Abandoned Cat Lady House

The Abandoned Cat Lady House

The abandoned cat lady house in Ontario that was originally discovered by me in the summer of 2012, it would come to be one of the most sought after abandoned homes in the province.

February 2016 – The Abandoned Cat Lady House burned down on the evening of Monday February 1st/Early Tuesday February 2nd – News Link.  Update at bottom of page.

December 2016 – Updated with new photos previously unpublished

Finding an abandoned home like this Abandoned Cat Lady House is mostly luck, mixed with knowing where to look and most importantly knowing what signs to look for. Many of the abandoned houses I’ve found looked abandoned. There are those that you just aren’t sure about though…take the crazy cat lady house for example.  Like most urban explorers do, we’re always looking for the obvious signs

-overgrown grass
-broken windows
-boarded windows
-no mailbox/mailbox stuffed with newspapers and phonebooks.

Driving home on a summer night I saw a property with a very faded sign with the painted name of the farm barely visible. Beyond that sign was a slightly overgrown lawn that showed some signs of maintenance. There were rows of pear trees and a car parked in the driveway. The Abandoned Cat Lady House was set far back from the road almost totally out of sight.

I pulled in acting like I made a wrong turn, in-case someone was actually there. First thing I noticed was a chain across the front door and overgrown weeds on the long steps leading up. The inside French doors were open and part of the ceiling tiles had collapsed from water damage..but I still was a little unsure of whether this is abandoned or not.


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I was right

After circling the entire house in the surrounding sun room I made my way inside the house, I was immediately overcome by the smell of cat…..cat pee, cat feces, cat litter…cat death.

Then, I realized it’s not only cat smells all around me, it’s also cat stuff….



The next thing that I could not avoid was the wallpaper…awful, awful wallpaper in every room…




Upon further exploration of the Abandoned Cat Lady House , the many rooms and the two floors, you get a strong sense of sadness and loneliness, it’s very hard in an abandonment like this one to not draw your own conclusions of what happened. There are so many personal items all over the house, not claimed by any family members….just left




Two of the most heart breaking things that I found in this house were a cane, resting against the couch….as though that’s where it was left when the owner passed away, alone in the living room…

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The other, was a card written to a father by his daughter who has moved away to Germany, she talks about keeping up his daily walks and to not smoke so much…

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There are countless other items throughout the home…

Like this jewelry box, the ballerina still spun when I opened it and the song played one whole time, and then it stopped.

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These drawings, done by one of the owners.  There were dozens of pages of these sketches.



I found a few photos that I had carefully placed in the same spot as where the photo was taken…



And finally, as if there wasn’t enough sadness in this house, and proof that the owner had died in the house, I found this – what looks like a cat..I wonder how long it wandered the home afraid before she tucked herself underneath the chair and let herself die….

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After my first visit I had invited a few trusted explorers to see the place, and not long after that the scrappers made their way there. The copper pipes had been pulled from the walls, the brass light fixtures gone, the kitchen and living room looted.

I have been two times since and this place has become a popular spot among local urban explorers, regardless of the looting, scrapping and the fact that nothing is as it was what I found it, it still attracts visitors and every shot I see from another explorer is another reminder of how sad it felt on that first visit.


Update to this story in 2015: This house has been destroyed, looted and tagged to the point that this home is no longer unique or remarkable.  A number of so called explorers have published videos of this house and stupidly published the address and even the name of the woman who lived here.  It is now one of the easiest abandoned homes to find in the area, thanks to a handful of people with no care or regard for preservation.  This house is one example of why I am so careful with who I share information with, and what information I provide when I publish images and stories.  Destruction and looting is inevitable, but anything I can to to hold that off, I will gladly do.

Update to this story February 2016:  On the night of February 1st/early morning February 2nd this house was burned to the ground and completely destroyed.  The news reports are all saying the fire investigators suspect this was an arson.  Here is a photo taken by Andrew Collins/ while the fire was burning.

Burlington Cat Lady House Abandoned Fire
Burlington Cat Lady House Walkers Line Fire, photo taken by Andrew Collins/@ACollinsPhoto


Here are some photos taken with my cell phone of the scene the day of the fire

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.


52 thoughts on “Abandoned Cat Lady House”

  1. I found some photos online token by other people…the place is not the same anymore, trashes, paintings, and destructions…

  2. What great architecture in the making of this house.. Would have loved to travel this exploration with you. I collect houses. The way one collects dreams. That is they are seen once and remain my mental possessions forever. The Franklin Castle in Cleveland will be mine forever. Only there one time 40 years ago. But oh my, what an interesting place. At any rate, all of that to say how much I appreciate your explorations and your sharing them with us. Thank you so much.

