So, I've driven along this road countless times, and somehow this doesn't register on me until a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, sometimes I have tunnel vision.
It's not the most exciting place in the world. When I say it's gutted, I MEAN it's GUTTED. In the main building, there isn't even a floor left. It appears that someone had cut a hole in the end wall, and just drove a bulldozer in. There's even a dirt ramp to get in and out from the inside.
From what I've been able to piece together, this building was originally constructed as a dedicated observatory for the Canadian Astronomical Research Group in 1976. The equipment, apparently including a 24" telescope, was removed in 1997, and the building converted into a private home.
Source: Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Newsletter, Vol. 71, p.L7
As a result of the constant lobbying and persistence of Dorothea Lynde Dix, a nurse advocating for better care of the mentally ill, the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum was opened on August 18, 1876. A tract of land, 743 acres in size, was purchased in 1871 and 1872, and construction began on the new 673,706 square foot facility.
The Regal Constellation Hotel is a 15-floor, 710-room hotel originally constructed in 1962. It featured a Chinese restaurant, and 90,000 square feet of convention space. In addition, a north wing, and east wing still exist, expanding the site significantly from its original size. Most recently, it had been renovated in 2001. It closed in July, 2004.
For untold years, countless people have driven past this place, and like myself, I sincerely doubt they ever knew the place existed. Surrounded by trees up until a very short time ago, it was very well camouflaged and hidden from the ceaseless traffic on the highway below it. Now, the trees are gone as plans to widen the highway into 4 lanes continues, and the clock ticks on measuring out the last days of someone's tiny former home.
I decided to go camping for the long weekend, and by the time that decision was made, almost every provincial campground in Ontario was already reserved... except one. I arrived at Darlington Provincial Park after dark, and saw little. The next morning, however, while in search of breakfast, I spotted this place almost within spitting distance from the campground. They think of everything!
I would have to wait, however, as the OPP were using the entrance as a place to catch up on paperwork.
Whether it's how quiet the place is, the wild sheep milling about, or the incredible view, there's something about this spot that just completely captures you the moment you arrive. Standing at the opening of the fence, taking in the entire view of this location, if you're like me, you instantly go shutter happy.
As with Fort McNutt, just a stone's throw away, I would like to again thank our generous Ferryman, and our fantastic guide for making this experience possible.
I spotted this place from the highway as i was passing by, and doubled back. Having a look at the place, and the notice on the door, I discovered that Thessalon Marine had been closed down due to bankruptcy in April, 2002.
While I wasn't able to get inside, I found it nevertheless an interesting place to have a look at.
Update August 21, 2019:
I have been informed that this building has been demolished.