Boondock Explorations Barrie, ON

Friday, May 2, 2008

Radar Base Edgar

Edgar is one of those places that is really hard to describe when people ask about it… When you say abandoned radar station/occupational centre it really doesn’t grasp the vastness of the property. When we were first told about the old radar station, we weren’t expecting an entire town. Completely overwhelmed would be a good way to describe what we were feeling.

We entered Edgar through the bush and back behind the houses… Now, usually on our explorations we go to a single house, so when we saw a complete street of abandoned housing we didn’t quite know what to do. Our knowledgeable guide instructed that what ever we decide, we better get indoors so the guards wouldn’t spot us. He recommended the recreational building just up the way, we agreed as we have been in a number of abandoned houses, but never an abandoned recreational facility.

The recreation centre was enormous. Seeing it from the outside really doesn’t do it justice. There are a number of activities you can take part in on your visit! There is virtually something for everyone!

Are you a keen bowler? Why not start your own sport?... Abandoned Bowling!

Thinking about taking up a little basketball? Why not start your own team?! Here is a full sized gym to fit your needs!
Are you the laid-back type? Just relax in the movie theater!

They haven’t forgotten about the drinkers! A beautifully decorated bar is right in the building!
We really had a great time. Our favorite place in Edgar by far…. To think.. This is all in one building. We would have been happy if this was the entirety of the radar base.

We made our way through some other groovy buildings, and our guide tells us that there is a huge industrial kitchen…. One of our excited explorer’s mom is a chef, so of course we headed towards the loading doors of the kitchen. W-O-W!!!! What a place! Thousands, upon thousands of dollars worth of kitchen equipment rusting away….. Colossal waste of money, but freaking awesome photo opportunity! We showed some of the pictures to the chef….. She couldn't believe it! Tears came to her eyes when she saw the Hobart Mixer.

We definitely had some excellent trips to Edgar while it was free for the viewing. We were sad to see that they have put some heavy boarding up on almost everything in the town. Now, thanks to the tip from Barrie's UrbEx, we know that the electric eyes are watching us……… I think we will stay out of Edgar for now.....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Holland Marsh: A Brief History

The Holland Marsh was once….You Guessed it! A large wetland…. It was part of the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail, although another route was also used because of the environment of the marshy area.

Professor William Day laid the groundwork for drainage of the wetlands in 1923 to prepare them for their current agricultural use. The canal system was created by engineer Alexander Baird of Sarnia and were completed by 1930.
In October 1954, Hurricane Hazel overwhelmed the marsh's drainage system with heavy rains, and the whole marsh was flooded within six hours of the dikes being breached at the north canal. The canals are designed with the bank on the outside of the marsh several inches lower than the bank on the inside of the marsh so that flooding will occur outside of the marsh first, but the amount of runoff flowing down from the hills northeast of the Holland Marsh was so great that this fail-safe became ineffective. The pipes underground the marsh that open into the canal system with one way valves to prevent flooding also became ineffective. Highway 400 was five feet underwater. The residents of the Holland Marsh were alerted to the flood because it happened in the evening when they were in from their fields, and the party phone line rang in all the homes as residents called each other to warn of the flood. Those with houses that had only one floor escaped to neighbours with a second floor, and many had boats or canoes that they used for recreation. Many residents were taken in over the winter by kindly neighbours in the Town of Bradford.

On May 31, 1985, a tornado touched down in the Bradford West Gwillimbury portion of the marsh west of Hwy. 400, lifting the roof off of one house on north Canal Road (Simcoe Road #8), and downing power lines and trees and ruining at least one house along Fraser Street. The devastation on Fraser Street was so extensive that it was renamed Tornado Road.
As of fall 2006 the municipal governance responsible for maintaining the drainage canal system has neglected to clean silt from the outer canals (as is their responsibility under the Ontario Drainage Act) since Hurricane Hazel in 1956. Every piece of land paved over in the 65,000-acre (263 km²) Nottawasaga region uphill of the Holland Marsh results in 6 times the amount of silt runoff than virgin land. Many residential subdivisions have been created in York Region, south of the Holland Marsh, stripping topsoil, felling mature trees, and flattening topography, with the result that even uphill land south of the Holland Marsh in King Township is suffering from silt problems and flooding of drainage ponds. A plan to redesign and clean the canals has been created by the Holland Marsh Drainage Engineer, but the municipality of Bradford West Gwillimbury expects farmers in the Holland Marsh to pay over four million dollars for the project, citing the Ontario Drainage Act, even though the majority of the silt is due to developers changing the topography of the Nottawasaga Watershed region. The municipal governance has also failed to build up the dyke roads to the stipulated height cited in the Holland Marsh Road Act, thus increasing flood risk, and has failed to enact a Holland Marsh Road Protocol for slow moving vehicles (as stated in the Official Town Plan of Bradford West Gwillimbury), thus continuing to put farmers at risk of crashes with fast driving commuters taking shortcuts through the Holland Marsh to Hwy 9 and Hwy 400.

-Wikipedia (Search "Holland Marsh") or

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello! We are Boondocks...

Let us introduce ourselves...
We are two rural/urban/whatever explorers fairly new to the explorer community. We have been photographing and exploring abandonments and oddities for the past five years and are continuing to enjoy it tremendously! We never disturb a location, no matter how disturbed it may already be. We are out there to explore, enjoy (and document) before those places that we love are lost forever.

We never thought that we would post our trips up for all to read. But seeing how much we enjoy reading other explorer's stories, we thought that we should give it a shot as well! We hope that you have patience with us as we start posting, as we have never done this kind of thing before and it is confusing to say the least! It took us half the day trying to figure out how to add a photo album.......

Anyway, There is soon to be a story to go along with the abandonment on the Canal. We had a hell of a trip and look forward to sharing our story with you!!
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