...Awesome...thanks Carl!"

July 4, 2016 @ 1:58 PM

Douglas

The printing plant closure is certainly a reflection of the ongoing change in the way people get and consume their news and other information. I remember when the plant opened. It was state-of-the-art. Reality set in as the years went by. At one point, if I recall, the plant was running the Star, a whole bunch of Toronto Star-owned Metroland community/regional newspapers, and even the National Post, the total volume keeping the plant viable. The Star was not able to keep the plant up to date technology-wise as the cost of doing so went higher and higher. I hope the displaced employees can find equivalent work elsewhere. I see a parallel here with the closing of Olivetti's operations in Don Mills in the late 80s-early 90s.

July 4, 2016 @ 2:41 PM

dale

I've worked in the printing business for 36 years mainly as an estimator, production & scheduling. When going to high school & university I was fortunate to work during the summer at Southam Murray which closed is 1991. I was lucky to be transferred to another Southam facility whereby I could retain time served, benefits & pension. That meant a lot to me. I could have taken 36 weeks severance with a $5M bonus, but didn't.

I feel for these workers as seen it too many times with printing in last couple of years. Print is a dying industry with internet, social media, etc.

@ Gary - do you agree. Press 71 & 73 jogging sometimes for double shifts 7 days a week.

July 4, 2016 @ 6:10 PM

Daniel

The price of progress I guess. Though don't tell that to the workers. Newspapers in general are dying because

1) They gave away their stories on the internet for free when the internet first gained popularity. The public got used to it and now refuse to pay for content

2) People are dumb and don't want relevant interesting stories anymore. They just want to hear about what the Kardashians did last week. The media companies approveit because its cheap easily consumable news. Tenny boppers approve because they get their content fast

July 5, 2016 @ 2:03 PM

rob

I remember working on getting the installation contract for those presses with my Dad.
Even though we worked for the same company it was the only time myself and my Dad worked on the same project.

It was fascinating to see those 6 Colorman presses come together and finally running.

July 7, 2016 @ 7:40 AM

Phil O r m e

Same in the UK where circulations of nationals are plummeting. All nationals reinvested on new full colour kit, most of them twice in the last 25years.

We are now seeing the trend eating into the magazine and commercial print sites, with frightening speed.

July 13, 2016 @ 4:13 PM

William R Broadbridge

For some folks the Toronto star and Southam Murray's was a family's way of making a good living.....My brother in law worked at both.....he had made many friends over the years and was at the star when he retired.....sadly he passed away some years later.....I went to the Toronto sun to learn offset printing and still print offset newspapers today in the states........My mother worked for s-m for many years and tested eatons books for quality out back on 12hr shifts which would last for weeks......I liked working on the roto dept......lots of overtime......

January 17, 2018 @ 11:56 PM

Leave a comment


Only 10 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!


« Canada Day Open Mike Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 182: David Shoalts »