Ontario Abandoned Places

Documenting Canada's Abandoned Structures

Back Road Beauty

Ontario : Highway 69
Location #5207

Location Owner:OAP
Creation Date: 8/15/2012
Last Updated: 8/15/2012

The first thing that I noticed was that a realtor's sign lay on the ground. I approached the front door to find that someone had broken open the padlock and the rear door wide open. Upon entering the front door my adrenalin immediately began to spike. The place was packed with possessions!

Family photographs hung on the wall to my immediate right. To the left was the main living room. A corner hutch proudly displaying family photos and memorabilia. Up against the living room wall sat a desk covered with personal papers including birthday cards, letters, insurance papers and magazines. A binder lay on the floor containing meticulous details regarding the Royal Canadian Legion and the annual fair that the couple helped out at. On the couch lay a box of old cassette tapes. Assorted appliances were cast about.

I ascertained that this wasn't a cabin, it was a home. It left much to be desired as the poorly insulated walls consisted of drywall and patching compound. A ceiling panel had fallen and crashed onto the living room floor.

Someone had rummaged through the house as there were clothes, papers and dishes all over the floor. There wasn't a single square foot of exposed floor to be seen. Even placing my tripod was precarious as I couldn't find level ground to place it upon. Given the tight space inside this house, I wasn't able to take the best photos and opted to enhance some of them through HDR.

Inside the kitchen dishes lay broken on the ground. The fridge door was open, I didn't dare look inside. Old pickle jars were stored atop the cupboards. In one corner a bookshelf lay in waiting in the hopes that someone might pluck out a book to do some Sunday reading in the back yard.

Inside the bedroom, clothes were hung in the closet. The bed could barely be seen due to the amount of items laying upon it. A sewing machine with needle ready to hem sat next to it. My mind kicked into overdrive trying to absorb everything that was before me. There was just too much to sort through and read and with the sound of each passing vehicle along the highway my nervousness spiked a little more. My inner voice told me to get the hell out of here before my presence was noticed while my rational voice told me that this was a quiet back road and that I should stay. As I grow older I seem to become more worried about being caught, perhaps given my car's presence just outside.

Before leaving, I tried to determine when the occupants last resided here. Two pieces of correspondence provided some clues. Both husband and wife received letters dated in December of 2003 informing them that their life insurance premiums had not been received for November. It seemed that both occupants simply disappeared in late 2003 leaving their possessions behind. The subject of many of the books dealt with healing the body. By the early 21st century I know that the wife was placed into a long term care home. The unopened mail would seem to indicate that at some point both husband and wife were placed into care.

Here is their story...

James Bailey Jr. was born on January 29th,1932. His parents purchased a farm located in Nobel, Ontario and the family moved in on April 22, 1952. James' father worked in Toronto but because he didn't drive a car he required someone to drive him back home to Nobel when he wasn't working. The trip Toronto to Nobel took almost eight hours back then. After James' father retired he moved back to the Nobel farm. In April of 1977 a fire broke out at the farmhouse killing James' father.

James married Mary McIntosh in 1952 a day before his family moved up to the Nobel farm. When the family moved up to Nobel, James remained in Toronto. He worked as a garbage man in North York for five years. Following that he worked as a groom in a stable. James went on to work other jobs including transport for C.I.L. in Nobel, Simpson's Furniture and Canada Iron.

While working for Simpson's as a furniture deliveryman James fell down a flight of stairs while carrying a fridge. He ended up cracking two vertebrae and required 37 stitches in his forehead.

In February of 1973 James underwent surgery to repair his back. A steel rod was inserted into his back and bone was taken from his leg to repair his back. James spent nine months recuperating in hospital. When James returned to work he stepped out of his truck and the leg that the doctors had removed the bone from snapped. James spent more time in the hospital recovering.

James married a second time, this time to Barbara Tarin. They had three children together: Marlene, Mary, and Duncan. Both James and Barbara were actively involved with their local Royal Canadian Legion. James served as President for three years.

James retired on January 30th,1992. He passed away on May 31st, 2008 at the age of 76 years. Barbara passed away on November 9th, 2011 at the age of 82 years of age.

Based on this information I would estimate the property has been vacant for at least four years but likely longer. I'm awaiting word from the realtor as to the disposition of the property.

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Status: Demolished | Category: House or Farm

Mid Summer 2012
Back Road Beauty
Created on:2/16/2013
Created by: shawno
20 photos
August 12/14, 2012
Back Road Beauty
Created on:8/15/2012
Created by: OAP
10 photos

None listed

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Province: Ontario

quiksilver says:
8/15/2012 8:37:56 PM

pretty awesome that you found the family history like that. Really cool read.

timo explorer says:
8/15/2012 7:26:47 PM

Wonderful history of the occupants, well done.

Golson Moldon says:
8/15/2012 7:03:24 PM

Very cool. Reminds me of the "Just Walked Away" property.

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On 10/1/2019 12:39:01 AM user timo explorer changed the following: security settings, location status,
On 2/16/2013 12:08:22 AM user shawno created gallery : Mid Summer 2012