'San Meet 4

This will be the 4th (annual) Muskoka Sanitarium Urban Exploration Meet which I have helped organise. One of the reasons why this is the fourth such event at this wonderful location is that the organisers attempt to ensure that only mature, trusted explorers who respect the location are invited to attend. These explorers all believe in the UE tenet, 'Taking Only Pictures, Leaving Only Footprints' and share a respect for the property they explore. Although seemingly difficult, it is completely possible to have a large group of 20 or so explorers visit an abandonment and leave little or no trace that they were ever there. With the exception of one minor incident of stupidity, I believe that the event was a success.

Some of the less shy attendees . . .
Explorers who came out to the meet included faded_X, Axle, neX, MakeWithTheBits, syn, Shreddie, bTown, HelloKitty, ElectricalFire, Krista, Jono, Avatar-X, emiko, Darra, 'whats Left of the Psych', and Lowe. Others are not named due to complex issues arising from over-demanding parole officers.

Provided here for your enjoyment is a short 4 minute video showing some of the exploration.

At first glance, it appeared that very little had changed since I and other urban explorers have first started visiting this abandonment almost four years ago. Furniture and other movable items appear almost fixed in time within this space.

Closer inspection however does reveal a multitude of minute modifications manifested by nature. In a few limited cases however, it does appear that the Ontario Provincial Police or other agencies using the facility for training and exercises may have had wanton disregard for the property as shown below and right.

Evidence of police training exercises are throughout the facility in the form of bagged garbage (from lunches) and spent simunition. Shot-up target dummies made interesting subjects for photography or interview by budding journalists looking for a police-brutality headline story. Other popular locations or angles within the buildings act almost like way stations for explorers like the fountain image earlier or this stairwell.

The property care taker is fighting a losing battle it seems as the structures on the property are slowing deteriorating. Containers placed strategically to catch drips of water from a leaking roof now are encased in at least one to two inches of ice. In some cases, doors are seasonally frozen in place with access only granted after a spring thaw.

I do know that a number of regular blog readers here, although not urban explorers per se, do have interests in the paranormal. Abandonments of local historical significance such as the Sanatorium are, of course, is a natural environment for such ghost hauntings. I have personally not experienced any odd 'vibes' previously BUT did witness some unusual items of note during this exploration
There seemed to be a chair that would almost seem to follow me around the building. I'm unsure if it is the same chair or a different one, but it certainly did set me at unease.

By visiting in the winter time, explorers may limit certain inhalation hazards such as indoor mold or fungal spores which may become air-borne as they walk through an area. Alternatively, an ice-covered hallway floor or staircase presents an entirely different seasonal hazard. The bonus however, is that there may be a certain beauty to be found with an iced object.

It goes without saying that the structures on the property are unfortunately somewhat past recovery. Warped parquet floors offer an impossible jigsaw to the obsessive-compulsive and each room offers a vast buffet of lead-based peelers for the pica sufferer.

Until next time, Happy & Safe Exploring.
Remember kids, keep it clean . . .

UPDATE - 2.27.2008

There had been a significant increase in mischief offences in the Muskoka area. Police reports indicate a jump from 43 incidents in 2006 to 73 in 2007. Incidents include vandalism and spray-paint graffiti. I wish to recognise the dedicated efforts of the O.P.P. who are trying to curb this thoughtless damage to property.

My apologies to O.P.P. Detective Sergeant "S.G." for not returning his eMail. Please know that the 50+ urban explorers who have personally explored with me (and the hundreds of others active in the Ontario u.e. community at large who know of me) all realise that I personally do not condone any damage to property; In fact they know that I would deal very harshly with those who do not respect the structures we explore. The very best of luck in your efforts in bringing real criminals to justice.


Ry said...

Is there an other trip in the works?

Tom said...

I thought this place was being demo'ed?