Freaktography 2021 Review

Kilometers Driven in 2021

17,440

Locations Explored in 2021

104

Most Viewed Page on Website
Peter Grant Mansion - 31,333 Views
Most Viewed YouTube Video
FOUND GUNS and MONEY - 501,527 Views

A few stats to get us started

  • In 2021 I explored 104 different places.
  • That is down from 129 in 2020, but I was not working from April – October 2020, so I spent a lot of time exploring.
  • I only did 13 waterfalls this year, a drop in the bucket compared to the 31 I did in 2021
  • In 2021 I drove 17,440 km exploring, this includes two trips to Quebec, a trip to Kirkland Lake, then over to Sudbury, then through Muskoka and back home as well as several weekend road trips.
  • I have three locations that I can’t post or even hint to you about – but those who know, know!  One of those locations was very high risk, and it was f#$ing Awesome

So, let’s look at some of my favourite locations of 2021

Favourite Locations Explored

Click the images on the left side below to see the photo galleries for ear location

Abandoned Author And Artists Time Capsule House In The Woods

One of the first locations of the year and it was everything we love to see in an abandoned location, it was remote, it was difficult to get in, it had extremely advanced decay, it had EVERYTHING left behind and the strangest part - it still has power! I recently learned that this home was sold in a tax sale and it will be demolished eventually, but today it still looks much like this

The Widows Walk House

This location didn’t last very long, it was figured out very quickly by many people who all went and posted at the same time, myself included. This resulted in several of us being asked to take our content down and not return The home was sealed up rather quickly by whomever owns it, but it was an excellent house while it lasted!

Abandoned Tudor Revival Mansion of a Reclusive Eccentric Artist

Good things come to those who wait and this one was definitely worth it! First brought to my attention in late 2020, I would try and fail here in March of 2021. Fast forward a few more months and people started posting interiors, it seems someone finally went the distance and made a way in! Full of belongings, furniture and some serious decay, I’ve been told that the man who lived here passed away in the house

The Abandoned Highway Book Store

My first stop on a long early summer road trip was to see if I could explore this old abandoned book store. I had no expectations of getting inside, so I was very shocked when I arrived to see there were no signs, no cameras and a very easy and obvious way in. Inside the air was thick, it was pitch black and it smelled just like you probably think it did - like old books. It was a peaceful and relaxing exploration, I took my time and enjoyed the surroundings before heading off to sleep for the night. I would hold off and not post the location for over 6 months to give those who knew about it time to get there, I only told a handful of people about it. Then, just as I expected, once I posted it 6 months later, it was quickly sealed, posted and cameras added. Sorry guys - y’all waited too long!

Overnight in an Abandoned Castle

This one was a last minute surprise, I was away for several days and met up with some local friends. After we had a fantastic day exploring some top notch locations, they asked me if I wanted to see one that was better than all of them - does a bear shit in the woods? They sent me the location and access info and off I went, I gave up an entire afternoon and evening of planned locations to drive to this one, get in and set up. I was going to spend the night, so I had to stop for food, beer, water etc so I could hunker down for the night. It was a fun night all alone in this huge abandoned “castle” and the sleeping accommodations were some of the best I’ve ever had! In the morning I woke up and got to experience the whole place in a whole new light - it was much different inside from night to day.

Birthday in an Abandoned Religious Institution

What a place to spend my birthday!! This one was a birthday gift from my friend Urban Downfall, it was a very very long drive and I needed to get here to scout my access point and get to my hotel by 8pm since there was curfew imposed at the time. I arrived to find the entire location was surrounded by almost waist deep snow, and I would have to walk, climb and crawl through all of this snow to find my way in, and then back out again. It was exhausting, it’s not a small building, there were fences to climb, obstacles and the snow that I mentioned was waist deep. I finally found a very not obvious way in, now I had to hike back out to get to my hotel, which I did with 5 mins to spare. Up bright and early the next day - my birthday, I spent hours inside admiring this beautiful old building. I really didn’t want to leave, but I had so much more to see and explore.

Fourth Falls - Northern Ontario

Fourth Falls is (so far) the farthest and most remote waterfall that I have been to, just driving there was an adventure in itself. Make a turn off of a gravel road onto a dirt road that winds and twists all over the place with sand and rock obstacles and the potential of a wash out at any moment that would force me to drive in reverse all the way back out. There would be no wash outs, but the road comes to a dead end and I would have to hike the rest of the way. If at any point in my life I thought I’d have a bear encounter - it was here! I did bring an air horn with me in the event that I spotted one. Now, imagine you’re hiking through thick brush, up and down ravines and obstacles. You can hear the rushing water but you have no idea how far it is. Then, just like in The Wizard of Oz when it goes from black and white to colour, the greenery, the trees and the leaves open up and you enter a vast rocky opening, bright blue skies and a powerful crashing waterfall just a few steps away! There have been very few moments in my life as peaceful and tranquil as this one, I highly recommend that anyone who is able, get to Fourth Falls!!!

