France has catacombs, America has abandoned malls, and Canada has vacant homes — all 1.3 million, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. For decades, urban explorers have been roaming abandoned buildings and sites. The questionable legitimacy activism has been a niche subculture for some time. However, the advent of TikTok (and YouTube to a lesser extent), helped them find a new audience – Americans are shocked by the number of vacant homes in Canada.
We thought we’d save you some time and collect our favorite viral accounts to scout for vacant homes. Now shoot the volcano, grab a bag of potato chips, and let’s browse some of our favorite videos.
Ethan Mini Tweet embedSouthern Ontario
tik tok, youtube
First up is Ethan Minnie, aka @ethanminnie. They ran an urban exploration channel on YouTube for a few years, but they really found their audience on TikTok. With 200,000 followers and 2.3 million fans, he is talented at finding homes that have been seized as proceeds of crime.
One of his most popular videos is “Mansion Dedicated to Untouched Mafia Boss Leaving 8 Million Dollars.” It is not clear who, and if he is an actual mafia boss, but the community says it has been empty since 2015.
Another of his greatest successes – “Drug dealers forget his $7 million mansion.” The video has garnered more than 400,000 views, and it shows that it also became vacant in 2015…also because it was taken over by the government…. Yes, it is a different house.
Not in government rounds assets confiscated? So, perhaps, ‘Abandoned ’80s Mansion Forgotten for 18 Years, is it further down your alley? The Toronto-area mansion caught fire in the 1980s in 2004 and has been vacant ever since.
Lomar Mendes, LaceyDecay, Southern Ontario
tik tok, youtube
Lomar Mendz, @1aceydecay, seems to be more focused on smaller, lesser-known venues. Most of the videos are from Southern Ontario, the latest being “Grandma’s House”. The video walks through a house that appears frozen in time, which is also partially dilapidated. The clothes are still ready to wear.
jdooms, jdooms, british columbia
jdooms… has no real name they would like to share. They focus on exploring the lower mainland, including the “model pool house”. It’s not an actual pool house, but a big house with a pool.
He claims the house belongs to a supermodel in the ’80s, with a number of photographs in the house. He also found plane tickets from the ’90s scattered around, so it likely had been vacant for a minute.
They also have a few “Crunchy” homes – vernacular urban explorer that were abandoned after a fire. It is not clear how long this has been abandoned, but there are indications that it has been a long time.
Dave Freaktography, Southern Ontario
tik tok, youtube
Freaktography, from what we collect, is the character Yoda in an urban exploration community in southern Ontario. TikTok’s latest, “$20 Million Billionaire’s Mansion,” takes us across a sea of mahogany paneled that looks like a cartoon billionaire’s home. It’s not in too bad shape but it’s clearly been empty for a while.
Via their YouTube, they are taking longer tours for their 75.5k subscribers. One of his recent videos explores the whereabouts of this mid-20th century modern home in Toronto, which has been vacant for some time.
RiddimRyder, Southern Ontario
Riddim Ryder on YoutTube has attracted tens of thousands of followers to explore the deserted places of Southern Ontario. One of his last videos is “Explore a Vacant Seven Million Dollar Villa Mansion in Toronto!” It is also called Doctor’s Palace by the urban exploration community of Southern Ontario.
In a blog post about an “abandoned $7 million mansion,” Redeem explains why he’s seen so many abandoned homes in Canada.
He explains succinctly: “Often these places are owned by foreign investors waiting for prices to continue to rise before eventually selling, and wealthy people looking to build a dream home or even foreign nationals buy them to move money from one country to another.”
But you know. Vacancy status in Canada is just 1.3 million myths.
picture: Freaktograhy YouTube channel.
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