Edgar . . Again

This would be the fourth trip out to the former radar base. The target today was the old maintenance yard. Most of the buildings here were coverted to workshops when the Ministry of Health took over in order to instruct the mentally handicapped a trade.

I went solo this time which is rather pleasant once in a while. Although it is always prudent and safer to bring an UrbEx buddy, this area presented low risk and affords an opportunity for one to exercise the senses.

Freshly fallen snow presents a problem by leaving a trail which site security may more easily find you. I took great pains to use the tire tracks made by the security vehicle to leave as few footprints as possible.

As I was wrapping up the explore, I got sketched out with the sound of voices and what I thought was a radio. I begun preparations of being found out by security and immediately began to run through several reasonable lines of excuses as to why they would find me on site.

I exited the building I was in, moved to another building corner and saw three people across the maintenace yard from me. To my relief they were exploring as well. While I moved on, I inadvertedly scared them; one guy choked on a coffee he was sipping, the other guy disappeared as fast as snot on a glass eye and the girl looked like a giraffe on skates as she attempted to run on the icy tarmac.

The Garage and Greenhouse Buildings

This building is rather well ventilated with several missing overhead door panes and absent greenhouse roof.

If you are unable to gain a POE here, I would suggest you quit your UrbEx hobby.

The buildings in the maintenance yard also showed evidence of police SWAT training as well as the recent military exercise, "Exercise Cougar Spirit One". (great name by the way - who comes up with this $hit ?!)

Anyway, participating units included Barrie's own Green'n'Slimy), the GG's Horse Guards, 25 Med Company, the Lorne Scotts, and the Royal Dragoons. The purpose was to conduct (fighting in built-up Area) FIBA training exercise as well as leaving spent simunition casings everywhere.

Maintenance Trades Workshops

In this area, I found a good-sized tool crib. The staff that worked here with the patients were models of personal and professional organisation. A place for everything and everything in its place as witnessed by this most excellent set of drawers. I have a sudden urge to shop at IKEA.

This desk, also located in the tool crib is where the shop foreman conducted the work of the day.

Please note the distressing lack of any grommets to accomodate the use of a flat-screen monitor or a lap top.

Various occupational safey posters, and standing operations procedures were found everywhere within the trade buildings. This image shows me starting up an improperly grounded and guarded band-saw.

Lumber Storage Building
The product in here was racked, packed and stacked for use in the carpentry shop. After the Edgar Adult Occupational Centre closed, material in here most likely went into the manufacture of hoarding to prevent explorers from gaining entry into the buildings on site.

Fire Hall

Back in the day when the radar base had to be more-or-less self-sufficient,it was necessary to provide contingency against fire. Here is an image showing the fire hall and the maintenance and engineering compound as it was back in 1959.

The fire hall today shows signs of distress from SWAT and military training.

This interesting placement of a chair lodged in drywall allows a less cluttered floor space while showing off the beautiful asbestos linoleum.

In this image, taken in the Fire Hall's kitchen area, we observe an Old-Skool Magnasonic portable TV /radio / tape play / boat achor.
Please note that staff ensured that cupboard doors were painted the requisite fire-engine red . . . for ease of return to the proper building if they were ever lost.



Merry Christmas

Just a quick year in review before we get into the presents kids:
  • Urban Exploration Barrie has posted 25 times since we started to blog on May 30th, 2006, approximately a posting every two weeks (which is some good exploring).
  • Site stats indicate that there have been 6,477 page loads, 1,519 first time visitors and 423 returning visitors.
  • 55% of the visitors are Canadian, 37% are American. The remainder are from the Netherlands, Mexico and Finland.
I would like to thank my good friend Mr. Jack Moriningwood, who through his kindness has lent me his very excellent SLIK tripod (for the last 6 months) which, without, I would not be able to have captured half of the posted images.

I have also been using a very nice Fuji FinePix E500, borrowed from a great work colleague (for the same period of time), which I just recently returned, because . .

My brother (world's best by the way) had given me a great Christmas present - a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. I have name this great camera 'Bandit' and did sleep with it under my pillow the first night I received it.

Anywho, thanks to all the UrbEx people out there who made the many explorations memorable !

