Welcome to Wrecky Rat Bird Strange Ontario

The name, Wrecky Rat Bird, comes from my nephew, Zack. When he was a little boy we told him about the old, abandoned buildings as we stopped to take a look at various places (or made notes to come back and see them later). He began calling them “wrecky rat bird” places because they were wrecks with rats and birds living in them.

The name stuck. The nephew is almost 19 now (October, 2014) and he explores and takes photos too.

This site began as a place to post about my urban exploration photography from rural Ontario, Canada. Photographing ruined and abandoned places in Ontario. Mainly farm houses.

Urban exploration is an activity for photographers, amateur city planners and history buffs, intrigued by the decay of the built environment.

  • abandoned places
  • industrial decay
  • rural exploration
  • haikyo
  • wrecks
  • ghost towns
  • cemeteries
  • ghost signs
  • underground
  • under water
  • rooftopping
  • drain boating
  • modern ruins

Not everything is urban exploration (as I see it): skywalking, train surfing, graffiti, salvage, or vandalism.

This is the first house I explored (on my own) with a digital camera. I had to duck under a gate and get a little snow covered. I didn’t have any extra memory with my camera (it was that new!). Sadly I only got 16 photographs before I ran out of space. Getting back to my car I realized my keys were somewhere back there.

From those early days I learned a lot about how to explore, how to photograph and the history of old houses. Exploring an old house is just the beginning. The best parts are being there and then coming home to take a better look at it through your own photos.

I took this photo in 2006. The house was demolished sometime later. I still drive by the location and most of the time I still look at the void where this house was. I’m not the only person who noticed this house or stopped to take a picture of it. But, there is nothing like viewing your own photograph and how you remember being there from seeing it all again: the sights, smells, wind, rain, snow and dive bombing birds.

Take only photographs – leave only footprints.

I’ve been an urban explorer before I knew the name for it. I love history and old buildings and architecture in particular. People ask “did you go inside?”. I seldom do. It doesn’t feel right to enter the house where someone else lived and not be invited or permitted. I don’t feel the same about places which were once open for the public, but these tend to be locked up once they are abandoned. So, one way or another I seldom enter the ruined places I photograph.

Note: The photos I post here are for people to enjoy seeing. No commercial use. Find your own adventures and take your own photographs, these are mine.

See also:


I want to know everything. Knowing I’m not immortal to see the future, or able to create a time machine to look at the past and the future… bothers me. How can I ever be satisfied when there is so much I don’t know!

Of course, the more I find out about the more I want to know. Knowledge is bottomless, endless and I will run out of time long before I run out of viable brain matter, and that bugs me.
The future is out there. I can see some of it, imagine more of it. I look at what we have and try to deduce what will come. Without immorality or a time machine, that’s the best I can do.
History is alive in our words, our traditions, our beliefs and our lifestyle.

I’m interested in: retro science, utopias, spirituality, traditions, the pioneering spirit, the paranormal, science fiction, survivalist theories, folk tales and vintage ideas.

I enjoy history. But, so many people think it is dull when you present it as a topic of conversation. I think they are assuming history is all about long winded tomes in the library under attack by dust bunnies and cobwebs. History is right now, each second passes into history. History is how we can see into the future.

I live in Ontario and I like old buildings, forgotten places, etc. If you have looked at a few urban exploration sites you know all the usual stuff. I’m not going to be amazingly different. But, I do have my own perspective and I take my own photographs. Sometimes I will post about places I want to see, places demolished, and places I can’t visit but did find (online, otherwise I would have taken my own photographs).

I keep a directory of links to other explorers, groups and the odd location. I very seldom share locations myself. Vandalism being the main problem. I have shown filmmakers to a few locations so I can officially call myself a location scout, which is interesting on a resume.

My name is Laura. Hello. Season’s Greetings (There are four seasons, year round). So greetings of the season to you!