“Abandoned” – North Pickering, Ontario

“Abandoned” - North Pickering, Ontario

Near my home is a large tract of land (7,530 hectares) which was expropriated by the federal government in the early 70’s as the site of a future airport. After several decades, the airport is no closer to happening, communities have disappeared and, other than a few residences and farms, most buildings have fallen into such disrepair that they have had to be demolished. For a few years it was even a challenge to photograph on these lands, which are public property, because the private security company hired by the government to patrol the land would frequently stop me and ask what I was doing, even though I had my camera gear clearly visible.

What this history has offered is some vast open tracts of rolling rural landscapes and a few interesting buildings in various stages of decay. I spend quite a bit of time in this area and it has yielded some nice photos which document the transition of this land over the years. There are now less buildings, thicker underbrush, and a generally overgrown appearance. The image above is a fairly typical fall view of the fields and woodlands. Soybeans, ready for harvest grow in the foreground and an abandoned building shows through the overgrown lot. What I found interesting on this fairly dull and overcast day, was the splashes of colour among the tree trunks and branches highlighted by a few rays of sun, offering a nice contrast to dark skies above. It’s one of those moments that’s gone quickly and rarely offers itself again. I also reflect upon the house, knowing people once lived there and wonder what those days may have been like. My mother-in-law’s family had a farm on the airport land, which has long since been demolished and leveled, yet the memories live on. I can’t image what it would be like to go back to the house I grew up in, only to find no trace of it ever existing.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/5.6 @ 195mm
1/200 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 200

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