And now for the presents !
I recently received these from a friend and wanted to share this frivolity.
If you are easily offended, please get a life.


Muskoka Sanitarium 3

. . The Dogs are Barking . .

Additional history on Muskoka Centre HERE.
Remember kids, the business end of a police dog is a dangerous place to be.
'sani tour3' banner by buddy Axle.

The 3rd Muskoka Sanitarium Meet (aka Muskoka Centre) earlier this month was successful - co-operative weather, and no 5-0. There were at least 25 explorers on site for several fun-filled hours.

The following miscreants were in attendance:

ace of spades, Aggressive, Axle, bandita, Boffo, Chinstrap,
CopySix, Dark-Pariah, Dee, ElectricFire, faded_x, journeylady, Jupiter, K-Dizzle, Kellogs, levacas, LostintheWoods, lsd, Melt, neX_, Nonick, OneDeadHero, RegularJohn, ScreamingUrineMonkey, simmorill, SlipperyPete, and Vigilante.

The above serene scene of the group
photograph was preceded by this chaos. The standard 10-second camera timer presented a unique challenge.

Photo Credit - Our girl JourneyLady.

The reliability of transport for event attendees were questionable at best.

simmorill drove the group crazy (again).

Not many are aware that most
buses are NOT equipped with 'Auto-Pilot'.

This group of 'special' people had miles of smiles.

The water tower on the propert
y provides a familar landmark visible for boaters on Lake Muskoka.

It required a special breed of social care worker to be able to take a mentally handicapped person in a small boat on a big lake.

This being the third such occassion visiting the property, this explorer wanted to get to areas not previously probed.

However, I still could not help revisiting the grand Gage building again.

Going to great lengths to avoid the
so-called 'healthy' fresh air, explorers made use of the steam tunnels to safely move about.

Light-headed from glee, or perhaps malfunctioning boiler equipment, these tunnels presented a trippy experience.

Here in the boiler house, the wall bracket waits for time cards which will never come.

Forever mischievous, some members changed into uniform and proceeded to scare other explorers (could have happened).

Quiet Riot was an important part of the early 80's glam-metal scene. Speaking of riots, how about this shelf of nifty lids.

In great need of refreshment, the discovery of the O.P.P. beer
fridge was very welcome.

Axle, neX_, Kimeleon, Gazoo and yours truly, CopySix, take a load off. The upholstery was rather dated and in dire need of repair.

Photo credit - Axle again !

This image reminded me that not long ago, when the 'Cottage Sanitarium' was in operation on this site, many tuberculosis patients, checked out but never left.


Caribou Diner

The Caribou Motel & Diner, located on busy highway 11 between Barrie and Orillia opened in the early 1950's.

This establishment welcomed the weary or hungry traveler to or from their cottages in the Muskokas.

Architecturally, the over all symmetry, stepped ziggurat roof lines, glass block curved edges and corners strongly suggests deference to Streamline Moderne of the Art Deco style.

The property physically consists of a a two-storey structure containing the diner, with rooms above attached to a typical "I" line of additional rooms. The manager's apartment may have been added on at a latter date centered above on the "I" line.

Motel guests were treated to the convenience of an indoor pool and hot-tub within a hangar-like structure.

A screen door fitted on the kitchen offered little respite from the heat of the fryers.

More recently, the bulk of the motel rooms were converted to apartments. The restaurant business sustained and was last operated as Quigley's Diner Pub & Pizza. In addition to this, smaller commerical ventures made use of the property including the unoriginally-named 'Hair Dressers'.

The tenants were turned out with the closure of the diner in 2002. Currently, Petro Plus operates a gas bar out, strategically located just north of 'gasoline alley'.

Streamline Moderne expression is carried through to the diner with choice of colour, sweeping lines and decorative elements.

Although the environment of the restaurant recommends itself well to the traveling diner, a series of fugly exterior renovations had defaced a fair measure of the original work.

Layers of grease around the grill hood is the only evidence left of the thousands of meals once cooked here.

I imagine that this would be the room to the rear of the kitchen where apprended 'dine & dashers' were brought.

The building is scheduled to be demolished in April, 2007 to make way for a service center featuring a Wendy's restaurant.