Windsor, Ontario for Urban Explorers

Windsor Blight, on Flickr

Group Description
This group is for all those photos of Windsor, Ontario that exhibit the current state of property in the city. Abandoned homes, brownfields, vacant stores, empty factories, etc.

The current commercial vacancy rate in downtown Windsor is an astonishing 24%. The residential vacancy rate is the highest in the country, and has been rising since 2005. Businesses are closing left and right, and our leaders don’t seem to understand the importance of a vibrant downtown.

A lot can be said about this subject, but this group’s purpose is to SHOW our leaders what is happening across our city. Add your photos of blight in Windsor, and hopefully we can illustrate to the powers that be that immediate action is needed.

Urban Exploration Ethics and Standards

I haven’t written a well thought out list for myself. Mainly I already know what crosses the line for me and the rest I decide at the time as things change. I seldom enter a building. That feels a bit too law breaking for me. Not very safe either.

I stick closely to “leave only footprints – take only photographs”. I’ve never vandalized a site, including leaving litter or moving anything to pose it for my photograph. In that way I think photographing derelict places should be like a game of golf – play it where it lies.


Source: Urban Adventure Org

A Tribute to Jeff Chapman: #RIPNinjalicious

Jeff Chapman (1973 – 2005) #RIPNinjalicious

Jeff Chapman was a Canadian urban explorer, known as Ninjalicious. Jeff published Access All Areas and the founder of Infiltration, zines and website.


“It’s the thrill of discovery that fascinates me. Yes, I know I’m not the first person there, but I can honestly say I found it and I earned the experience for myself. After exploring for a while, you get a wonderful feeling that you’re “in on” the secret workings of cities. You know what’s under your feet and what’s behind the closed doors and what the city looks like from the highest office towers, while almost everyone around you only ever looks at the public areas and never truly pays attention to urban structures unless they’ve paid admission to take a look.” – Jeff Chapman/ Ninjalicious

Source: Interview at Philadelphia City Paper with Neil Gladstone (1998?)

ninjaliciousThis month, August 2015, marks ten years since Jeff Chapman passed away. I thought someone should post in his honour. I never met him personally. I did email with him, twice. I met his wife, Liz, at a Broken Pencil Zine Festival in Toronto.

I attended the Festival to buy Access All Areas: A User’s Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration, see some of Jeff’s (and other publishers) zines and take a look at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. I was just beginning to explore with a digital camera then. Before that I just didn’t know what I was doing had a name (and film was expensive!).


A tribute can still be found at the Toronto Architectural Conservancy 

Jeff Chapman (September 19, 1973 – August 23, 2005), better known by the pseudonym Ninjalicious, was a Toronto-based urban explorer, fountaineer, writer and founder of the urban exploration zine Infiltration: the zine about going places you’re not supposed to go. He was also a prominent author and editor for YIP magazine,as well as its website,
Chapman attended York University in the early 1990s and later studied book and magazine publishing at Centennial College. He went on to serve as Editor at History Magazine and as Director of the Toronto Architectural Conservancy board.

Chapman died of cholangiocarcinoma on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 — three years after a successful liver transplant at Toronto General Hospital (a location he loved to explore). He was 31 years old.

Source: Wikipedia: Ninjalicious

Toronto’s own late Jeff Chapman (a.k.a. “Ninjalicious”) published his first printed issue of Infiltration, “The zine about going places you’re not supposed to go,” in 1996. Though Toronto may not live in the imagination of people around the world, Chapman made this city’s sewers famous for his global readers. His work lives on in Access all Areas, his book published just before his death to cancer in 2005, and at

Source: Shawn Micallef: Getting to know Toronto’s sewers

Under the alias Ninjalicious is where Jeff made his biggest mark. In his early twenties he spent long periods of time in the hospital battling various diseases. Often bored, he and his IV pole would go exploring the hospital, investigating the basement, peaking behind doors, looking for interesting rooms and equipment. It was here his love for the under explored side of buildings developed, and upon returning to health he created Infiltration – the zine about going places you’re not supposed to go.

Infiltration has had a profound influence on urban exploration in Toronto and around the world, as evidenced by the hundreds of tributes left for him in the Urban Exploration Resource forum. Ninjalicious had a strong code of ethics which he promoted, including no stealing or vandalizing while exploring. Issue 1, all about Ninj’s beloved Royal York Hotel, was published in 1996, and the zine was continually published throughout the years ending most recently with Issue 25: Military Leftovers.

