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Journal: Medical Arts and Comfort Inn

Stopping in on a whim, Redux and I were thoroughly impressed with the Medical Arts building. Then we noticed the neighbouring rooftop.
Medical Arts Building and Comfort Inn (May 2004): After spending his first night in Toronto in mostly fruitless searches for open abandonments, Redux Zero and I decided to take a look at some live buildings on night two. As we wandered along Bloor, Redux pointed out a nice looking art deco skyscraper and asked what it was. I had to admit I wasn't familiar with the place. We decided to solve that problem immediately.
      The sign over the main entrance identified it as the Medical Arts Building, and as we strolled in we were suitably impressed with the very fancy lobby and beautiful elevator doors. We headed up to the ninth floor and then climbed the stairs the rest of the way up from there, eventually finding a way to crawl out to the gravel rooftop. We then climbed a ladder on the side of a metal chimney up to the uppermost roof, from where we had an excellent view of the surroundings. The roof of the building immediately east of us, the Comfort Inn, looked especially interesting, so we decided to tackle that next.
      A few moments later we emerged at the top of the stairwell at the Comfort Inn. The door to the penthouse mechanical level had been propped open with a brick, and a few feet away we saw that the door to the roof had also been propped open. It seemed they were rather casual with the doors around here. Although not entirely sure we were alone, we decided to risk a stealthy tour of the mechanical level, stopping in to visit boiler rooms, generator rooms, fan rooms and more, before eventually taking a propped-open door labelled "Cooling Tower" to the outside.
After looking in on the mechanical rooms, we headed out to the roof. On our way back down the cooling tower, however, we had an odd encounter.
      We emerged in a small 12-foot-square sunken pit dominated by an air conditioning tower. After first climbing up the side of it to take pictures of its fans and pools of water, we took another ladder up to the main section of roof, where we took pictures of interesting chimneys and the impressive view. At one point, Redux mentioned that he thought he heard a clanking noise below us. I told him not to worry, since based on all those propped open doors I figured that even if there was someone down there, they'd be pretty casual.
      After we descended back into the air conditioning pit, Redux climbed up the cooling tower to take one last picture; as he was making his way back down, I heard the sound of someone clearing his throat nearby. I looked up at Redux, halfway down the ladder, and his startled expression made it clear he was just as surprised as I was. As he very quietly completed his descent, we heard a very nearby hacking and spitting. Someone was obviously standing on the opposite side of the air conditioning tower from us, fewer than five feet away and between us and the route back indoors. He had probably heard us on the roof and was now just waiting for us; it seemed we were caught.
      Bending to look beneath the air conditioning tower and see where he was standing, I was very surprised to see that the guy had unzipped his pants and was urinating in our direction onto the gravel beneath the air conditioning tower. I straightened back up. "He's peeing," I reported under my breath. "I don't think he knows we're here."
      Indeed, after a few moments, he finished up and went back inside. After discussing a plan of retreat for a few minutes, Redux and I braced ourselves and headed back in, being careful to avoid the puddle on the way. The worker was only a few meters away from us when we headed in, and unfortunately looked back and noticed us right away. I smiled and Redux waved as we made our way to the nearest stairs, where we quickly ran down two levels, sprinted across the hotel to switch staircases, and then continued to race down towards the bottom — our progress slowed only slightly when I slipped and fell on my back on the concrete stairs and winded myself badly. Thanks to the adrenaline, I think, I was back to normal by the time we safely arrived back at the street.

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