The third house of our expedition was an interesting little place. At first we were a little disappointed as the downstairs didn't really yield much to look at. A basic, gutted area with nothing to write home about. The upstairs, however, got our attention with some considerably more interesting finds to poke through.
From what I've been able to piece together, this building was originally constructed as a dedicated observatory for the Canadian Astronomical Research Group in 1976. The equipment, apparently including a 24" telescope, was removed in 1997, and the building converted into a private home.
Source: Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Newsletter, Vol. 71, p.L7
As a result of the constant lobbying and persistence of Dorothea Lynde Dix, a nurse advocating for better care of the mentally ill, the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum was opened on August 18, 1876. A tract of land, 743 acres in size, was purchased in 1871 and 1872, and construction began on the new 673,706 square foot facility.
The last of five houses I explored on this really fun trip around the Cochrane and Kapuskasing area. I'm sure I'll be back as it was clearly fertile hunting grounds.
This place looked to be used as a clearing house for lots of used items. Perhaps some kind of flea market, or other such place. This also marks the first abandoned house I've been in where even I won't try the stairs.
UPDATE: This location has been demolished some time between my visit and July, 2014.
Continuing on with my Saturday afternoon tour, I noted this place by the side of the road, set high on a hill with a stunning view of a lake. While the property itself was likely still being used, the house appears to have been left vacant for quite some time.
When I got inside, I was happily surprised with the find. There were so many interesting things to see in here, but what stood out most was that several stuffed bears had been left behind.
The Regal Constellation Hotel is a 15-floor, 710-room hotel originally constructed in 1962. It featured a Chinese restaurant, and 90,000 square feet of convention space. In addition, a north wing, and east wing still exist, expanding the site significantly from its original size. Most recently, it had been renovated in 2001. It closed in July, 2004.
This is another one of those places you pass by countless times before really noticing that it's there. Then, when you do, you see it each and every time.
On this particular Sunday afternoon, I finally decided to stop and take a look. The back corner is severely undercut with little support, and I suspect it won't be long until it gives way. The floors are becoming pretty dicey in places, particularly upstairs, but if you watch your feet and stay close to the walls, it isn't too bad.
For untold years, countless people have driven past this place, and like myself, I sincerely doubt they ever knew the place existed. Surrounded by trees up until a very short time ago, it was very well camouflaged and hidden from the ceaseless traffic on the highway below it. Now, the trees are gone as plans to widen the highway into 4 lanes continues, and the clock ticks on measuring out the last days of someone's tiny former home.
I decided to go camping for the long weekend, and by the time that decision was made, almost every provincial campground in Ontario was already reserved... except one. I arrived at Darlington Provincial Park after dark, and saw little. The next morning, however, while in search of breakfast, I spotted this place almost within spitting distance from the campground. They think of everything!
I would have to wait, however, as the OPP were using the entrance as a place to catch up on paperwork.