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Behold, the alluring paint-job on the abandoned St. Joseph’s Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada — a land renowned for its horrifying buildings. This head-shaker of a humdinger — called by locals “the once-a-year Halloween Zombie Hotel” — is the result of a backroom deal nine years ago by the City of Sudbury Council to sell the old thing to a private developer for $1. They proposed to build a conference center, including a hockey rink, casino, and four-star hotel. Original minds, I’m sure. It happens that the old hospital occupies a few acres of Sudbury’s Bell Park, fronting lovely Ramsey Lake. The Sudbury council had the chance to sell it to the Province of Ontario for $1. The deal would have included razing the building, remediating the brownfield, and reincorporating the site into the park. They passed on that. After all these years, kinda looks like the developer passed on the rink-casino-hotel, too.
Thanks to Evan Roberts for the nomination.


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

15 Responses to “November 2021” Subscribe

  1. shabbaranks November 3, 2021 at 12:13 am #

    To paraphrase a certain Nobel Laureate in Literature, that fluorescent, disused structure is but another “Turd from the North Country.”

  2. tucsonspur November 3, 2021 at 5:02 am #

    It could become a colorful center for the LBGTQ community. Splash on a little more red and orange and we’ve got the rainbow coalition avoiding demolition.

    Call it urban blight in bright pastels. What a desecration of such a wonderful location. This calamity might feel more comfortable on Miami’s Ocean Drive, but it’s forlorn facade certainly carries no echo of Art-Deco.

    Behold the building’s butterflies attempting to make this bungled blasphemy more becoming. Crawling roaches, much more appropriate, may have too strongly repelled passersby, and maybe even caused an accident or two by faint-hearted, frightened motorists.

    • Ishabaka November 7, 2021 at 4:36 pm #

      It looks like they want to resurrect the old hospital – as a new center for transgender surgery, paid for of course by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan).

  3. Chippenhook November 3, 2021 at 7:19 am #

    Ignoring for a moment how glaringly ugly that paint job is, congratulations are in order for the geniuses that approved the property transfer w/o eliciting any guarantees that the intended redevelopment would actually occur. They could have inserted a stipulation such as the buyer having 1 year to initiate the construction/redevelopment or the ownership reverts back. Back when I (a non-attorney) reviewed proposed contracts in my corporate mgt. role, I skipped over the “we’re all going to live happily ever after” stuff and dug into the “what if it doesn’t work out” language. Saved my company a bundle that way as not every deal works out the way the marketing people think it will.

    As for this monstrosity. odds are that once the building deteriorates to the point of no return, the taxpayers will end up footing the bill to tear it down after a protracted court battle by those who want to preserve it as a profound social statement.

    • tucsonspur November 3, 2021 at 8:30 pm #

      The reverting ownership is a great point. Appears to be a purposeful ‘oversight’ for any number of reasons.

  4. tom clark November 3, 2021 at 4:17 pm #

    Alas, have a lot of good friends from Canada, so I can forgive them for this terrible monstrosity. OG, you’re off the hook. Last time I was in Sudbury (many years ago), the oversize nickel was the big attraction. Things seem to have taken a tumble. Alex Trebek (a Sudbury native, I believe), must be rolling in his grave. Woops…gotta run and catch Jeopardy!

  5. JackStraw November 4, 2021 at 4:29 pm #

    Future headquarters of The Color Run.

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  7. JCalvertNUK November 6, 2021 at 3:37 pm #

    Graffiti would actually be an improvement.

  8. BackRowHeckler November 8, 2021 at 7:59 pm #

    It’s a beauty.

  9. Jaurice November 9, 2021 at 11:19 am #

    That’s an art. bathroom fitter Hackney

  10. mow November 16, 2021 at 11:35 am #

    looks like a borg cube ransacked by homos

  11. mow November 16, 2021 at 1:18 pm #

    sorry about my previous post . was a stupid comment . please remove it .

  12. Breana November 17, 2021 at 7:08 am #

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  13. bymitch November 22, 2021 at 12:06 am #

    A fail for the painting trade for sure, practical completion denied.
    Poor colour matching, cutting-in around window and door frames substandard, paint splashes on window glass and surrounding surfaces, paint drips evident.
    A fail for the designer, possibly. A poor attempt at camouflage unless this was specifically designed for the colorblind.

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