This house is one of the top abandoned locations I ever had the privilege of exploring in Ontario. It was shared with me by a photographer known as The Secret Lens. The house sits along a main road in a small Southern Ontario town. The land is used for farming and the house could be easily mistaken for being lived in. It was purchased by John and Katerina in 1951.
I don’t have any information as to what happened to the family except to say that it still remains in the family name.
When I visited in 2015 the power was still working.
The era is evident with this cool pole lamp, a modern fixture of the 70’s.
What could be the master bedroom with cool wallpaper put up over that crappy wood covering. Is it any wonder the wallpaper didn’t stick? The safe box you see on the dresser had a hand grenade inside of it. I was never able to find it as it was hidden by others who found it, but it was there.
The bedframe is certainly vintage.
The living room is perhaps the highlight of the house. The old reclining chair, wallpapered stairs, and the aerial television.
Looking at the opposite end of the living room we see another pole lamp and not-that old couch.
A quite old clock radio (AM only) and a smaller clock clearly go back several decades.
In the kitchen is a hutch with collectibles placed on the shelves, a bottle of alcohol and some papers.
Down in the basement you’ll find it’s not so much different than that of the upper living room. Carpeted floors, old television and chairs.
There is water damage in the kitchen.
Katerina was born in Slovakia on April 29, 1910 and died August 13, 1968. John was born in 1905 and passed away in 1993. Based on the items inside the house it looks very much like John would have moved out around 1968 and perhaps went into a retirement home.
I returned in 2018 to a much different house.
The living room has been largely cleared out and a drum kit has been set up.
The basement has been filled from corner to corner with Christmas ornaments and assorted boxes. It’s difficult to navigate. What will become of this time capsule? Who can say.
This is the abandoned home of a couple who raised five children. The story is a familiar one – the children moved off and one of the couple passed away. The wife passed away in the fall of 2013.
It looks like one of the sons may have lived in the house in some of the final years of use. There is electricity and food in the fridge – however it’s rotten. The kitchen is filled with canned items, the fridge has rotting milk (I didn’t think to check the expiration date). There is so much stuff scattered about that it looks to have been a hoarder’s house.
The living room is overflowing with books, movies, magazines. A small television table has old peanut butter and ketchup containers on it. You can picture the elderly resident sitting here having supper in front of the television.
It’s difficult to understand if this is how the person lived, or if someone came in afterwards and began to pack up the life possessions. One thing is certain, the house has been locked in time.
The house has fortunately remained off the “shitbag” radar due to the lengthy driveway that hides it from the road. It’s easy to drive in and park the car on site and not be seen. There’s been no vandalism here, it’s nice to see an untouched house remain just that.
Raccoons have taken up home in the house and don’t be surprised if you encounter one or two.
The bedroom provides a glimpse of someone’s childhood: a name tag, a toy microscope kit.
One story according to locals is that the resident just walked out the door one day and headed for a retirement home down the road – leaving everything behind.
The highlight of course is the spiral staircase.
The man was an amateur radio enthusiast – something that appealed to me. An old Radio Shack scanner is the first sign of his hobby. Today these are obsolete, everything is digital and encrypted.
For those who claim we entered someone’s house while they were out getting groceries…
They say never to look in the fridge. This is why…
These photos courtesy of Noah.Nowhere show the ongoing weather damage. Also it looks as if someone has tossed items down the stairs. A few things have been thrown out through the front windows.
The house last I checked, had no more electricity. Things have been tossed about and picked through. The inevitable outcome for any once pristine location.
Originally found and shared with the community by Ground State as “Mother in the Eyes of Time”.
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.
This mansion is referred to as the Star Wars Collectible Mansion with good reason. There are thousands of dollars in Star Wars merchandise to be found inside.
This home was built in 2000 for a Chinese man. He was married with a wife and had three children. The man worked as an architect for the City of Toronto. Below you can see many magazines, stereo equipment, large television and an X-Box console. Everything is left as it was.
Mail has piled up several feet from the inside of the mail slot in the front door. Mold and decay have begun to destroy the area above and to the left of the main doors.
In another front room several more books and magazines have accumulated here. The electricity is still functional. I was able to turn on a ceiling fan and lights in several of the rooms.
Upstairs are several boxes of shoes new in the box and clothes on racks. The Star Wars Mansion appears to have been the base of an online business. This was reaffirmed with online auction print outs in the office.
In total there are six bathrooms and five bedrooms. There’s even an elevator for the three floors of the home.
In the dining room are boxes and boxes of new-in-the-box Star Wars merchandise. There are Millennium Falcons, C-3POs, R2D2’s, Boba Fette’s and so much more. It’s difficult to take a step without stepping on unopened merchandise.
In the basement there’s an entire room the size of a garage filled with even more unopened merchandise that includes Stormtrooper ray guns. If I had to give an estimate on the total value of the memorabilia I’d say there’s at least $10,000 to $50,000.
In the office den are dozens of books, Star Trek and Star Wars boxed items and assorted movie DVD’s. There’s a professional television camera, a camcorder and film cameras.
After a few trustworthy explorers visited here, the owners secured the property. A private security company has been seen on the property. There is also an alarm.
The Piano Teacher Time Capsule is an abandoned house in Ontario once lived in by two musicians from Estonia. The house has remained undisturbed for many years and only recently could it be explored.
This was the home of Klaudia Voiko and Tatjana Jakobson (Talvi Jaldre) . Voika was born May 31, 1909 in Valga, Estonia. Jaldre was born August 18, 1905 in Tartu, Estonia.
Talvi graduated from Tallinn Conservatoire in 1932 as a sound artist. The following year she found work as a vocal and music teacher at a school in Tallinn.
