The departure of summer always brings a new season of shooting abandoned buildings et -al. I always manage to shoot more as the temperature plummets. My heightened activity could also be a result of easier access, lax/no security/no one is going to be paying attention to photographers trooping through the snow first thing in the morning in the dead of winter…

I also love to re-shoot locations. One of my favourites, because it was close to home, accessible, vast, always changing and always under threat of pending demolition were the houses of High Park spanning Bloor St from Pacific Avenue to Oakmount Road. There were 13 houses in all and they were full of mystery and surprises. Some of the houses were empty and had been left pristine by the departing tenants, others appeared as though all but one or two tenants had actually moved out before the houses were boarded up with all their valuable inside and a few had basements filled with tools, business supplies and burst water pipes. The interiors of the houses were always changing as the seasons came and went, the window boards were nailed on and pried off and vandals, transients and squatters passed through, painted walls sweat and peeled to revel wallpaper, walls were defaced again and again, the abandoned items in the houses were ransacked for value and slowly destroyed…  Fires ate  two of the homes in 2011 and in the early spring of 2012, the Daniels Corporation finally got to tear the remaining houses down to begin development of another (*gasp*) condo.

I moved further West in the city and hadn’t been back to the site for a few years when I happened to be walking by during the initial stages of the demolition and I was curiously emotional about the fact that I hadn’t been back to snoop around and take more photos. I had though, taken exterior photos of the houses, (something I rarely do) most likely because I was trying out a panoramic camera. A quick stitch of the houses in winter are below.

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