  3. You are amazing, caring, respectful and compassionate and the urban explorer world needs more of you and less of those who give out names and addresses and wreck places beyond their history story. Thank goodness you took photos of the place before it got damaged, and thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  4. Melissa Boucher

    Looking at the pictures, as you went through the house, you can could feel and see the sadness and loneliness of her home. I am sure if she was watching you, she would be so proud knowing you treated her home with respect and kindness.
    Shame on those who looted and destroyed her home. Karma can be kind or cruel and they will get their punishment.
    Please always remember that you are a caring and loving person and be proud of that. I am sure Karma is watching over you and very proud of you as well.
    Thank you for posting your journey in this home with us.
    Many blessings to you.

  5. I have mixed feelings … on one hand they are compelling and interesting photos, they kind of cross the line when you publish personal photos and letters … If it were me and I ran across photos (just an example) of my old great-aunt who we knew was a little eccentric I would be horrified ! You have to realize that hoarding, whether it be articles or animals … is a mental illness. Personally I wouldn’t share those. Otherwise Great Job !

  6. Thats just sad what a beautiful home. I would have loved to have bought it and lived in it. So gorgeous. Fully understand why you keep the address Secret. Because people are rude.

  7. Donna L Cosimano

    When I saw the man sitting with the cat, I almost gasped. He looked like my Dad back when he was well. I’m sure he and his cat are together forever now.

  8. I am sorry about that poor kitty that died alone and scared. I would never do that to my animals. I would make sure, that they would be taken care of, in the event of anything happening to me or if I was terminally ill.

  9. so sad to see people break the “rules” of urban exploring by damaging and looting…i would have loved to see this place as it was in your pics …knowing it’s not like that now takes away my urge to see it …again, so sad

  10. Thank you for your care and thoughtfulness. This story is truly heartbreaking. She must have been a wonderful woman and someone-anyone….should have come to her aid and assistance for not only her but for any animals she had as well.

  11. It was obviously a man who lived here. Re the men’s glasses and the Dad cards. The music box indicates that a woman also lived here at one time. The floral wallpaper also suggests this, and that she or he were developing mental issues. …My guess is that the wife passed away leaving her husband very lonely and alone. He passed away and having no family here (daughter was in Germany) had no one to come and claim the cat. When the authorities came to remove his body, they may not have informed the Humane Society of the cat. It is also possible that they could not locate or catch the cat. By the pictures, he was a caring person and would never have abandoned his pets Whatever the story, it paints a very sad picture. ………This is Canada. The elderly are neglected and forgotten. If you know of someone who is alone take time to get to know them. Your visit might brighten their day and you never know it might enhance your life also.

  12. I just saw the story on CBC news that this house burned last night. I have seen suggestions online that it was arson.

  13. Tammy Shoemaker

    I loved reading your story about this home! It’s a sad story, I am intrigued about the homeowners and what happened to them, to their family. It’s a beautiful home! I cannot imagine juat leaving it sit and not doing something with it.
    I saw the link to the news of the fire. Extrememly sad that people have to destroy what isn’t theirs and then foe someone to burn it down! (The story says arson) Horrible thing to have happened, no matter how long it had been empty. This was someone’s home, their life, someone’s family memories.
    Thank you for sharing!

  14. That is such a sad story. My heart breaks for the poor kitty. People are so thoughtless. It only takes time to rescue someone or an animal. My son one time spent 4 hours talking a poor kitty into feeling safe enough to be rescued, she has now lived with me for 15 years and I love her beyond belief. Some times people take longer, but they are worth the effort. People forget that one day they will be old — like that one person said, Karma is a bitch. Those who had a hand in this should rethink their lives —–. Thank you for sharing. Someone, somewhere, learned something from your story, the others never will.

  15. Went there last summer with a few friends at 1 am, it was pretty trashed but I’d give anything to see it the way you saw it and it saddens me to see how wretched it was, I wanted to go to it again in daylight this summer but I guess it’s too late.

  16. I think that may have been a small dog on the mans lap,looking at the ears and face . I saw this story a while ago with less pictures.The place looks happier after seeing more animals and people.

  17. Thank is so sad I felt sad reading then a tear trickled down my cheek when I seen the cat then when I learned it burned down because of looters people ect I cried. I love your work your pictures are amazing. I also visit abandon places as well. I never give out the addresses or take any identifying photos like pics or a road or house number sometimes I don’t even take a picture of the outside because people can locate it.
    Awesome Work My friend you are so passionate about your work.