Talvi was an accomplished piano player who performed concerts often with another teacher who taught at the same school. Her name was Leida Aalundi.
The duo played two pianos simultaneously while performing music by Mozart, Arenski, and Debussy in the Estonia Theatre. These concerts took place between 1939 and 1941. During World War II, Talvi lost her home, pianos and valuable books and notes. She moved in 1944 to Germany where she found work at the Estonian Gymnasium and Estonian National School of Music.
Germany turned out not to be a suitable place for Talvi to make a living so in the fall of 1948 she moved to Canada where she found work as a maid.
In 1951 Talvi opened her own piano studio in Toronto and became a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA). She was regarded as one of the best music educators in Toronto among Estonians.
The age range of her students was between 7 to 15 years of age. In 1952 her first student’s concert evening was held in June at the Old Andres Church.
She would encourage her students to compete in competitions where they could receive prizes and scholarships.
Not long after she came to Canada, Talvi was involved in a car accident in which she was trapped under a speeding car. This left her hospitalized for some time.
By 1990, she was 85 years old and began to slow down in her teaching. She missed some of her student’s concerts due to her health.
Klaudia was a graduate of the University of Tartu in Estonia. Even though Klaudia lived in Canada he retained ownership of over 50% of the Estonian Music Academy in Tartu, Estonia located on Rootli Street.
After the war many Estonians began arriving in Canada. In January of 1949, a priest named Pastor Puhm at St. Peter’s Church in Toronto decided to start a Sunday School for Estonian children. There Voiko taught fourteen youths history lessons.
At some point in time Talvi and Voiko’s lives led them to live together although I’m not certain if they were in a relationship.
They lived at 366 Cleveland Street in Toronto until sometime in the 2000’s when they moved a little further north. There are several mentions of the couple in Estonian newspapers published in Canada.
Talvi passed away on May 24, 2002 at the age of 96. Klaudia passed away on August 17, 2005 also at the age of 96. Having lived long lives and without any apparent children, the house has sat forgotten about for almost 14 years.
Urban explorers have known about the house and checked in on it over the years. In the summer of 2019, a couple of impatient explorers decided to force their way inside. There’s significant damage to the door frame where you can see it was kicked in. These actions are looked down upon by the majority of urban explorers.
As word spread that there was a way inside, the house began to make its way to social media. Time capsule houses such as this are a rare gem and there’s normally care taken to ensure that they remain this way by keeping identifying information offline.
I was dismayed to find that those who’d been here were posting exterior photos of the house making it readily identifiable and some were mentioning the city it was located in.
It seemed that this particular time capsule wasn’t going to be given the same respect that others had been. I should mention that the aforementioned idiocy was done by people who were new to the hobby. The respected explorers who visited here, didn’t disclose any identifying details. It’s a hobby without any ‘rules’ so who am I to say what should or should not be posted. I am however explaining what happens when too much information is given.
There’s still electricity in this house, though who’s paying for it is not clear. The phone does not have a dial tone (I’ve masked out the number). A window in the kitchen has been broken and glass shards lie in the sink. The window has been boarded up from the outside indicating that at some point in time someone has been checking up on the property.
Lotions and shampoos line the bathroom counter. The tub is filled with cleaning products. towels hang from the shower curtain as if left to dry just this morning.
In a rear bedroom is a piano with a portrait sketch on top of it, I don’t know who the woman is in the sketch. Another bedroom is filled with boxes and furniture placed in storage. Perhaps there’s more to be found by spending time in this room.
The living room contains many books, a television placed very near the sitting chair (I’m assuming that by this time the occupant’s vision was poor).
As you make your way from room to room you can begin to get sense of who these people were. A Salvation Army button indicates perhaps one of them volunteered for the agency.
It’s only when you enter the basement that you fully appreciate how much this couple loved their music, and art.
Here we see several paintings and sketches. There were envelopes filled with them.
In photographs throughout the house you can see children. Who were these youths?
So many questions.
As you move further into the recreation room you’ll notice shelves of old vinyl records. There’s an antique record player with a Radio Shack tuner & record player on top. Many of the record albums are old classical records from Bach, Beethoven, etc. You can almost picture the couple sitting on the couch as they played these memories on a summer’s night. There are sheets with piano music on them.
This is a portable General Electric record player. The speakers folded out and the record player folded down. When it’s not in use you can carry it from one location to another. The grey and black device to the middle left is the piece that would go on top of the middle spindle when you play a 45 RPM record. 33 RPM records would fit over the small spindle without the attachment.
Various foreign to English dictionaries and a World Association of Estonians membership card.
This perfectly preserved home belonged to a couple born at the beginning of this century. The couple’s lives were spent teaching the music to others. It’s not decades of time sealed in a capsule but the house is memorable given the years worth of history behind it.
I found a web page belonging to a woman who was taught piano lessons as a child by Talvi. She is now a well known pianist who performs for others.
While these two musicians are no longer with us, their memories live on in this article.
All research and writing by Talking Walls Photography
Arne’s house was constructed around 1850. He lived along Leslie Street in Aurora, Ontario in a fairly undeveloped area.
Arne raised racing horses and founded two other horse farms in Ontario. I explored this property on a long weekend in August of 2013. At the time the house was filled with original items and you could call it a ‘time capsule’. Arne was born in 1924, and passed away in 1998.
I’m uncertain if the house had been abandoned for the last 15 years. It’s likely that the house was still being used because the electricity was working. There were signs of water damage as you can see below.
The device above is used for horses. I’m not certain what function it performs.
The room above was a separate part of the property. I believe this was the ‘stable boys’ living area. It contained a living room and bedroom area. This was located behind the main house.
By December of 2013 the entire property was town down, now only memories remain.