This Is Not the Place – 2018
The City of Toronto is going through a massive transformation, actually this is happening throughout all of Southern Ontario. It’s an area owned by developers where anything and everything is being torn down and replaced with something new. Plazas, malls and other small retail spaces are closing and being transformed into multiple story condominiums. Detached homes are being bought by individuals with deep pockets and sometimes developers to be replaced with McMansions. Schools and prisons are closing at a rapid pace to be replaced with what are called superschools and superjails, which are basically the same thing just on a larger scale. Even our hospitals are closing down and being replaced with more modern facilities. Will these new buildings stand the test of time and last as long as the ones they replaced, were built to last? Only time will tell.
While I hate to see so many well built and architecturally interesting buildings lost forever, I also realize that this building boom is not showing any signs of slowing down and will continue to happen for years to come. But the irony of the whole situation is not lost on me. In times where media is bombarded by the threat of global climate change and the relentless and expensive push towards green everything, I find it amusing that when it comes to buildings, no one cares about being “green”. Think about all of the waste materials and pollution created from the demolition of existing buildings (which are still perfectly serviceable), they are then rebuilt with materials that yet again creates an extensive amount of waste and emissions when they are being manufactured, yet nobody is talking about this.
Over this past year I have been fortunate enough to have visited a very large variety of disused buildings, including several firsts, in fact this has probably been my most productive year of exploring to date!
This building used to be a plaza with office space and contained many different businesses including, a Tim Hortons, a dentists office, a gym, a Rogers store, a law office, as well as many other businesses. It is in the process of being torn down to make way for more high density housing.
Self Portrait, North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Taiwan night street 2018.
When the Levee Breaks – 2018
On February 21, 2018, a massive ice jam formed along the Grand River, due to the severity of the flooding caused by the ice blocking the river’s flow the City of Brantford declared a state of emergency. There were over 2200 homes affected, some of which ended up with flooded basements and others where the main floor was flooded. The dyke in this photo was the main cause of the worst of the flooding that temporarily crippled the city. Apparently, the rock pile you see in this photo is not normally there, it is just an open channel most of the time because according to one news report, the dyke is unfinished. The City of Brantford during possible flood warnings would normally dam the channel using a barricade of wood planks but this time it did not happen. The city apparently refused to take the blame for this mistake and said that they did not receive enough advanced warning of the coming weather conditions.
Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
Stratford – 2016
Downtown Stratford, Ontario, Canada at dusk.
Isabel Bader – 2017
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
These buildings began their life as Morton’s Brewery almost 200 years ago, some 70 years later Maple Leaf Milling Company bought the site and used it for grain storage. It then had a short life serving as The Sydenham Military Hospital later being converted for use as the Military Regional Headquarters. Then in 1975 the property was sold to the City of Kingston and became the J.K Tett Creativity Complex some years later the city sold the former stable building and Stella Buck building to Queen’s University and they became the Isabel Bader Centre.
Glowing Dome – 2016
The Cinesphere at Ontario Place has sat abandoned along with most of the rest of the park for more than 5 years. But on November 3rd the Cinesphere will reopen to once again show its unique brand of films in the IMAX format.
I visited this park several times over the years during the time it sat unused and to be quite honest, those visits were far more enjoyable than any time I had visited the park during its operation. Those days are over with the Cinesphere’s grand reopening and the east side of the island having been transformed into a public park and reopened in June of 2017, Ontario Place’s new life has begun.
This photo was taken in January 2016 during my final visit to this urbex playground.
Climbing 60+ flights to get to the top of this condominium under construction was exhausting but the views were spectacular. With the Air Canada Centre to the east, The Rogers Centre (Skydome) and CN Tower to the west, Lake Ontario to the south and finally this view the Financial District to the north it was well worth the journey. With a clear sky to start out the night’s photographic session, we were lucky to have some low level clouds move into the area which made this otherwise uninspiring scene a little bit magical.
Downtown financial district. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.