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Journal: Union Station Sightseeing

New Camera
Alys hopped down from this ladder after noticing a camera was peering down at her.
Union Station Sightseeing (late summer 2002): A few new places were discovered, and a few old favourites revisited, during two recent sightseeing tours with some out of towners.
        First up, Liz and I met up with Danarchy and his friends Jamie and Alys, and all five of us filled our cameras with juicy pics. We stumbled upon a few new areas, including a place called the "English Department" (which appeared to be an abandoned movie set), a Fairmont call centre and some sort of weird planning room with corkboard walls. After exiting out onto a lower roof, Alys began to scale a ladder on the outside of the building, and had climbed a rung or two before she noticed that a little camera nested behind the ladder was peering right down at her. As we were leaving the area, we heard a set of dangling keys heading up the stairs towards us, and quickly changed routes, doing our best to look composed as we took the long and exposed hallway around the top floor of the Great Hall.
Electric Room
Among our new discoveries were a series of mechanical and electrical rooms near the Air Canada Centre.
        Moving on to the lower levels, we toured some new construction in the parking garages (where we found plans for a new escalator, among other things), the large abandoned area near the Air Canada Centre, and some nearby engineering and electrical rooms I'd never paid attention to before. We failed to get into the steam tunnels, and felt too conspicuous to look any further, so we called it a night.
        I next explored the station with Jim Hollison, who seemed to be a real good luck charm. After looking around some offices a bit, we headed up to the attic, where we found a large ladder leading to the rafters above the Great Hall already in place. I climbed up and opened the door, where I listened to a loud clanging sound coming from the far opposite side of the rafters. "What is it?" Jim whispered up. I made a finger gun and took two imaginary shots. "Holy shit!" he said.
        We decided it wouldn't be in our best interests to sneak into the gun club while it was in use, so we moved on to the elevator shaft and the roof, where we hung out and took some night pictures for a fair while before deciding to leave by an alternate staircase. On the way down we poked into some old, unlit records rooms, and at the back of one found a door I'd never noticed before leading to a little closet-like room with a large arch as one of its walls. After climbing around on this for a while, we determined that it was the smaller arch at the western end of the Great Hall.
        As we left that arch, we noticed that our arms, hands and clothes were covered with a thick blackness that just didn't want to come off. Jim was also bleeding. Realizing that anyone who saw us now would probably report us to security, we decided not to risk blazing any new trails, and instead retraced our route all the way back to a washroom, where we spent about 20 minutes scraping soot off ourselves before cleaning up and moving on to the basement.
Jim in Tunnel
Jim and I found the normally flooded hallway leading between the steam tunnels and the subway station had been drained.
        After wasting time with a few dead ends in the VIA area of the station, we headed down to the entrance to the steam tunnels, where luck was with us and the door was open. After planning a few escape routes, we plunged into the tunnels, and I showed Jim a few of my favourite spots, including the tunnel to the subway station (which, for a change, wasn't flooded) and the route to the Royal York subbasement (where we poked about in the enormous air filtration system for a while). We also charted some new territory, taking one new tunnel all the way to its very strange end (it came up in a tiny square room with a glass door to the outside), and another skinny, flooded tunnel until it was about to flood our shoes. After spending a good hour and a half in the heat of the tunnels, we were happy to finally exit from the sidewalk on Bremner and call it a night.
        (Well, I called it a night. Jim decided to go check out the PATH.)

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