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Ontario Abandoned Places

An online community for urban explorers
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Welcome to Ontario Abandoned Places

We are THE website for photographers, explorers and nature enthusiasts alike. Our database contains over 4,200 abandoned locations from across Ontario ranging from barns to abandoned houses to large industrial sites.

Membership


hi Q: Is there a fee for becoming a member?
A: Membership is 100% free. We do not charge for this site nor will we ever.

Q: What do I do if I forgot my password or username?
A: There is a link on the login page for this.

Q: What are the different user levels and why?
A: Basic Members are people who have not yet met the criteria for viewing trusted locations. Basic members are restricted to viewing Public locations only. Public locations are visible to search engines. There's no difference between visiting the website without an account and being logged in as a Basic Member. The benefit of creating a user account would be if you intended to contribute to the website by adding photos, posting comments or creating locations. This allows you to work your way up to Full Membership.

Full Member is for members who have contributed content to the website. Full membership is not available for purchase nor is it given by donating money. We look at a variety of criteria before making the determination of whether or not to grant you Full Membership. That criteria includes: the quality of your locations, do you explore buildings or do you take photos from inside your car, is there decent information accompanying your location? The purpose of this user level is to seperate the general public from people who have demonstrated a commitment to this hobby and by doing so, seperate people who might cause harm to these locations.

For people that do upload quality photographs, sometimes your contributions might go unnoticed. By all means if you feel that your contributions deserve you receiving full access then let one of the administrators know. Sometimes a member deletes their account because they contributed content, didn't receive the access and felt their effort was for nothing. The adminstrators are quite busy with other tasks and it's most likely that your hard work has gone unnoticed, not ignored. Before deciding to close your account because you've not received Full Membership, contact us to see if we can make things right.

There are different levels of Full Member. The number of locations that one person is able to access may differ from what another Full Member can access. This determination is made by how much we feel you can be trusted.

Friends Only is an access system that allows members to share content ONLY with members on their Friends list. Locations created as Friends Only (FR) do not appear in any searches and the administrators do not generally access them (but assume that from time to time we might). This is the highest level of security possible.

Hidden GPS is available for all user levels and hides the address and GPS information from others. The members will have to contact you to receive this information. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE for another member who has received this information from you, to share it with others without your express permission. This is considered a breach of trust.

Pending Account refers to an account that's new but not yet approved for access. Pending accounts are identical to Basic Member accounts. We like to screen new members before enabling them as Basic Members. Please send a PM message to an administrator with a reason why you'd like access, and if possible, links to your photography. Once approved, you'll be able to view Basic locations.


Locations



All we're asking is that you use common sense when creating content. If it's old, has a story to tell and presents some delicious decay, share it and it will likely be welcomed!

Q: Why was my location deleted?
A: Locations are expected to have at minimum: a description, photos and an address or GPS coordinates. If your location contains no address and no GPS coordinates, or if the photos are of poor quality (blurry, taken from inside a vehicle, etc.) there is a good possibility your location will be removed. If you don't know the exact address but know the road, this will also suffice.

Q: I received a message that my gallery was moved, why did you do this? Why was my location deleted?
A: Often a Basic Member will create an entry that already exists in the Full Members listing. If this occurs we will merge your photos into the Full Member entry and remove your location. You will then gain access to that Full Member location because you've obviously visited the location and know where it is.

It might be frustrating to have your locations constantly being merged into existing locations but this also goes toward your earning Full Membership. We don't expect you to be able to find all never-before-seen locations.

Q: Why does my total locations or total photos fluctuate?
A: See above - your location may have been merged into an existing location. We also may have removed some or all of your images depending on whether they met the quality guidelines.

Q: Why does the number of locations fluctuate?
A: When members are deleted, their photos are normally deleted as well. If a deleted member is the only person to have submitted photos for a given location, we'll remove the location as well because there's no purpose to having a location without images.

Q: Is Full Membership given automatically?
A: No. It is done manually. It may be initiated by administrator or you may make a request. Often times we don't even notice that you've reached the threshold for Full Membership and your work goes unnoticed. If you feel that you've earned your access, let us know.

Please don't take it personally, become offended and leave never to return. We have certain expectations for photos. If they are blurry, generally low quality (a photo of a blank wall, multiple images of the same image taken at different angles, etc.) we may remove some of them.

Q: Is it trespassing if I enter an abandoned building?
A: Read the disclaimer found on this website.

Q: I am the owner of a property listed on your site and I would like it removed.
A: This is understandable. Please send a request to the person who created the location or to an administrator. Note that we are merely a publisher of user-created content and cannot be held liable.


Photos

Q: What happens to my photos after I upload them?
A: You retain the copyright and are able to delete them at any time. You may also add a watermark to the photos containing your name, email address, website, etc. You are the only person able to edit the information on the location so try to be as accurate as possible.

Q: May I delete my photos or location?
A: You can delete your photos at any time but the location can only be removed by the administrator.

Q: Why were my photos deleted?
A: Photos should involve some degree of attention to detail. If you've submitted photos that are blurry or obviously taken from inside your car with the window rolled down, they will be removed. This website isn't for the armchair photographer, it's for people who want to get down and dirty and venture into places.

Q: I'm going to upload someone else's photographs to gain Full Membership.
A: This has been attempted by a few. With thousands of people involved in this hobby who are quick to recognize bogus locations or other people's photographs, it will result in your being banned. If you can't be bothered to explore properly, why bother trying at all?

Q: May I use the photographs found on this website?
A: Not without asking the permission of the person who generated that location. There is an option to contact the creator of a location at the top of the page.


Creating A Location
NEW!!

The following should help you understand how to create a new location.

1) First click on the Create A Location option.

