Canada Malting Silos

Canada Malting Silos were built in 1905 to store barley. The St. Henri complex has been abandoned since 1989, but it’s a popular destination for graffiti artists, photographers who take shots of the cavernous interior spaces, and of course sketchers. Tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 24) I’ll be drawing the building, and its famous pink house, live on Instagram with @artofalvin at 8am EST. If you want to draw along with us, follow Alvin on Instagram and tune in when he goes live. I’ll be there, and we’ll both be drawing the south side of the complex, from the same image, which you can find here. I also did a watercolour of the east facade last week. It’s a building that can be painted from many viewpoints, but it’s a little hard to access from across the Lachine Canal in the winter because of the deep snow. I’ll be going there to paint in on location as soon as the snow melts.

Later in the week, I’ll also be spending a few minutes discussing Ackerman pens with Charles Ackerman and Rob Sketcherman on USkTalks live on Youtube. If that’s of interest, you can tune in on the Urban Sketchers YouTube channel. That starts at 10am EST on Sunday, February 28th. We’ll be followed by a Elisa Monti, a sketcher from Genoa who will be talking about her reportage of giant cruise ships. I caught a quick glimpse of her amazing sketches during our sound check this morning, and I can’t wait to see more!!

15 Comments on “Canada Malting Silos”

  1. Marilyn Hansen says:

    Beautiful sketch and very interesting story! I love old, abandonned buildings. Exploring them when I can. Some have sad stories, and all have had a life at some point, and their own stories of course. It makes me sad to see these buildings empty and in disrepair, but to put them down in a sketch preserves them for us!


    • Marilyn, in the ten years that I’ve been sketching Montreal, I’ve documented many places that are now gone. You are right about preserving them with our sketches. So important! Thanks so much for writing.


  2. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    Thank you for sharing this interesting story. My interest is peeked by the pink house. My husband and I visited Montreal a few years ago. It was a lovely trip. I’m fairly new to sketching… what I call the infant stage. I soak up information as much as possible. Attempting to build my confidence. Loving your posts!


  3. Donna says:

    I read some of the history on those silos. Very interesting. Old buildings have so much to offer, old stories and great art!!


  4. Y.B. De Ridder says:

    Looking so much forward to see how you do this! Looking at the photo, I will be challenged to get enough depth in the sketch coloring it.


  5. Interesting corner. I really like how you captured the wet slushy look of the street.


  6. Judy Sopher says:

    This is very different and interesting. I printed the picture with the pink building. And—what is a malting silo? And again–love your use of blues.


  7. Judy Sopher says:

    I agree-interesting, and different. I printed the reference photo with the pink building. What is a malting silo?And again-love your use of blues.


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