Since I was going to Buffalo on Friday to visit my great-grandmother who is not doing too well, I decided I should drive up to Toronto and have a rendezvous with Av and the rest of the Ontario people for some good old fashioned UE.
On Saturday morning, I got up at 8 AM, got dressed and had breakfast then got on the road at 10 AM.
I got on I-190 going west to get on the Niagara Thruway, went through the toll barrier at the Tonawanda Bridge in the EZPass lane, then next thing I was know I was at the exit for Niagara Falls.
As I was driving through Niagara Falls, I realized I needed some cash to pay for the toll at the Rainbow Bridge. I found a Sunoco station with a ATM right before the bridge and withdrew $10 USD from the machine.
I got back on the road, paid the toll of $2.50 USD, and drove across the Rainbow Bridge. I stopped at the Canada Customs checkpoint where they customs officer asked me these questions:
Where you from? Burnt Hills, NY
US Citizen? Yes
Where you going? Toronto?
For what purpose? Visiting friends.
For how long? Just for the day.
Whats in the car? Car parts and fluids, my personal stuff, and electronics?
What kind of automobile products? Oil, Raditator fluid, Air conditioning refridgirant, and some belts and hoses.
Ok, move on.
I drove along, and saw the sign reminding me that Canada uses the metric system. I guess Ontario doesn't put the more clever metric sign that says "Thinkmetric", with yellow for the "km" in the middle like whats at the WA/BC Border.
I found my way onto the infamous QEW highway and drove along that. Right before the spilt of the QEW for the 407 (the 100% automated highway where there's no toll plazas; they have license plate reconition systems and just send you a bill in the mail for tolls), Av called me on the my cell phone. He said we were going to the famous Whitby Psych and meeting in downtown Toronto at 1 PM near the intersection of Younge and St. Clair. I said Ok, I can figure out where that is.
When I got done talking on the phone, I realized I was on the 407. I got off at the 2nd exit after the start of the toll road, which goes into Burlington, ON. I happened to be thirsty and saw a I Wal-Mart. Before I went inside the store, I remembered Av asked me on the phone if I brung my FRS radios. I said I left them in Buffalo. Well I remembered Wal-Mart in the USA has a single FRS radio for $8.00 USD. So I figured there would be some Canadian eqivelent of that in this Wal-Mart.
I go inside and sure enough there was not only one FRS radio for the price of $12.00 CAD but a pair! Thats a good deal, so I bought them. I checkout then I get into the car and I see they take those AAA batteries. I didn't feel like going back inside but I saw a Petro-Canada nearby and got the batteries in there.
I paid for the batteries and a bottle of juice (I forgot to get one in Wal-Mart) with my credit card and the cashier thought my card was cool looking and "I didn't know AT&T offered a credit card".
I got back on the road, this time heading east on Dundas St through Burlington and Oakville. I eventually find the 401 and got back on one highway to Toronto.
At this point in time, I forgot where to meet Av in Toronto and somehow think it was "Dundas and St-Clair", so I pull out my map of Toronto and figure out how to get there.
I eventually end up on Danforth going west. I then realized I was lost, so I called up Boffo who I guess doesn't know Toronto well so he handed the phone to Roadwolf who gave me directions and said to turn to channel 7 on my FRS radio
I do get to the general area of where they are and after several wrong turns I end up where Av, Boffo, Nightbird, Conundrum, and Bob are.
We do the standard meet and greet and then Roadwolf hands me a "real radio" so we can communicate between cars.
Boffo decided to ride with me in the "convoy" as we drive to Whitby.
Roadwolf decided to take us on the backway through Toronto to get back on the 401. There was oddly a US Army HMMV (Humvee as its said) with the usual US Gov't GSA plates. Roadwolf said over the radio they do some sort of training up here.
We get on the 401, where to stay together, we have to change lanes one at the time starting from the back. I was of course the car in the back, so I had change first.
We then to the Psych. We park in the standard place to park when you go UEing there. Roadwolf passes out more radios and then we start the walk over there.
At this point in time Av asks me "Skelly, what's up with 'Dukes? Why does he like have to personalites and one of them is drunk?" I then explain.