Create Location


2) Enter a name for your location. Please use proper punctuation (capital first letters)

Enter location name


The name of your location goes into the first text box.

The second text box marked "City or Town to place location under" indicates where your location will be stored on the main page. For example if you entered "Toronto" then your location would be found on the main page when you click on Toronto from the main page. You may use the scroll down box to select an existing city or region. Generally we try to use regions instead of numerous small towns to keep the main page clean.

Click on the NEXT button when finished.

3) You will be taken to the Edit Location page. This is the standard Editor for all locations and you may use this editor to make changes to your location at any time (days, weeks, months later).

Edit Location

- The first box is the Name of Entry. This is your location name which may be changed at any time.
- The second box is for the Physical Address. You may leave it blank if you don't have this.
- The third box is the main town or city. This is the same process as mentioned in Step 2 (above).

- The access level box is important. If it is set to Public then ANYONE may view your location and it is indexed by all Search Engines on the internet. If it is set to Full Member (FM) then only Full Members may access this entry. Basic access members are able to set their locations as Full Member and still access them. Please ensure you don't change the access level to FM until AFTER you've added photos.
- Putting a checkbox in the Anonymous box will not show that you created the entry. It will be Anonymous.
- Block Address Info: when this is checked, information from the Physical Address box and the GPS coordinates are not listed to anyone. This option basically removes all identifying address information to other members. This would be used if you would like to create an entry but have control over who you give the address to. Administrators may still view the address information.
- Adult content : when selected, this places a warning message that your entry may contain content not suitable for minors (we do not allow pornography)

- Co-ordinates: For those familiar with GPS, this is very important information. By entering a latitude and a longitude you allow other people to be able to use the Search feature to find your location on a graphical map. You also allow people to see a small map of your location when your location is displayed. Please be sure that your Longitude begins with a negative sign (eg. -76.4444) otherwise your location will end up being overseas.

There is a utility to help you find these coordinates just below the grey coordinates box.

4) Finally you will enter the status of your location (active, closed, abandoned, arson, etc.) which will allow other people to know if your location is open, closed, burnt down, demolished, etc. It is common practice to change your location to Basic Member if it has been demolished because it no longer exists, right?

The location description is where you will enter the main content to be shown to other people. Enter the history, interesting facts, cautions, your personal experience at this location, etc.

Note that this information is to be in your own words, not cut and pasted from someone else's webpage. This information is also not copyrighted because it is your own factual information, not a work of fiction. Should you decide to leave the site, the location and it's information will remain online.

Edit Information

5) External links: If you have any links to add for this location (eg. newspaper articles, videos, etc.) you would enter them in this box each on a new line. The links should start with "www" or "http://".

6) Click on Save Changes when finished. You are done!

7) Note that before other people can view your location you must first put it ONLINE. By default all new locations are offline. This is done to allow you time to add photos, GPS information, etc. before other people begin to click on your newly created location.

Offline Location


Click the link within the red box and you are done. Many members create locations and never put them online leaving us to wonder if they simply forgot or were not finished editing their location.


Uploading Images


The two uploading methods used on this website are ASPUploader and ASPUpload. ASPUploader is an upload component that allows multiple files to be sent at one time. ASPUploader supports Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. It is designed to work even if you don't have Adobe Flash or Silverlight installed. The display provides some graphical stats on the files being uploaded.

The alternative program, ASPUpload is not as pretty as ASPUploader but it tends to be more reliable. The main difference between the two is that ASPUploader works best for larger transfers (larger files/more files). ASPUpload works best for smaller files and fewer files.

The default upload utility used is ASPUploader (shown below). Click on the Upload files button to select files from your hard drive. When you have selected all of the files (generally 20 maximum) click on the Begin Upload button to begin transfer.

It is important to note that when the files have finished transferring, that you do NOT close the browser or leave the page until you see a completion message. Large photos need to be resized to smaller images and thumbnail images need to be generated. Once this process has completed, you may navigate elsewhere.

ASP Uploader

ASPUploader (above)

Some members are reporting server timeout issues with the upload program. This is not something that I can really fix as I did not create the component. If you have any difficulties, try using the alternative upload component by looking for the link that reads ("The old uploader is here").

If you have difficulties, try uploading 1-3 photos at a time rathen than 10-20. Personally speaking, the upload utility has never failed for me.


Icons

E-Mail Send e-mail to user
Full Member Full member
Donated Member has donated
WebsiteMember's website
Administrator Administrator
Star Bronze Star (25-50 locations created)
Star Silver Star (50-100 locations created)
Star Gold Star (100+ locations created)
User meet attendee Has attended a user meet
Donated Time Donated their time to help OAP

Other

Q: How does the search option work?
A: The search option works by calculating the latitude and longitude of the location versus the latitude and longitude of the city you are searching from. It is calculated "as the crow flies" which means that it does not take into account winding roads, etc.


Q: What is a Geocache? Why would I want to search for one?
A: A Geocache is like going on an Easter egg hunt for hidden treasure. People who own GPS's use them to find these hidden treasures. They may also leave their own caches for others to find. This option allows visitors to find nearby geocaches.


Account

Q: May I disable my account?
A: Yes. You may do so from the Member Area.

Q: Do you sell or exchange e-mail lists?
A: No. Your e-mail address will never be disclosed to a third party or sold to marketers.

Other

Q: I'm searching for a long lost relative. I'm doing family history. I'm looking for a gravesite.
A: Unfortunately I receive quite a few of these and I just don't have the resources to do this type of research for you. There is a good resource site available at www.gravemarkers.ca as well as numerous genealogy websites. Try Google as a starting point. Also please remember that I do not represent any of the cemeteries or towns on this website.

Q: What powers this website?
A: Active Server Pages and SQL Server with the odd pint of Rickard's Red for fuel.



Talking Walls Photography