I found this >here<
Photograph by: Ryan Nyenhuis
Sunday June 15th 2008, Fathers Day. Ryan and I woke with a plan. The plan being to sneak into the abandon R.L. Hearn Thermal Generation Power Plant which is located in the south east area of downtown Toronto. We wanted to photograph the beauty of decay.
We had made a trip over to the power plant a week prior to scout out the area, to see where guards were located and to find easy access inside.
Sneaking past the guard house located at the front of the property and making our way along the north west section of property towards the back of the plant where the barbed wire fence was weakest.
We then smoked three quarters of a joint together before working up the nerve to hop the fence. Ryan went first, watching him hop the fence and dart out into the yard and hiding behind scrap metal for cover then finally making it to the back of the building. Then it was my turn. What excitement that was, knowing your breaking the law to do something adventurous.
After getting onto the property we were standing at the back of the Hearn and looking for our way inside. To do so we had to hop up onto a metal fence post and from there had to reach up and grab a hold of plywood that covered up the tall entrance area. A good 15 foot climb up, over and in.
Once inside the first photo that was taken was the one of Ryan and I standing together, titled "final hours".
This place was like no other we had ever explored together. The shear size of it all was breathtaking and mind blowing at the same time. The beauty of destruction.
After the first photo was taken we started exploring the plant. Taking the necessary precautions we had come prepared with asbestos masks and flashlights.
We had made our way around on the ground floor, through locker rooms, showers, storage rooms. Then we started making our way up stairs to the 2nd and 3rd level offices, had the remainder of our joint together.
From the office levels we went back onto the factory area and started climbing the metal stairs up further still. Some photos show how high up we were in that building.
We then made ourselves up onto the roof. What a view from there looking out over the city core. Looking out over Lake Ontario we saw really dark storm clouds. Ryan pulled out a cigarette and had a smoke.
We were up on the roof for about a half hour before Ryan asked me "what do you want to do now man?". "Do you want to go home now or stay a bit longer and explore?". My camera battery had died at this point and being there any longer served no purpose for me. I was hesitant on a response because at the same time I wanted to keep exploring because the plan was to keep coming back weekend after weekend to explore and document the old structure.
I then agreed to keep exploring. We came in off the roof, coming down a level, walked through a doorway into a long looking dark room. All across the top level of The Hearn runs conveyor belts that run coal from one end to the other. Walking together along the metal grating flooring. Ryan was 2 feet in front of me.
I then ended up tripping over a small extruded piece of metal on the floor, and from that second on I pointed my flashlight directly onto the floor to see where I was walking.
Very shortly after this happens, in mid sentence Ryan just falls into blackness. All I see is from his waist up as he plunges into complete blackness and followed by about 4-5 seconds before hearing a sick crash far below.
I then look 2 feet in front of me and see there is no more floor. My imediant thought is that he is dead. Then my brain clicks "I have to get my best friend out of here".
I then tried my best to back track to get out of the building, taking a route that he and I had not taken to get to this point. All I knew is I had to get out of The Hearn and find someone that could help.
I don't even know how I got out of that place. When I did I came out on the back side of the building, ran around to the guard house screaming for help.
I screamed to the guard that my best friend just fell in there and is hurt really bad, he asked what we were doing in there and I told him we were just taking photos.
The guard then called like every paramedic, fire and police officer in the city. About 10 minutes after the call was made all I could hear were the sirens. Scared and relived at the same time I was.
Once they all showed up I told them Ryan was in there, that we were up high in the building and he fell. All the cops were telling me to retrace my steps, they wanted to see where we came in from. I screamed at them "we don't have time for that right now, my best friend is dying in there". I then started leading them to the front of the Hearn because I knew it was the closet way inside. We get to the front and all entrances were boarded up. One cops said to me "Ian there is no way in through this way, you have to show us where you came in from". I then demanded to the fire fighters that they bust this plywood down to get inside.
Once inside the cops started fucking with my mind, me being in total shock at the time they started asking me where we had explored, they wanted me to take them on what would have been a few hours of exploration, which we didn't have time for.
Then an officer finds his asbestos mask and glasses. My first thought is he was okay, that he somehow managed to crawl out under his own power. I was wrong. His mask and glasses had bounced off of objects on the fall and Ryan was nowhere to be found.
