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UER Forum > Canada: Ontario > Hidden in plain sight (Viewed 4133 times)
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 245 likes




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Hidden in plain sight
< on 7/8/2017 7:38 PM >
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This iconic facility covers 155 acres of land on the Toronto waterfront. It opened in 1971, and featured an amusement park, an IMAX theatre, concert and pavilion spaces. However, due to the lack of revenue the park was forced to close down in 2011 to begin revitalizing it to a year round attraction.

As a kid, I always loved spending the day here and when it closed I remember being so frustrated and confused. When I was biking past one day when I must’ve been 13 or so, I thought it would be kinda cool to just go in and see what’s become of the place. I recall looking at one of the gates and thinking, “Could it really be this simple?” I then locked up my bike in some trees and hopped over the gate, and began running towards the water slides. Prior to this, I had never really visited or explored practically any abandoned compound, and the vacancy of it was unimaginable. I remember inspecting every single building and tugging at every door handle, utterly fascinated. Eventually I got spooked, and I left in a hurry.

I would return almost a dozen times more in the following weeks and then years, infiltrating the site sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend of mine. We climbed in almost all the waterslides, up onto the water tower drop bucket, in the catwalks above the theatres and in the log slide, ducking and dodging past security.



Every time we seemed to find something new, and every time we would have to find new ways to get in and out safely. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to photograph the post-apocalyptic looking park back when it wasn't under redevelopment, I only started properly documenting the adventures this year, when I started exploring the complex once again.

As I was biking downtown yet again last month, I noticed that the east end of the site had been opened up for Taco Fest. Intrigued, I slipped in past security and made my way towards the festivities walking with my I’m supposed to be here stride. Once I reached the roof of the Atlantic building, I was overwhelmed with joy and to make everything that much more epic, rain began pouring from the sky.

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After snapping a few photos of the storm clouds, I starting heading down all the various walkways. Just when I thought I had seen everything, I tugged at yet another door that said, “Authorized Personnel Only,” and I knew I was in for something special. Inside was a vast series of long and skinny mech rooms which I cautiously explored. Eventually I came across a door which led into an incredibly dark room. Gingerly lowering myself down a decrepit ladder, I found myself in an abandoned theatre. Despite wanting to set up my tripod and take proper long exposure photos, I was inside of a pitch black room at night on my own while it was pouring rain outside, and I was feeling a little bit terrified. So I booked it out a new set of doors, and began walking back towards the festival.

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Once the rain stopped, I reached Taco Fest and weaved my way through the crowd eventually coming up to the door that led to the underbelly of the log slide ride. When no one was looking, I quickly bypassed the lock and climbed up to the top of the structure, setting up my camera.

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I then sat there for an hour taking pictures while the party raged on right in front of me. The view was pretty spectacular, and the DJ was absolutely killing it.

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By now it was pretty late, and I figured that I should start heading home. However, I figured that I’d push my luck and attempt to do something that I had always dreamed of. I sneaked over to the entrance to the IMAX theatre, and despite the drizzle of rain that still lingered, I managed to climb up the outside of the spherical structure using the beams that wrapped around the meshy exterior.

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A few days later, a friend of mine invited me to come shoot a timelapse from the new park that was open to public use on the east end of Ontario Place. Wanting to go back and shoot the inside of the Atlantis Pavilion during daylight, I happily accepted and biked down once again to explore the compound. After casually chatting to some workers, they allowed me to “go look for some stairs” somewhere in the off-limits part of the abandoned venue. I spent a half hour furiously shooting every hallway and room, ignorantly refusing to acknowledge the asbestos warning signs.

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Once I finally left, I found myself on the field in front of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre stage while a band was doing a practice session. After a minute of shooting, a security guard started running towards me. After talking for a few minutes, she delete my photos of the stage and let me go. Now that my fun had been ruined, I met up with my friend and we shot some time lapse during a spectacular sunset.

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I finally felt like I had done the place justice, yet as I was unlocking my b e to go home, my eye caught one last thing...


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Aside from a few spots that are going through construction, the old days of graffitied waterslides and creepy pioneer dolls in Ontario Place is now over. Much of the park is now open for public use, and sneaking in isn't even necessary with the creation of Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail. It's well staffed and the few bits that are still off limits are well monitored. That being said, I highly recommend stopping by the park, it's definitely worth the visit!

Thanks for reading, hope you guys enjoy!



[last edit 7/8/2017 7:40 PM by theninjalobster - edited 1 times]

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strangePlaces 


Location: Toronto
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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 1 on 7/8/2017 8:08 PM >
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duude..... crazy write up and adventure! and i live not too far from there...




OH_ZOG_NO 


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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 2 on 7/8/2017 9:16 PM >
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Really nice pictures and a good write up. We need more post's of this quality nice job.




[last edit 7/8/2017 9:16 PM by OH_ZOG_NO - edited 1 times]

Skye_Ann 


Location: Kitchener, Ontario
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I seem to have Irritable Owl Syndrome...

