Abandoned Ontario Buddha Retreat

Buddha statue

Originally discovered in 2012, this location has gone downhill over the years. It was found at the end of a nondescript driveway in a large Ontario city. Buddha statues began to appear in the trees near the end of the driveway.

The outdoor statues were life size and untouched by the hands of vandals. 

Buddha statue in the forest
Buddha statue in the forest

Abandoned Ontario Buddha retreat
outdoor Buddha statue

The first building that we encountered appeared to have been lived in by a squatter. An extension cord had been run outside from another building allowing for an electric heater to be plugged in. Candles were laid out to provide for lighting. There was a mattress on the floor to sleep upon. 

candles used by squatter
electrical cords and candles

squatter mattress
someone was staying here at one point

Whomever was staying here was long gone, we’ve never encountered a squatter in real life – only the signs one had been present. 

Buddha's Bar

In the larger of the buildings was a Hindu shrine of sorts. It contained several Buddha statues in bags as if they were for sale. Several other Buddha statues were arranged on tables. 

In July of 2012 new windows were installed and people were observed working on the property with a variety of tools. By 2013 the outdoor statues were removed. 

Buddha's Bar

In the photo below you can see the statues arranged on tables. 

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

The main building with shrine contained a kitchen. We observed the stove clock flashing, there was no food to be found. There was a washer and dryer in another part of the building, and in the back was an office. I found a business card which would seem to indicate that this was to be a day retreat. Perhaps the funding ran out? 

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha statue

I’m not familiar with the Hindi culture but to me this looked like an altar or area of worship. 

Hindi altar with Buddha statues

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

I decided to return here in November of 2019, seven years later. The end of the driveway had been blocked with a pile of dirt and fallen trees. It no longer resembled a driveway and I wasn’t sure that the buildings would still be there. As we climbed our way to the end of the driveway I was excited to see that the buildings still there. However my heart sank when I noticed the glass had been smashed on the doors. 

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

All but one of the statues had been smashed. Some of them were outside while several others had been put into a corner of the room. 

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

Every pane of glass has been smashed. 

Buddha's Bar
Return visit 2019

The shrine is no more. 

Buddha's Bar

Buddha's Bar

As with all locations, those who were able to capture it in the beginning captured it in the essence of what it once was and what it will never be again.