  18. Patrice Nagel

    These pictures make me so sad. I am an empath so sometimes very difficult to look at every picture without crying. Thank you for taking these pictures and another thank you for trying to keep the privacy of the survivors

  19. The last photos made me physically ill. I was also angry. How would those a-holes feel if someone came in their home and looted it and started it on fire? Abandoned or not, have some respect. Im glad that not all urban explorers are the same so thank you for respecting the properties you venture through. 🙂

  20. This is incredibly sad, not much people have compassion for the elderly, looks like no one ever went out of their way to check on the people or the animals. Even worse that someone decided to burn the place down. :'(

  21. The home was beautiful I’m so sorry that the place was destroyed . I wish like u the place could have been left as u found. The kitty (s). R now w/ who cared 4 them and both r in a better happier place now. We know the kitty (s) 4sure. 2 people who go and destroy things yet have nothing better 2 do and need a real hobby. If u find anymore places that r time capsules . Don’t put on line, such interesting things should not b touched????. Thank you 4 putting on line. Neet 2 see. Hope all is well tootles

  22. This is a beautiful home and the fact that people have the need destroy something g so beautiful is just not right. Kitty is in heaven being taken care of and I hope the lady is 2 . ??????????

  23. The dead cat photo I just don’t think should have been included, especially without a warning. I felt for the old owner and thought it was otherwise respectful, but when I saw that this just became the dead cat story and I wished I hadn’t read it. I’m an animal person though, and I always hope I never see that when exploring. I’d probably be scared if I saw a human corpse, but emotionally I think I’d handle it better than a dog or cat.

  24. Cat lady and spouse and cats r all in a better happier place now no need 2 b sad??????

  25. Thanks for telling this story in such a respectful way. We should all try to remember those without family around us… so sad to see the last picture of the house owner with a pet (it is a chihuahua, NOT a cat though) and the last of the cats passed away on the floor… so sad, a cat may hide when strangers come to fetch the owner and people forget to fine search the home… so sad that a beloved pet dies this way… so sad too to see how vandalism ruins someones dear home. This house once was a fantastic one!

  26. This is one of the most interesting set of photos also the most sad. I love how you held up the pictures in the exact spot they were taken. That really brought it to life and made the photo’s real.

  27. So sad. I did the same thing with old black and white photos that I would find at flea markets. I look at the people and wonder who they were. If they’re sill alive. What did. I feel myself being sucked into the photo and wonder why it’s here, alone. Where are their families, why are they forgotten. I finally had to stop looking at things like this because it sucked me in and made me so sad. But thank you for taking up the cause.

  28. Angela Steckly

    omg that looked like it once was a beautiful home for a family i fel in love with the house concept of they lay out ,, beautiful ,,, just beautiful

  29. This is heartbreaking. The photo of what was left of the cat, probably the only thing left that loved this poor woman who died here. It’s also a shame that people ruined that house. Maybe someone could have loved it. It was a beautiful home.

  30. Peggy A Chavez

    Sadly, mother nature was claiming the house before the worst of the vandalism started. From some of the earlier photos you could see that the roof was going, and at the point you see interior ceilings collapsing, the damage is probably fatal. Nobody could have loved that amazing home; with it’s truly horrifying wallpaper (even on the ceiling) and the bowers of fake plants; like it’s creator did. I guess her name was Fern and she died at ninety while her home was still in all it’s glory. Still, the humans who did the rest of the damage are heartless monsters.

  31. I love to explore abandoned places too. I understand the feeling you feel whan you walk and take pictures. And yes sometimes you take pictures who will become the last testimony of a life… I had a place like that closed to my home and it finished unfortunally like your story-place… Such a big difference between preople like us and the others…
    Thank you very much to share 🙂

  32. I love the pictures, and how heartfelt the descriptions are. very very well written!

  33. Gabriella Forgues- Holland

    This is so heartbreaking to see this homes slow demise. It is sad enough to see a gorgeous, unique house like this sit uncharished and unlived in. To stay sitting and rotting knowing that there are plenty of people who can’t afford to own a home to call their own and raise their families. Yet this glorious gem sits unloved and rotting and then monsters invade absolutely defiling it,destroying it along with the possessions & memories of its dear owners and finally in the last act of maliciousness setting it ablaze. This house has so many beautiful features such as the wood beamed ceiling, rounded walls, stone floors and grand sunroom . Such a shame to see it treated so poorly after its owners passing.

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