Concord Floral

This is a continuation of the previous post. In this post, we'll cover off the grand adventures had by JuicyFruitKisses, Funky Punky, and yours truly, CopySix.

There's a saying that goes, stop and take time to smell the roses. So - we did. This mischievous trio packed up their bad-a$$ery and dropped in to explore the long abandoned Concord Floral, a massive greenhouse complex which at one time churned out tens of thousands of roses and other flowers to feed the florists in the GTA.

First things first, grab some popcorn and let's watch the vid . . .

It is not presently known the entire history of the site, but this is what we have so far . . . A greenhouse was established sometime here in the early 1980's which was eventually sold in the early 1990's. Concord Floral became the owners of the property in 1992 at which time there were significant expansions effected effectively enlarging the output capacity by at least 10 times.

A multitude of factors are thought to have caused the business operation to collapse and eventually close its doors around 2002. Chief amongst these are thought to have competition of less expensive imported flowers, and the rising cost of fuel for the boiler operation. The massive boilers were required to provided steam heat to the flower beds in order to extend and maximize the efficiency of the growing season.

All in all, a very fun time was had . . . Thanks Concord Floral !



Vaughan Farmstead

I was finally able to grab my flashlight and camera and head out for an exploration after an unwelcome hiatus from UrbEx. I was joined by the familiar JuicyFruitKisses (aka JFK) as well as UrbEx n00b, Funky Punky who had proved herself rather adept during her premier exploration with UrbEx Barrie.

With several missions on the planning board, our first stop was at Funky Punky's old place of residence. The images her mother had provided clearly showed a property which was shown care in order to provide a home for the young family.

Our exploration however, showed a farmhouse in an advanced state of decomp and a property which had become a dumping ground for area a$$-hats wanting to get rid of old cars, tires, garbage, and construction waste. Both I and David Suzuki frown . . .

Our explorers today . . .

Funky Punky (left) and JFK (right)

And your's truly, CopySix, a man forever driven to photograph a sweet abandonment.

The interior had some 'spongy' floors in some spots and quite a few pieces of furniture which appeared to be ravaged by denizen critters.

This child's teddy-bear appears to be slowly incorporated into the surrounding debris and detritus on the floor here.

There was a very small kitchen located just off the living room. Personally, I've seen larger kitchens in RV's. In other news, I wish my g/f was as dirty as this sink. Some old styl'n curtains just outside the kitchen made my teeth hurt when I looked at it. I remember as a kid having nasty-a$$ curtains like this in the home I grew up in it was tacky as hell back then BUT, if one were to clean it up and match it with appropriate decor, you certainly would be kicking it retro-licous.

Anywhoos, as it is not everyday that one sees a suitcase in a fishtank I thought this may make an interesting shot. Loads of personal effects still in the house and it is all slowly being returned to a zero-energy natural state.

Although, most of you know my UrbEx kink is institutional, insdustrial and commercial (in that order), I do not mind at all exploring a residential or rural abandonment from time to time, especially when said location has a personal connection with a member in the exploration party.



For those in the UrbEx community who are wondering . . . No - I did not quite hang up my flashlight just yet. I am still exploring - just not in person. Since my last post in July, I have been somewhat busy (read: hair on fire kind of busy). I know this is just an excuse and I promise to be walking past 'no trespassing' signs and climbing fences very soon.

For the moment though, I am giving you a heads up as to the new show debuting tonight (Thursday, 5th November - Happy Guy Fawkes Day by-the-way) on Bravo! - "photoXplorers". I know all the guys from the DK Photo Group and they are all very good people and excellent explorers. One of these days I really hope to hook up with them for an explore.

Anywhoos - here is the 4.1.1. on tonight's show . . .

linky : http://www.photoxplorers.com

– Reality series follows a band of photographers as they probe the depths of haunting abandoned structures –

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Bravo!’s new series photoXplorers is worth a million. photoXplorers follows a daring group of photographers as they put their day jobs on hiatus and travel the world to capture the eerie beauty of forgotten industrial mega-structures, castles, and sanatoriums. photoXplorers follows an adventurous band of guerilla photographers/urban adventurers as they slip behind the barricades to capture haunting images of abandoned buildings and structures from around the world.

The series kicks off as the band of guerilla photographers investigate an abandoned 1860s coal mine in Hasard de Charette, Belgium. photoXplorers premieres Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on Bravo!. Weekly half-hour episodes air only on Bravo! Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT.

photoXplorers reveals beauty in decaying structures, from an abandoned French sanatorium, to a retired power plant in Luxembourg, to a French Revolution-era castle in Belgium. The photoXplorers crew, consisting of members of the DK Photo Group, showcase the splendor of post-modern ghost towns and crawl under barbed-wire fences into the unknown each week.

