The House is Long Gone

This was the first house I photographed with a digital camera.  Both the house and the camera are gone now. I bought a new camera, but the house was irreplaceable. To me the old houses become stoic individuals, one of a kind, the longer they remain abandoned. Please don’t vandalize, salvage, or take souvenirs. (I partially exempt garden plants because they are living things which can bloom again).

Dawson House in Chesley, Ontario

So far I haven’t found an update for this house. It was put up for sale by the municipality in 2013. I found it on Google Street View but the images are from 2013, so no clue there.

It had been a museum at one time, the Chesley Heritage and Woodworking Museum. Most if it seems to be rental units now. Old buildings tend to deteriorate faster as rental units. (My brother has lived that experience with an old house he bought in Orillia).

Here are images of the Dawson house, in Chesley, from Google Maps. There are stained glass windows still remaining on most of the first floor windows. There is a mysterious bell at one side of the front of the buiding. If the town had to give up on it, there must be a lot of expensive work needed. But, it will be a shame to see this place fall down around itself.

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The Old House on the 3rd Line?

I drive by this old house about once a month on the way to visiting my brother in Orillia. It’s wasn’t an abandoned house but old and houses close to a highway interest me. They show how the roadways have progressed.

Yesterday I drove by and I had a triple look because (I’m still not 100% sure) the house was gone. I could see a wire fence around the area, over the driveway. But, there was no sign of the house. There is a chance I just missed it but, I can’t think of anything else there with a driveway. I hope I’m wrong and the house is still there. Not that it’s going to last forever but I will be sorry to see it not there any more.

These images are screen captures from Google. I never stopped to take a photograph of the house. I just thought it would continue to be there.

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An Urban Explorer’s Dream Place (for Me)

I watched several urbex videos on YouTube tonight. Funny, but most mentioned this or that type of place was an urban explorer’s dream. None of the places they were talking about were any dream of mine. THIS place (see photo above) is more like my dream place. I could spend the day noticing and photographing all the details.

Even better having been photographed just after the rain. Old houses look great on rainy, cloudy days.

This photo comes from FlickrNicolas Auvinet. I moderate an urbex group there (other than my own Ontario and Canadian groups) which had this photo submitted for review.

Wish I could step into the photo without the need of paperwork, airplanes and all the rest. Just pack up my backpack, put on my boots and step through.

But, I can use a copy of the photo as my desktop wallpaper. At least I can see it again that way.

Mapping a Human Presence

Original post and photos from Jessica Glasgow (explorer and photographer in Ontario). I like this post from her site and what she wrote about the old houses. I have copied it here to preserve and archive it.

I am constantly fascinated by the amount of character that a home can possess despite its essential bones of wood and concrete. Houses are not living beings, yet there is something about them that maintains a presence or aura. In a small period of time, a home can turn from a capsule for memories and place of from which we map our lives to an empty structure that becomes an arrangement of building materials. What happens after we leave?

In developing this project I hope to convey my personal fascination with the phenomena of abandoned homes and by the virtue of photographing one, map out a human presence that once occupied it. Through mapping it I hope to convey the particular flavour and aura of the house and by means of the contents left within it, begin to tell the viewer a fragmented story of it’s occupants.

Source: jessica glasgow photography: Mapping a Human Presence

Haunted or Not?

This  was posted on Facebook as a Halloween thing, something meant to be spooky, creepy, etc. I never see the old houses that way. To me they look sad, lost, a little mysterious and a stepping stone to our history, our identity. I feel bad for the houses when people think they are haunted or creepy. It’s like someone seeing your Grandmother and thinking she is ugly. I guess I do give the houses feelings, even though they are not living things, exactly. People name boats, give them a personality why don’t more houses and cars get names too? What would you name this house, in the picture above? What would you name your own home, whether it’s a house or part of a building that you live in?

Abandoned Canada

One of the projects I am working on is a web directory with sites relating to urban/ rural exploration and abandoned sites in Canada (the rest of the world as well but it’s a massive project to tackle all of it at once). It’s far from ready to be shown off. But, I do have a list of sites for Canadian explorers and those who just like to look at old houses, places and things.

Flickr: Ontario Rural Ruins
Flickr: Canadian Rural Exploration

Flickr: Abandoned Canada

Ontario:
Flickr: Abandoned Ontario
Facebook: Ontario Ghost Towns and Historical Places

British Columbia:

Flickr: Abandoned British Columbia

Alberta:

Flickr: Historical and Abandoned Alberta

Saskatchewan:

Flickr: Abandoned Saskatchewan

Quebec:

Flickr: Abandoned Quebec

Flickr: Abandoned Montreal

Northern Canada:

Flickr: Abandoned Alaska and Yukon