Abandoned Ontario Clock Maker Time Capsule House
While there are no exteriors of the house I’ll be showing you, it’s evident that the house dates back to at least the 1970’s. The retro deck at the rear of the property is quite rotten. There are several holes in the deck so you have to be cautious walking on it. I cautiously navigated it, keeping close to the walls.
By the shed you’ll discover two old rotary phones discarded. They are a prelude to the past way of life to be found inside this house.
Upon making our way inside the house, the first room we discovered was the living room. I remember exclaiming something to the effect of, “This place is awesome!”
The living room is perfectly preserved. A couch faces an older model television, a VCR and DVD player are connected to the set. On a table next to the television are assorted DVD’s. A coffee table in front of the couch is covered by cloth, a box of Kleenex and bowl set upon it.
There was a very small amount of dust on the furniture. I ran my finger along the wood as if to prove that there was dust, and therefore the house is abandoned. (Our social media following likes to believe that no dust means a house is occupied)
There’s a hutch in the corner of the living room. I remember opening it but can’t recall what was inside. At the other end of the living room is a fireplace with assorted clocks and knicknacks on the mantle.
The more I looked around, the more I noticed the clocks. Two are mounted on the wall just behind the couch. They’re on the mantle. They’re on shelves.
You can vaguely make out the design of the deck. There’s a hutch in the far corner of the room. Magazines are still underneath the coffee table. There are cobwebs in the corners of the walls.
On the table by the window I found a photo of Jesus. Whomever had lived here was religious. In today’s society if Facebook goes down, it becomes international news. I respect people who practice religion of the non-internet faith.
There was a lack of family photographs which I found puzzling. On a chest in the living room I did see two framed photographs taken at a wedding. I believe that one of the photos is of the couple’s son while the other is of the family.
You can vaguely make out some of the cobwebs behind the photo.
I moved on to the kitchen where I immediately noticed two things of interest: One was that the power was working. The microwave showed the incorrect time. The other thing was that there were three calendars (1999, 2006 and 2008). There was a religious Psalm hung on the kitchen wall.
One of the kitchen drawers had been removed and placed on the kitchen table. Various utensils were in the box underneath it. The dish cloths hung on the stove, which also showed the incorrect time.
The fridge doors were open, the contents had been removed and the power disconnected. One of the bedrooms contained boxes of food from the cupboards. The water had been disconnected long ago. Besides the empty fridge there was other evidence that the home had not been lived in for quite some time – cobwebs.
Cobwebs were in the doorways to the bedrooms, in the kitchen, in the corners of the living room, everywhere! If someone had been caring for this property, they’d have disturbed the cobwebs. By the time we left this house, our clothes and hair had accumulated most of the cobwebs.
I wondered what the circumstances were that led to this house being vacant for many years and with hydro still being paid for?
I made my way down the hall to the master bedroom. AMAZING!
The beds were made and slippers were beside the bed. The closets had clothing inside. In the master bedroom I noticed something that struck me as odd – a bell on the night stand. It was at this point that I wondered if perhaps the former occupant of this house ha been bedridden or ill.
Factoring the calendars and cobwebs, I estimated that this house has been vacant for at least eight years, probably more. What particularly impresses me is that in that time nobody has broken in to steal. The dresser drawers are all in place, and the clothes haven’t been tossed about. How is this possible in a society that steals and damages vacant properties?
Well perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so impressed. The back door did show signs that someone attempted to break in at some point.
In a binder on the cabinet in the bedroom (two photos above) I found information that provided an identity to who had lived here.
The man was clearly a clock enthusiast.
This clock was mounted outside of the kitchen. I wonder if the entire house filled with cuckoo’s and chimes on the hour?
This clock was on the fireplace mantel. Note more cobwebs.
Someone has gone through the clothing and clothes are piled neatly on the bed. Looters and scavengers have not found this property. If they had, everything would be on the floor.
The bathroom still has toilet paper and towels. Look at the light fixtures and wallpaper.
The exterior of the house has bars on all the ground level windows. I first found this to be mildly disturbing and while I explored the upper levels of the house I really wanted to know what was downstairs. At the same time I intentionally avoided the venture into the basement, because it offered excitement and anticipation. What would we find down there?
After fully exploring the living room, kitchen and bedrooms it was time to see what the basement held. I made my way downstairs and found a workshop with several tools for the repairing of clocks.
I looked inside the garage and found it full of tools, firewood, and a car. The car had a heavy layer of dust on it and the licence plates had been removed. (We look for the validation sticker expiry year)
Stairs led further into the basement to where the recreation room was. It too did not disappoint. The decor was county western.
There was a bar in the corner and the cabinets filled with assorted alcohol and a vintage unopened pop bottle. There were (to no surprise) more clocks on the bar. The bar stools were constructed with tractor seats that looked uncomfortable.
There was a sturdy wooden door which took some effort to open, and revealed a wine cellar containing empty bottles.
On the wall were several more clocks.
There was a fireplace in the basement as well and on the mantle were an assortment of oil lamps of different colours and designs. This exploration was getting better and better.
The bars on the basement windows were now explained. The owner of this home wanted to protect his investment of clocks.
By now I was beginning to feel an emotional attachment to this house and to whomever had lived here. I pictured the elderly man as he tinkered in the basement on his latest project. I saw him growing older over the years until the time came where he would be moved into a long-term care facility.
I found myself upset, almost angry, that while we were the first to enter this house in years, we’d be leaving it in a dangerous state. I pictured the next person inside here taking the clocks, lanterns and damaging this untouched house. Untouched houses are so few and far between.
And yet within the same 24 hour span, someone else visited this location. Some drawers had been left open that had been previously closed, and some clothing put onto the bed. This is a reminder that every person you share a location with, is one more person with information you can’t control.
The owner seems to have a security system of sorts I don’t understand how it works. It’s a metal box with a large red light and a siren on it, and a toggle switch. I’m assuming that flipping the switch will activate the alarm. There’s no keypad therefore I believe it’s sole purpose is to protect the basement area.
I believe that the best locations aren’t the ones you forget about a day later. The best locations are the ones that stay in your mind for days afterward. I found myself wondering who this man was and what happened to him?
If he was in long-term care then what would happen to his collection?
I spent the next several days scouring the internet for information. I discovered that the clocks had originally been part of another man’s collection. That man had since passed away.
I made some inquiries and learned that the couple who owned this house passed away several years ago. This seemed to coincide with additional information that the house had been transferred to the son for an amount of $2 in 2006. 2006 is also the time when the homeowner’s purchases of clocks ceased.
Why wasn’t the son tending to the property? This is where things get even more interesting. I found a man with the same name as the son, who grew up in the same area, now living in another large Ontario city. It’s now been confirmed that this is the son.
In my research I heard from a neighbour who claimed he used to hire the son (the man in the wedding photos) during the 70’s and 80’s. He confirmed that both the husband and wife have passed away.
There is a somewhat happy end to this story though. The neighbour mentioned that the property is regularly checked on. I hope that whoever is caring for it can fix the damage before it’s too late.
It was by chance that a couple of urban explorers happened upon this property. They graciously shared it with me, because of the many years I’ve been exploring, and felt it could be trusted to me.
Due to the contents found within the house, I cannot disclose its whereabouts to my fellow explorers. It’s difficult to keep places secret these days so it must be this way. It’s also the arrangement that was made with those who trusted me with the address.