New User Registration
Username:
Password: Remember Me:

Ontario Abandoned Places

An online community for urban explorers
Location Database
Database
Forum
Forum
Search Locations
Search

User Search




OAP Summer Smash 2013

Well we did it! The names that we see on the screen became real life people.

After being online for almost fifteen years, the first Ontario Abandoned Places user meeting took place on July 28, 2013 in Cambridge. For whatever reason, attempts in previous years had been unsuccessful.

My original intention was to organize a dinner, however several members wanted to do a group exploration. I had anticipated that not all Full Members might want to take part in a large scale user meet because some feel that large group explores bring more attention to locations. Measures were taken to be discreet and to attract as little attention as possible while exploring, and I felt that the group sizes were reasonable. By limiting the invites to Full Members the integrity of locations was maintained.

Planning this event was challenging. Weeks ago I began creating separate maps for the locations, to be given to each of the three or four exploring groups. It soon became apparent that the amount of work to organize such a meeting was too much for one person.

I reached out to others to assist with the planning details. F.O.S. offered assistance in organizing some of the details such as the restaurant booking, mapping and driving. Maureen E. volunteered to be a driver.

Finz519 contacted us and offered to assist in organizing industrial locations. We also contacted Trailblazer to assist with locations north of Cambridge. Dave Summer offered to assist with a third set of locations.

Slowly but certainly the meeting began to take shape. On the morning of the 28th, I crawled out of bed feeling excited yet uncertain. As I drove past the carpool lot observing the small crowd waiting, I was filled with a wave of nervousness. I dont enjoy speaking in front of groups, but alas when its your site you have to do it right? We determined the groups and the drivers and shortly after 10 am the groups departed for the day.

Group A consisted of: OAP / Ground State / Trailblazer / Teeko / F.O.S. / Mobileworks and wife / Halton Explorer and fiance / Drunkenmonkey420.

Group B consisted of: Maureen E. / Maple / Timo Explorer / Ann_Faith / Dave Summer

Group C consisted of: Finz519 / Big Paul Small / Darko / LowKeyImage Design / Rick_D and his friend Frodo

22 people attended. There were no last minute cancellations.

The skies were clear, the sun was shining and the day looked ripe for opportunities. Despite having three different group agendas we were able to keep pace with the other groups as we moved from one place to the next. The skies became concerningly dark by mid-afternoon however everyone finished their agendas by 5 pm when the droplets of rain began to fall. We made our way to Beertown in Cambridge for food and drinks.

Throughout the day, I think that a few things were mutually agreed upon.

First, we really don't have any idea of who we're communicating with until we see them in real life. I'll admit that I felt some regret over how I'd dealt with some past issues involving some of the attendees. Sometimes we need to see the person behind the username to fully understand who we're speaking with. GND learned that no, I'm not in my 60's. :)

Secondly, we share a LOVE of abandoned locations. There was mutual excitement as we entered farm houses full of contents, looked out the windows for new places as we made our way down the highway and told stories of our own explorations. We were united in everything on this day.

At some point during dinner I felt quite overwhelmed by it all as I watched the people gathered around me talking about abandoned houses, shaking my hand thanking me for the website, asking questions about OAP, and showing an appreciation for the same passion that I have.

I enjoyed hearing about how OAP has been a positive influence in people's lives. One member commented that when they're having a miserable day, they can login to OAP and it helps their problems go away.

But you know I've always been one to cast the mirror back upon you rather than to gloat. Today's user meeting demonstrated that YOU are not just members on someone's web site, you are part of a community. A community of sharing information and building new friendships.

I'd like to thank Finz, F.O.S., Dave Summer, Trailblazer (great locations) and Maureen E. for their support in assisting with this year's user meet. Also a thanks to TheGirlNextDoor for making it to supper.

I'd also like to thank each and every member that attended this meeting. You made today a day to be remembered.



Photos

Darkman Darkman Ground State Ground State Timo Explorer
Frank Farm Legion Dry Rot Cabin Crowe Rockwood Erin
Timo Explorer Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
Ann_Faith Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery --- Gallery

Scenic Farm Classic Farm B.S.H. Fergus Farm L2 Farmhouse
Mobileworks Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
Ground State Gallery Gallery --- Gallery Gallery
Drunkenmunky420 Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
F.O.S. Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
OAP Gallery Gallery

Crowe NAC Migrant House R. Plating Floor Gone
Darkman Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery ---
Finz519 Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery
BigPaulSmall Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery

Attendees


OAP

Trailblazer2112

Maureen E.

Ground State

Finz519

Timo Explorer

Dave Summer

Teeko

Drunkenmunky420

Darkman

Ann_Faith

Rick_D25

LowKey
ImageDesign

Halton Explorers

F.O.S.

BigPaulSmall

The Girl Next Door

Mobileworks

Maple