Directed by Claude Barnes, photoXplorers is produced by Keep It In The Family Productions in association with Bravo!. Keep It In The Family Productions has been producing television for the international market for more than 25 years with Emmy® and Gemini award-nominated producers, writers, editors, directors of production, and directors. Keep It In The Family Productions has diverse program genres including lifestyle, reality, biography, children, documentary, sports, comedy, drama and animation.

- grab some popkorn and pull up a seat to watch the series trailer ->




Welcome to the 2008 Post Archive where all the old posts come to wither and electronically decay.

Bear Essentials

Doors Open Barrie


Hearn Tragedy

Niagara Family Vacation

I get around

Sundial Reloaded 2

Sundial Reloaded 1

The Way is Shut

Admiral's Row

The Cloud Club

UrbEx Documentary Film

Sally Ann Shelter

Apartment Demo

Warehouse Wander

Dunlop Arena

'San Meet 4

Sundial Inn

Foggy Day

UrbEx Time Machine

Sharon Temple

UrbEx FasciNation

Bruce House

Just a few weeks ago while on company business near the Bruce Nuclear plant (just north of Kincardine, Ontario), I had stumbled upon this very lovely abandonment and subsequently effected some impromptu Urban / Rural exploration. We will call it the 'Bruce House' for now.

At first, I had thought that perhaps the former denizens had left sometime in the late '80s, fearing the proximity to the nuclear power generating plant, but upon further inspection, I now believe that they may have fled the horridly abysmal interior decoration.

I for one never tire of the awkward and fumbling efforts by tag-monkeys who cause great atrocities to the Queen's English resulting in often humourous and / or confusing literal gaffes. This one by the stairs did not quite make the grade but I am certain that the miscreant is well on their way to fail.

You may well know from my previous posts, I like to shoot windows. These portals are akin to a looking glass peering into the soul of the abandonment. Here are just two images I thought appropriate to post.

Very nice structure but certainly in need of less natural ventilation. This issue is best summed by this image below.

Finally, while in the Area, I took some time to visit the nearby Inverhuron cemetery which is still in recent use. Most graves date from the late 1800's but some newer stones indicate newer internments as recent as within the 5 years or so.

Happy & Safe Exploring !


Camp 30

Camp 30, a collection of 18 buildings on 40 hectares of rural land about 45 minutes east of Toronto, was the only one used by the Allies to house captured high-ranking N@zi officers and accommodated approximately 500 prisoners. It is the only known intact camp for German prisoners of war still left in the world.

A large riot spanning a few short days by the prisoners in October 1942 left many German Prisoners and Canadian army guardsmen injured.

Here is a video - (not my best as I was in a rush) - basically a running inventory of UrbEx highlights for a latter trip.

Great Lakes college spent tens of thousands of dollars to renovate / repair and used this as a summer camp campus in the late 90's. The campus closed but was soon opened again as the Darul Uloom Islamic School.

Student tuition was approximately $400 per month but did not cover food and accommodations. Students who could not afford the tuition were often allowed to attend. The board relied upon donations of Islamic benefactors to maintain and operate the school.

The school closed down 3 years latter in November, 2008. I was unable to determine reason(s) for the closure. One rumour I heard was that the chair for the Darul Uloom Shura, Mufti Yusuf Panchbaya, met with accident in Pakistan while visiting a relative.

Arsehole arsonists set fires to the the school and gymnasium earlier this year on March 28th, 2009.


Steele's China

Steele's China Shop, located on the corner of Collier and Bayfield streets, was built in 1884 as a carriage shop. It is now behind scaffolding; the city issued a demolition permit two weeks ago and chances may be slim to have this building designated as historically significant by Heritage Barrie.

Steele's China Shop, located on the corner of Collier and Bayfield streets dates back to 1873 when two Barrie residents, James Barr and William Henry, started a company making wooden parts for carriages. By 1881 they had built a two-storey blacksmith shop on Bayfield Street, and just two years later began construction of a three-storey commercial building on the corner of Bayfield and Collier streets.

When completed in 1884, this polychromatic brick building precisely fit the unusually angled corner and was equipped with the most modern carriage-making technology of the time. Its first floor was a showroom and had an office, while the second was where painting and varnishing took place. This was reached by a special elevator that was large enough to hold a wagon or carriage. The third floor contained the trim shop and storage. It was accessible from the second floor of the blacksmith shop built behind 2 Collier St.

Harris Steele, a long-time downtown Barrie businessman, died in December of 2007 at age 76. He was the owner of Steele’s China and Gift Shop, after coming to Barrie in the late 1940s from Newfoundland. His parents, Samuel and Sybil Steele, set up the fine china shop at 2 Collier St., and Harris got into the business right out of Barrie Central Collegiate. Besides his passion for fine china, Steele was a sailor, very involved in the Barrie Yacht Club, the Grey and Simcoe Foresters and with the Rotary Club of Barrie. Steele had a quadruple bypass in early December of 2007 and was on the road to recovery, before suffering a massive stroke in his sleep on Dec. 14. He died two days later in Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, surrounded by family and friends.