Unknown Toronto Before Dead Links

These were really great links but now they are abandoned and missing. Disappointing.

Unknown Toronto

“Sarah’s journal of secret Toronto facts and mysteries: TTC lore, hidden spaces, history, art, urban wildlife, film shoots and great Toronto food, clubs, bars, galleries, museums and shopping.”

http://torontobefore.blogspot.com/

Historical photos of Toronto alongside of current photos from the same area.

Rooftopping Versus Skywalking

Rooftopping is not about hanging yourself from the edge of a building.

Skywalking has been promoted in the media as rooftopping, incorrectly.

Urban exploration is not about taking silly risks with your life. Urban explorers take photographs, are careful as they explore, don’t litter or vandalize and they make it home again to upload their photographs. Taking photographs is not to prove you were there, or show how much of a thrill seeker you are. The photos document the place you visited, not the fact that you, in particular, were there. Rooftopping is not performance art.

Some explorers like to be underground in tunnels, drains and other types of big holes in the ground. Some (maybe the same people) like to be far above ground, to see everything from a new angle and look at all the city lights.

The first rooftopping photo was taken in Toronto, Ontario. The photograph showed the city far below with the photographer’s shoes hanging over the edge of the tall building they were sitting on. (Note, sitting on, not hanging or dangling from).

If you enjoy dangling yourself from a crane join a circus or take up construction and learn how to do it safely. Have some care and respect for yourself and be here (relatively undamaged) for your own further adventures, tomorrow.

Threatened Chimney Swifts Make Nests in Old Places

A threatened bird, the chimney swift, only stops flying to land on vertical perches inside hollow trees, chimneys of old buildings, abandoned wells, grain silos, air shafts, barns, sheds and derelict houses.

The population is threatened due to habitat loss. Interesting as so much of their habitat has adapted to live alongside people. There are many animals living in urban environments but I hadn’t heard of the chimney swifts before.

The Stray Shopping Cart Project

strayshoppingcartsJulian Montague – The Stray Shopping Cart Project

Next time you see a shopping cart in the wild, will you document it? I have taken a couple of photos but I don’t think I ever posted them. Shopping carts are a very urban/ suburban thing. Something overlooked and yet they turn up in so many places. I’ve never taken one home myself. Once, I did bring a cart all the way to the end of the parking lot where I caught the bus. Just once… maybe twice. But, I had a lot of groceries that day – they were heavy and I didn’t want to miss the bus.

Graffiti Art Hearts

Paul Angel, in the UK, has made a project of photographing hearts carved or drawn in public places. A nice project for an urban explorer. Where could you find the oldest graffiti hearts in your local area? Have you ever created one yourself and if so, how did you make it and what did you make it on?
carvedheartA series Paul Angel, UK, has been working on since 2004, photographing graffiti love hearts and pairing them with the spaces in which they are found.

A book based on the Graffiti Hearts project.

Know the Earth Beneath Your Feet with an App

Capture

Flyover Country is a National Science Foundation funded offline mobile app for geoscience outreach and data discovery. “The app analyzes a given flight path and caches relevant map data and points of interest (POI), and displays these data during the flight, without in flight Wi-Fi,” describes its website. It “exposes interactive geologic maps from Macrostrat.org, fossil localities from Neotomadb.org and Paleobiodb.org, core sample localities from LacCore.org, Wikipedia articles, offline base maps, and the user’s current GPS determined location, altitude, speed, and heading.”

Source: A New App that Tells You Everything About the Earth Below You  | GOOD

Really nice for urban explorers. You could get at least some history of the area you are photographing. In time the software/ app could include information from local history (from libraries and historical societies) and even urban exploration photos taken from ruins, tunnels and rooftops.

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.

Barrie Arena Front

Photo-sharing community. Discover the world through photos.

Source: Panoramio – Photo of Barrie Arena Front

I don’t remember the Barrie Arena. We moved to Barrie about the time it was demolished. I came across this photo today and wanted to repost it. I will see what else I can find but likely there isn’t much left to see from the point of urban exploration.

Start Noticing Layers in the Urban Environment

I may be weird but I especially like the little details like painted over numbers and such. Something rusty draws me just as much as something shiny.

We recently did a couple of Thomasson exercises in my class (which focuses on the politics of ‘ruin porn’ and urban exploration), and it was an excellent way to help my students, who are mostly freshman, get to know their campus and start noticing the changes and layers in the urban environment around them. In this post, I’ll be sharing what we discovered and what I learned about using Thomassons as a teaching tool.

Source: Thomassons: Indiana University Edition | Rust Belt Anthro

Roadside Memorials

Explore your own local area along the roadside. Don’t be an idiot with traffic but, when you can, pull over and take a better look at the roadside memorials. What can you find out about them? If you get a name it shouldn’t be too hard to track down the news story online.  You could have your own backyard urban/ rural exploration project.

An ongoing photography project documenting the many Roadside Memorials found along the backroads and highways. Ontario Roadside Memorial Tributes.

Source: Roadside Memorials | Ontario | Freaktography |