The first building we get to is I think the main building. It has a courtyard now filled with junk thrown out of the windows. The junk is of course office furniture, couches, and electronics. There were big glass windows surround the courtyard, but they are obvious long gone and smashed up.
First floor was semi intersting, but the 2nd was weird. Lots of rooms with doors sealed shut, but the very top was open. Av took one of those funky chairs and put up next to the door and climbed on it to see whats on the otherside "Its empty" he says.
Other 2 floors were the same but not as fun. There was what legend has was a "electro shock machine" on the 4th floor, but it was really a ECG machine.
We then decided to walk over to the powerhouse. Along the way we spot a white cat and then a group people with one of them wearing one of those "high visibilty" vests. That person waived at us and either Av or Roadwolf waived back. We radio over to I think Conundrum to see if they have seen them, he says no. We assume there good people since they waived at us.
We entered the powerhouse through a window and I was suprised there a lot of stuff left in there. Av points out the big pit wasn't full of junk the last time he was here.
After the powerhouse we move on to this weird building with a dock that we had to enter through. That building was also pretty lame.
While were leaving the weird building, we get a call on the radio that a kid started a fire in one of the buildings. Av, Conundrum and me rush over to that building. There's one asian guy and a girl out front who said some kids went inside through the window. Av goes in there but I guess the kid in question went out another way into another building. We ran into the group with the person with the vest, they were a bunch of emo kids.
They pointed us in the direction of the questionable kid, and us 3 headed that way. He went into another building that we ran though to get to the top and Av found the kid. Av had a small lecture with the kid that went something like "Its $70 for tresspassing but thousands for arson!" The kid was like 8 years old and said "I want to steal one of these doors; anyone have a wrench?" He also said something like "I started it but quickly put it out!"
We took a tunnel to another building that I have no idea what is was used for. From one of the upper levels, we saw the questionable kids leave the property by going through the infamous housing development. There was also "Can we all get a bong" written on one of the walls.
We then head over to the Recreation Hall. Bob and Boffo were already in there. Bob had climbed the wobbly ladder to the catwalks at the top of the stage area. He then climbed the support beams where I was trying to get a picture of him doing so. Av heard me struggling with the digital camera that 'Dukes gave me and said "Let me see that." Shortly later he said "Its on +5 EV, thats why its not working!"
We then went to the lower level where whats left of the bowling lanes. There was a part of pipe that Av "bowled" with.
We then went over to another building. Parts of this building was partially burnt from some previous arcsionist. "Glitch" was spray painted in one of the rooms. Bob finds an entrance to an attic here and manages to find a way in by stacking furniture. He reports theres nothing up there.
In this same building, there was a orange chair just sitting in one the rooms. I sat in it and Boffo took my picture in it.
In another room, Bob also find a dumbwaiter and climbs in it thinking he can easily go down. He was so wrong.
We move on to the next building. At this building, we decided to take the famous group shot here at the top level. We also run into the group of emo kids, which one of the girls was holding a duct-tape teddy that we all though was amusing.
After that, we went over to the childrens building. The funny thing about this building is there badly painted pictures of Disney characters, some in suggestive positions. Bob again found another entrance to the attic, again found nothing.
We head over to the building with the moruge. Ran into those emo kids again. There were a number of doors sealed up really good, so we went outside. Av pulled out his cell phone and tried to pull up a map of Whitby to see whats left. The map ended up crashing his cell phone. While he was doing that, Bob was trying to find ways into sealed parts of the building. He gets his way in through some window and discovers the sealed doors just had piles of furniture blocking them.
Roadwolf and other got their way though a seal doors with 2 chains of some sort. So went through those areas and found that at one point someone was living in there and there was some sort of TV production in there. Boffo seemed to remember "La Femme Nikita" was filmed somewhere here.
When we decided we had enough for the day, we all reconveined at the Harvey's/Swiss Chalet for dinner. We discussed many things there and I forget who said they worked at Wendy's but he got into an argument with Av over the fact they don't use a real grill.
Conundrum had to get back home, but the rest of us went back to Av's apartment to hang out for a little bit. All I have to say about Av's apartment is that its weird but cool. At 11 PM, I went back to Buffalo.
It was great trip and I hope to back in June to have some more fun.