Source: Sean Lerner: Torontoist: Death of a Ninja

About ten years ago I was in a Toronto bookshop and found a copy of Infiltration. Subtitled “the zine about going places you’re not supposed to go”, it was devoted to the escapades of the author, Jeff Chapman — or “Ninjalicious”, to use his nom de plume — as he explored the many off-limits areas in famous Toronto buildings such as the Royal York hotel, CN Tower, or St. Mike’s Hospital. In each issue, Chapman would pick a new target and infiltrate it — roaming curiously around, finding hilarious secrets, then describing it with effervescently witty delight. Chapman had the best prose of any zine author I’ve read anywhere. Many zinesters are clever, of course, but Chapman wrote with a 19th-century literary journalist’s attention to detail; nothing escaped his notice, from the relative fluffiness of the towels in executive lounges to the color of the rust pools in a mysterious, hangar-sized room buried below Toronto’s subway system.

Source: Clive Thompson: Collision Detection: R.I.P. “Ninjalicious” — the founder of urban exploration

infiltrationThe zine about going places you’re not supposed to go, like tunnels, abandoned buildings, rooftops, hotel pools and more.

Source: Infiltration

See also:

what is it that attracts you to going where you’re not suppposed to go?

Healthy human curiousity about the workings of the world I live in, of course. I mean, it’s free, it’s fun and it hurts no one. A harder-to-answer question would be: why doesn’t everyone?

what are the tools of your trade?

Usually I travel very lightly, with a pen, paper, a Swiss army knife, a camera and a flashlight. That’s about all the equipment I need to have a good time in 90% of the places I visit. I take along more specialized equipment — such as rubber boots or various props — for specific targets.

Source: Cancon Interview with James Hörner

Grrl Explorers on Flickr

Female Urban Explorers

Urban Explorers tend to be men…which is no bad thing for us girl explorers 😉 but being such a rare breed, it’s always nice to meet other girls interested in UE. This group is a place for UE girls to get together to talk about our explores and experiences and a place to share our images. Let’s celebrate the fact that we are female Urban Explorers….and proud of it!

FUSE – Female Urban and Street Exploration

…interesting artifacts found on the street that have been abandoned or unused for quite sometime, parts of a building that has lots of character, or urban exploration in general (the inside of an abandoned building, house, etc).

Why females only? The art of UrbEx is male dominated. I wanted it to be known that women are out there UrbEx’ing too.

Do it for the grrls!

New Glasses on the Grrl

I picked up the new glasses today. They are purple framed and a different shape from the old ones. A bit longer across the face. Linda came too and got her nose piece fixed. She says the new glasses look better on me than the old ones. That is always a good thing to hear. I’m not so sure, yet. Still getting used to them on my face. Still feels like I’m in a fishbowl but it is getting better. I think I like them and that’s a good thing for sure.

Back to work again tomorrow. I’ve been dreading it all day every time I think of it. Graham and Tony are supposed to be out tomorrow to do some more home repair/ renovation work. He is talking about painting my room again, telling me to get everything out of it. Would be a handy time to be fired from the tech support job so I could vacate the premises which they paint. I could stay with my sister. I’m really allergic to fresh paint. I wouldn’t be too worried but I have not bothered to get another prescription for the asthma inhaler all this winter. I have not needed it, maybe only used it three times in the past few months. So, did not do anything about refilling it. With paint in the house it will be a different story now. I hope they are not going to get doing it yet.

My sister says she is going to print and fax the contract for BOTW tomorrow. So I have that to look forward to starting. I am too! Each time I look at the blog section there my fingers are itching to dig in. It really needs some work! I checked 5 listed sites and 4 of them need to be deleted as the blog is no longer being kept updated. I’m also making plans in my own mind for restructuring and having qualifications for getting listed at all. Nothing too tough, but practical for having them listed in a directory. Mainly in the case of blogs which are about blogging, seo, monetizing and technology in general. There are just too many of them out there, all saying the same thing. I think there need to be restrictions on which get listed. I’ve never been a blog snob, always listed just about anything that wasn’t abandoned or chocked with ads. But, that is going to change in this case. It needs to be made into a worthwhile resource. I’m putting my time and energy into it so I want it to show up well.

I found the website of the production? company behind the Urban Explorers TV series.

Urban Explorers

13 x 60

A shadowy figure stands on the edge of blackness inside a cavernous industrial shell lit only by a tiny headlamp. Somewhere in the darkness ahead lies a secret entrance to a forgotten tunnel system, burrowed deep beneath the city. It’s rumored to be a place of homeless ‘mole’ people, graffiti masterpieces and unknown danger. Follow our team as they discover urban landscapes that only the fearless would dare to explore.

Sent a note asking if they are continuing to make more of the series.

Thursday Thirteen: Urban and Rural Exploration Links

Live Journal Urban Decay

Rural Ruin’s Live Journal

Urban Exploration Webring

Stumble Upon Urban Explorers


Urban Exploration group on Ning

Rural Exploration group on Ning

Bumpzee Urban and Rural Exploration group

Rural Exploration on Flickr

Urban Explorers Network

Ontario Rural Ruins on Flickr

Beautifully Ruined on Flickr

UrbEx Barrie

For the Thursday Thirteen