The police tried getting a hold of Rogers Communication to see if they could pin point his location with the cell phone he had on him. They ended up using thermal vision to locate him. He was trapped in a coal hopper located high up in the building.
I was escorted out at this point in time because I was too "hysterical" for the cops liking.
Two and a half hours went by, a fierce thunderstorm was passing through.
While they were working on getting Ryan out I was giving my statement to the police. Never gave one of those in my life. I told them everything that I am writing here right now, everything, even the joint smoking. I had Nothing to hide.
We went in undetected but I didn't care if the whole world was watching at this point, I was doing what any best friend would do. I was trying to save him. City Pulse News was there and I was trying to hide from them. I was scared that this is how his family would find out and how my family would find out, being Fathers days and all.
After two and a half hours of hell they finally got Ryan out. I watched them carry him out on a backboard and I yelled to him that I loved him.
Ryan was rushed to St. Micheal's Hospital, the best in all the city for trauma.
I followed about an hour after him, being escorted in a police car. On the drive one officer said to me "this is going to cost you and your buddy about a hundred thousand dollars for all that had to be done here today". What a jackass thing to say. I responded by saying "I don't give a fuck about money, take all I have from me I don't care, I'm loosing the most important person in my life right now".
We get to the hospital, I enter the trauma wing of St. Micheal's. They told me that I was going to be the one to call the home of the Nyenhuis'. I thought that was insane, and told them I could not make that call, that they would have to.
I then went into the waiting room, sat down. I remember the NBA finals were on the televisions in there and I ended up falling asleep somehow.
Waking to Stevie and Tammy's faces hours later (Stevie being Ryan's room mate and Tammy being Ryan's girlfriend).
Stevie told me that John and Cheryl were on their way and that we could go up stairs to the trauma ward to see Ryan.
The trauma centre, located on the 9th floor of St. Micheal's Hospital.
Hours passed by, as the night went on the news kept getting worse and worse about his condition.
I ended up leaving to come back to my apartment at 6am the following morning, I had to talk to my parents and try and shovel some food into my system. Still being in shock and never got treatment for shock when it happened.
I returned to the hospital at 3pm that day. Only to find nothing had changed with his condition.
Then came the worst words I ever had to hear, Ryan's father coming in the room and telling me it was time to say goodbye to Ryan.
We made our way into where he was being cared for. To see my best friend in the state he was in broke my heart. Blood coming out the back of his head, body black and blue bruised from head to toe, internal damage that could not be repaired, feeling his forehead and it being ice cold. He was laying there in front of us, dead. Machines were the only thing keeping him "alive".
I said my goodbyes to him, telling him that he can't leave me here, he can't leave the creation of Studies In Comfort behind, something that is so brilliant, that we were supposed to take over the world together and do all that was planned. I told him to haunt me.
I then looked at his eyes and saw tears. He may have been brain dead but I know he heard every word I said. Doctors did not give an explanation to what was coming out of his eyes.
If only I had said to Ryan "hey man watch your step" he might still be alive today. I have been told over and over again that I can not blame myself for what happened that day. I sometimes still do.
Ryan and I once had a conversation that if something ever happened to one of us that Studies In Comfort would stop, without a core creator there is no sense to continue it. Well I am going against those wishes. I can't lose what he and I created even before it took off the ground.
I now know my purpose in life. To carry on Studies In Comfort. I must continue on for him, finish off the 3 studio albums we had in the works and continue on with this art form.
Ryan died at the wheel and I have moved his lifeless body to the passengers seat and now a fucking insane madman is driving.
Ryan Nyenhuis, whos favourite artist was Nine Inch Nails, who lived on floor number 9, who wore a roman numeral 9 on his right arm, who died on the 9th floor at St. Micheal's Hospital, Toronto.
Thank you to 55 Division and all the paramedics and fire fighters who helped get Ryan out of that terrible dark place.
Ryan Nyenhuis is survived by his father, John, mother Cheryl, sisters, Jennifer and Leah, their beautiful children, myself and Studies In Comfort.
Ryan John Nyenhuis
July 28th 1981 - June 15th 2008
We love and miss you.