Not So Convenient – 2017
Echo Variety Mart was a convenient store located at Echo Plaza in northeast Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. This small plaza sat vacant for a few months and contained a handful of stores and businesses, some of which included a dentist, a bank, a couple of restaurants and even a hair salon. Most of the shops were empty and uninteresting but of particular interest were this convenient store and of course the dentist’s office which had everything left over from when it was operational. This location did not last long, the plaza was demolished only a couple of months after my visits.
Shopping malls and strip plazas are disappearing at an alarming rate all over North America. In the United States there have been many large shopping malls that have closed down during the past decade or two, but here in Canada the decline is only just beginning. There are a number of reasons for this, some of which include online shopping, low priced big box stores and of course densification.
What Once Was – 2013
This former incinerator has been sitting for decades no longer useful for its intended purpose, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t used for anything. A man by the name of Stan used to call it home. Stan liked to collect items that other people didn’t want anymore, most of which he would find by the curbside waiting to be picked up by the garbage collectors. He brought everything, from old light fixtures to crusty blankets, there was even a very large television set that he wheeled along the streets and into this building.
Stan had a pretty good deal going on, he had this massive space to live in and at the same time protected the building from vandals and graffiti artists. For a number of years he even had power going to a small space where he could watch TV and make dinner in one of the microwaves he had collected. That all changed a few years ago when the city decided to clean out the space, which in itself would have been a monumental task! I have no idea how long it took or when exactly it happened but I remember seeing someone’s photos and the building was completely empty, I was astonished. Since then the building has fallen victim to vandals and the walls are becoming covered more and more by senseless tagging.
I don’t know what happened to Stan after he was forced to leave this place but I am sure he will land on his feet and I hope one day to run into him again.
As for the building, since it is a designated heritage structure it will likely be saved and repurposed.
International Lounge – 2015
Gander Airport’s international lounge does not get used very often anymore, in fact according to the owners the entire airport is larger than what is needed. Talks are in the works about what they are going to do about the problem as the expenses are too high for the amount of traffic the airport sees. The original plan was to build a new terminal and most likely demolish the existing one, fortunately it now looks like the current building will be reduced in size by 30% and the remainder will be renovated. It would be a shame to lose this mid-century modern gem that is so unique and has remained almost unchanged since it was originally designed and built in the 1950s. There is still hope as the proposed renovations to the current building show the international lounge remaining mostly intact including its architectural design, the terrazzo floors as well as Newfoundland’s first ever escalator which can be seen in this image against the back wall. What would be lost is the original furniture which like the rest of the lounge has been well maintained over the years and is therefore still in amazing condition given that it is 70 years old.
International Lounge, Gander International Airport, Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.
World Traveller – 2018
Something a little bit different. Taken in one of the many offices within an abandoned distillery.