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 3 on 7/8/2017 10:32 PM >
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You are a badass and a great photographer/story teller. Nicely done!




My Blog; https://historyindecay.blogspot.com/
thetrainguru 


Location: Jasper AB
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im not crazy...wait...y es I am

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 4 on 7/8/2017 11:40 PM >
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good job




Create don`t destroy.

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blackhawk 

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UER newbie

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 5 on 7/8/2017 11:49 PM >
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L'infiltrateur

These are stunning killer shots.
Well done.











*Edited for well deserved kudos



[last edit 7/9/2017 10:43 PM by blackhawk - edited 1 times]

Just when I thought I was out... they pulled me back in.
Freaktography 


Location: Burlington Ontario
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Freaktography

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 6 on 7/9/2017 12:53 AM >
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Very impressive. Great stuff here man.





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muiy0 


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!!!

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 7 on 7/9/2017 1:52 AM >
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This is fucking awesome. What an adventure!! Thanks for sharing




it's always amateur hour on my clock
Ground State 


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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 8 on 7/9/2017 10:03 PM >
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Hook, line and sinker on that opening shot!
Thanks for the interesting accompanying write-up.

A 2nd roll through the pics before I'm hitting POST. Damn you have some stunning creativity on these shots.





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ForgottenRails 


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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 9 on 7/10/2017 1:16 AM >
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Thank you for getting these photos. I go by this place all the time but wouldn't have the guts to try and get in.




yokes 


Location: Toronto
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I aim to misbehave

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 10 on 7/10/2017 1:03 PM >
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Great set and adventure. Love the Cinesphere climb.
(don't recommend the cell tower climbing, though)




"Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men." - Richard Nickel
chasingpapes 


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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 11 on 7/13/2017 1:38 PM >
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Fantastic shots! I gotta shed a tear for ontario place tho, brings back memories of goin as a kid climbin that tall playground with the bridges lol.




Hi/Po 


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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 12 on 7/13/2017 3:34 PM >
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One of the best posts I've seen in the Ontario forum all year.

I remember exploring the park back in 2012 after it had closed. Everything was still intact among the amusement park attractions. The log ride was interesting to walk through with all the creepy old mannequins and tunnel sections through the mountains. The lights were even on in the weather exhibits in the silos on the West Island. Now it looks like a faint reflection of that time, but I'm looking forward to the revitalization to make the park vibrant again.

The theatre was something I never saw before. I wonder when it closed. The Cinesphere climb was badass and made for a unique photo. Fantastic work!




leafloving4x4gal 


Location: Durham Region
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Someday is NOT a day of the week !

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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 13 on 7/13/2017 4:26 PM >
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Your first photo is hands down EFFING EPIC !

Great post and story...thoroughly enjoyed this...thanks




"if you are not selfish enough to make yourself happy, you have nothing of value to offer the world."
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 14 on 7/15/2017 5:00 AM >
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Posted by OH_ZOG_NO
Really nice pictures and a good write up. We need more post's of this quality nice job.




Thank you so much man, I really appreciate that! I'll do my best to keep these sorts of posts coming!




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 245 likes




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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 15 on 7/15/2017 5:00 AM >
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Posted by strangePlaces
duude..... crazy write up and adventure! and i live not too far from there...


Thanks! Definitely swing by for sunrise one morning, the park offers a gorgeous view of the skyline!




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 16 on 7/15/2017 5:04 AM >
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Posted by Skye_Ann
You are a badass and a great photographer/story teller. Nicely done!


Well thanks a ton!

However I feel as though I'm still living with the ignorance of youth; the consequences of my actions haven't yet caught up to me. I'm sure my boldness will start to dull down once I get in some serious trouble.




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
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Total Likes: 245 likes




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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 17 on 7/15/2017 5:08 AM >
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Posted by Ground State

Hook, line and sinker on that opening shot!
Thanks for the interesting accompanying write-up.

A 2nd roll through the pics before I'm hitting POST. Damn you have some stunning creativity on these shots.




Haha, thank you. Really means a lot to hear this sort of feedback coming from someone like you. Again, thanks!




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
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Total Likes: 245 likes




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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 18 on 7/15/2017 5:11 AM >
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Posted by yokes
Great set and adventure. Love the Cinesphere climb.
(don't recommend the cell tower climbing, though)


Thanks! I wasn't too sure either, as I was squirming through all the electronics in the tower I was wondering whether or not this had been a good idea. I figured 10 minutes of exposure was worth the risk! (:




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
theninjalobster 


Location: Toronto, ON
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 245 likes




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Re: Hidden in plain sight
< Reply # 19 on 7/15/2017 5:13 AM >
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To everyone else, thank you. I still haven't figured out how to reply to multiple quotes with one comment, so I don't want to flood the feed. I appreciate all the feedback though!




Into the Fray. https://www.ninjalobster.com/
UER Forum > Canada: Ontario > Hidden in plain sight (Viewed 4133 times)
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