Ontario Abandoned Places

Documenting Canada's Abandoned Structures

Van Der Hart

Ontario : Oakville
Location #6366

Location Owner:superss
Creation Date: 3/3/2013
Last Updated: 3/14/2013

I was notified by another member that a well known residence in Oakville was abandoned. When he mentioned the name of the past owner, I knew the home immediately. The home belonged to John van der Hart, a local professional artist who passed away this past August 25th, he was 80 years old.

John could be considered a bit of an eccentric as an artist. He displayed his art in his front yard, with some self-portrait nudes. He made the front of his house a 2 floor art gallery. He advertised his "Art in the Country" with sandwich boards on Dundas & Upper Middle Road. He lived in his home on 8th line for over 40 years & made some changes that you could say made the home stand out. He built a watch tower in his front yard right next to his house. This was the beacon to his home. He along with a handful of others held out when the area was being developed. Only a few remain, but I believe he was one of the last 3 holdouts. His house will be replaced with 2 back to back homes, one fronting on 8th line, the other on Nichols Dr.

So, on Saturday I made a trip by & it looks like the demolition has already begun. I hope his daughter (also an artist) saved most of his paintings. Probably the hardest thing for me today was that I knew probably 99% of this man's remaining memories & history of over half his life will be thrown in one of the two dumpsters outside. It's one thing to leave everything for others to photograph & see, when the future demolition is months or even years down the road. But when you are staring the demolition & the dumpsters in the face, it's heart breaking to walk away knowing so much of this man's history will find it's next home in a dump.

Even though I knew this would probably be my first & last visit, I am still kicking myself for the various things I always seem to forget when making my first visit. I didn't want to overstay my welcome. Dag nab it.

It's all there for your viewing, but don't delay, the demolition has started. If anyone goes dumpster diving, save me the 10 gallon milk can.

Caution: This home is right in the middle of a busy neighbourhood & on a pretty busy street. The watch tower stairs are a little sketchy (LOL, get it), so I only made it about half way up before I thought, I don't really know this guys engineering capabilities & I was unsure what the demolition team had already started, so I decided to come back down. Lastly, I think it's a flooded basement, it looked that way & I didn't want to get too close.


Apr 2013

Follow up to HudsonTL's 15 Mar picture of the demolished house, a week later & the tower was gone too.

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Status: Demolished | Category: House or Farm

Van Der Hart
Created on:3/15/2013
Created by: HudsonTL
3 photos
December 2011
Van Der Hart
Created on:3/3/2013
Created by: HudsonTL
23 photos
Art Along The Watchtower
Van Der Hart
Created on:3/3/2013
Created by: superss
30 photos

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Address: 2420 Eighth Line, Oakville, ON L6H 6S9, Canada
Province: Ontario

urbann says:
9/6/2013 1:10:40 PM

Very cool!!

HudsonTL says:
3/12/2013 10:49:01 PM


HudsonTL says:
3/8/2013 8:16:41 PM

Almost 100% demolished.

grainger says:
3/5/2013 11:21:26 AM

I moved to Oakville in 1976 and remember when that really was out in the country.

timekeeper says:
3/4/2013 9:04:17 AM

wow, what a shame - but great job getting in! Thanks for sharing this

superss says:
3/4/2013 8:55:24 AM

There were also a number of large storage bins, but they were all frozen solid. How they got so much water in them to become frozen & what was inside them remains a mystery to me. I'm hoping they weren't full of his art work.

superss says:
3/4/2013 8:49:17 AM

Doh I was deleting as you were typing Hudson. :-)
re: the tower, even before I started my ascent I was wondering what the demolition team may have done to it already. It has a little bend to it & then the creaks, groans & rusted steps made me decide to turn back.

superss says:
3/4/2013 8:47:15 AM

Thanks GS, I didn't really see an over abundance of prints or paintings around so hopefully the majority were saved by his daughter.

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On 4/8/2013 11:31:45 PM user superss changed the following: description
On 4/8/2013 11:30:17 PM user superss changed the following: description
On 3/15/2013 12:49:18 AM user HudsonTL uploaded photos : DSC01424.JPG / DSC01425.JPG / DSC01426.JPG / to SID: 3142013234654
On 3/15/2013 12:47:02 AM user HudsonTL created gallery : Demolished
On 3/13/2013 11:44:51 AM user superss changed the following: description
On 3/13/2013 11:43:21 AM user superss changed the following: description
On 3/13/2013 11:36:48 AM user superss changed the following: security settings, location status, description
On 3/3/2013 12:14:40 PM user superss uploaded photos : P3020661.JPG / P3020665.JPG / to SID: 33201304849
On 3/3/2013 12:14:06 PM user superss deleted photos : P3020661.JPG / P3020665.JPG /
On 3/3/2013 3:38:16 AM user HudsonTL deleted photos : Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 3.22.19 AM.jpg /
On 3/3/2013 3:29:11 AM user HudsonTL deleted photos : Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 2.47.37 AM.jpg /
On 3/3/2013 3:27:20 AM user HudsonTL created gallery : December 2011
On 3/3/2013 2:00:02 AM user superss uploaded photos : P3020612.JPG / P3020616.JPG / P3020628.JPG / P3020623.JPG / P3020622.JPG / P3020630.JPG / P3020626.JPG / P3020631.JPG / P3020632.JPG / P3020633.JPG / P3020635.JPG / P3020638.JPG / P3020639.JPG / P3020641.JPG / P3020642.JPG / P3020643.JPG / P3020613.JPG / P3020647.JPG / P3020648.JPG / P3020645.JPG / P3020649.JPG / P3020650.JPG / P3020653.JPG / P3020654.JPG / P3020655.JPG / P3020656.JPG / P3020659.JPG / P3020660.JPG / P3020661.JPG / P3020665.JPG / to SID: 33201304849
On 3/3/2013 1:49:20 AM user superss created gallery : Art Along The Watchtower