Other Highlights and Accomplishments from 2021

2021 was full of a variety of things for me from road trips with and without friends, new opportunities, expanding horizons, trying new things and so much more.

Let’s take a look at some of these other things that made 2021 a special year for me.

New Friends & Exploring Partners

In 2021 I decided to make a serious effort to meet some new and more interesting & positive people with like minds, similar interests and just all around good people. I found those things in a number of people this year. I have enjoyed several excursions and great times with friends s0s1nc3r3, DecayingRay, Life of Deeg, MotleyKiwi, TheEasyKayBreazy, DDoggVlogs, FallsThroughFloors, Magnoodles and others. It has been a serious breath of fresh air to truly enjoy this hobby with a fun and creative group of people.

The Handmaids Tale

i have been wanting to do a themed series of photos based on The Handmaids Tale for a few years and this year I decided to make it happen. With help from Victoria and my friend Raven, we visited several filming locations used in the series to recreate scenes and take some original photos inspired by the series.

Fire Breathing Photography

My friend Magnoodles is a fire breather and an extremely creative guy, when I had the idea to shoot him breathing fire in abandoned places he had no hesitations. Over two nights we met up at 3 locations, I had done my research ahead of time to make sure I knew what settings to use, we ended up having a blast and I'd love to do this some more!

The Rockcliffe

In the late spring of 2021 I was contacted by two guys named Dan and Mark, they are the new owners of The Rockcliffe Tavern in Minden, Ontario. The building has fallen into serious disrepair and will have to be demolished. Knowing of my work and my style, they asked if I would be interested in coming by to do a video about the past, present and future of this legendary music venue. It was one of the most fun, rewarding projects I had done to date and I learned a whole lot about proper documentary style video and photography work.

Adam Shoalts Book & Interview

In the Fall I was contacted by Canadian author and wilderness explorer Adam Shoalts about helping him to promote his new book, The Whisper on the Night Wind. The COVID pandemic has made it hard to promote books, so Adam went outside the box and contacted me. Together we decided that I would read the book and do an interview with him about the book, and then provide my review on the book. It was a great time chatting with Adam about our different types of exploring and the similarities and differences between wilderness exploring and urban exploring.

Nights under the Stars

In 2020 I discovered my love for astrophotography, time-lapse videos and spending countless hours at night under the stars. In 2021 I spent several nights and weekend away on road-trips, exploring all day and then spending all night under the night sky shooting the stars. I would pack a hammock, a sleeping bag and spend hours watching the sky. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for my 2021 time-lapse video.

Inspirational Quotes

This year my wife had the brilliant idea to take the hateful and ridiculous comments and messages that I get from people and turn them into funny inspirational quotes/memes. I knew this was a great idea, I knew it would be funny but I had no idea that you guys would fall in love with these so much! It is a fantastic way of dealing with these hateful and negative people who just can't help themselves but to spew hatred.

RAGU!

At some point in 2020 it was announced that Ragu sauce would no longer be distributed or sold in Canada. This was tough news for many Canadians as we all scrambled to find a replacement for our pasta! In the summer, while exploring an abandoned has station/grocery store I spotted this bottle of Ragu. I made a tongue in cheek post on Facebook showing this photo alongside a picture of how much you can buy Ragu for on Amazon. This sent people into a frenzy and ended up being one of my most shared and most commented on facebook post of the year!

Bob Lanois

In April of 2021, famed Canadian musician, artist and sound engineer Bob Lanois passed away. I had no idea but Bob owned a small cabin on a piece of property not far from where I live. With Bob's illness and passing, the cabin had been left vacant and somewhat run down and was being put up for sale. Before the property sold and the cabin possibly torn down, I decided that I wanted to tell the story of this Canadian musical genius and how he came to live in a small cabin recording studio in south Burlington Ontario. I spend the last part of 2021 contacting friends, musicians, artists and more to help me put together a story on the legacy of Bob Lanois. Stay tuned in 2022 for what promises to be my largest and and boldest project ever!

abandoned 1980s hotel stacked televisions

Potential Television Work

I was contacted in the late fall of 2021 by the producers of a television show that is highly relevant to my content and subject matter. I have been contacted several times. in the past about potential TV work as either a host, on air talent or consultant but those never panned out. This one however is different and there are already things in the works, it still remains undecided if I will be on air or behind the scenes, but stay tuned and I'll fill you in once things are confirmed!

2021 was most definitely a productive year for me full of changes, opportunities, learning and personal/professional growth.

To whomever is reading this and to those who follow and interact with my content every day, week and month – thanks from the bottom of my heart for enjoying my work and my content.

While I continue to do this for my own needs, satisfaction and as a creative outlet, it really helps to know that perhaps I am providing a few people with a break, a distraction from whatever else is going on in your lives. 

Even if it’s a few moments looking at a picture, or an extended stay watching my YouTube videos, it brings me great joy to know that there are people out there whole enjoy what I do and the content that I create.

Thank you all so much, Happy New Year, Stay Safe and Be Good to Eachother!

See you guys. on the flipside!

Dave/Freaktography