France has its catacombs, America has its abandoned malls and Canada has its vacant homes – all 1.3 million of them, according to the OECD. For decades, urban explorers have visited abandoned buildings and sites. The business of dubious legality has been a niche subculture for some time. However, the rise of TikTok (and YouTube to a lesser extent) has helped them find a new audience – Americans shocked by the number of vacant homes circulating in Canada.
We thought we’d save you some time and round up our favorite viral accounts by scouring vacant homes. Now turn on the Volcano, grab a bag of chips and let’s watch some of our favorite videos.
Ethan Minnie @ethanminnieSouthern Ontario
The first is Ethan Minnie, aka @ethanminnie. They’ve been running an urban exploration channel on YouTube for a few years, but really found their audience on TikTok. With 200,000 followers and 2.3 million likes, he has a knack for finding foreclosed homes as proceeds of crime.
One of his most popular videos is “Mafia Boss’s Untouched Abandoned $8,000,000 Custom Mansion”. It’s unclear who and if it’s a real mob boss, but the community says it’s been empty since 2015.
Another of his greatest hits – “Drug Dealers Forgotten Abandoned 7 Million Dollar Mansion”. The video has racked up over 400,000 views and explains that it also became vacant in 2015…also because the government seized it…. yes, it is a different house.
Not in visits to assets seized by the government? So maybe “Abandoned 1980’s Mansion Forgotten For 18 Years” is more to your liking? The 1980s Toronto-area mansion caught fire in 2004 and has stood vacant ever since.
Lomar Mendz, @LaceyDecay, Southern Ontario
Lomar Mendz, @1aceydecay, seems to focus more on smaller, lesser-known places. Most of the videos are from Southern Ontario, her latest being “Grandma’s House”. The video goes around a house that seems frozen in time, which is also partially dilapidated. Outfits are always willing to wear.
jdooms, @jdooms, British Columbia
jdooms… doesn’t have a real name they would like to share. They focus on exploring the Lower Mainland, including the “Model’s Pool House”. It is not a real pool house, but a large house with a swimming pool.
He claims the house belonged to a model in the 1980s, with a number of photographs still in the home. He also found some ’90s plane tickets scattered around, so it’s probably been vacant for a minute.
They also have a few “crusty” houses – urban explorer slang for abandoned after a fire. It’s unclear how long it’s been abandoned, but there are signs it’s been a long time.
“Dave”, @Freaktography, Southern Ontario
Freaktography, from what we gather, is a Yoda-life figure in Southern Ontario’s urban exploration community. His latest TikTok, “A $20 Million Billionaire’s Mansion,” takes us through a sea of wood-paneled mahogany that looks like a cartoon billionaire’s house. It’s not in too bad shape but has clearly been empty for a while.
On their YouTube, they organize longer format tours for their 75,500 subscribers. One of his most recent videos explores places like this 1960s mid-century modern house in Toronto, which has been vacant for some time.
Riddim Ryder, @RiddimRyder, Southern Ontario
Riddim Ryder on YouTube has amassed tens of thousands of subscribers exploring abandoned places in southern Ontario. One of his latest videos is “Exploring A Vacant Seven Million Dollar Villa Mansion in Toronto!” It is also called Doctor’s Mansion by the Southern Ontario Urban Exploration Community.
In a blog post for “Abandoned $7 Million Mansion,” Riddim explains why he sees so many abandoned homes in Canada.
“Often these places are owned by foreign investors who are waiting for prices to continue to rise before selling, by wealthy people looking to build a dream home or even by foreign nationals who are buying them to transfer money. from one country to another”, he explains concisely.
But you know. The situation of vacant homes in Canada is only 1.3 million myths.
Photo: Freaktograhy YouTube Channel.