THE ONTARIO JOB
THE EVENT was only supposed to blow the doors off, but with one hundred and five vehicles registering, and well over two hundred people converging at the Husky truck stop in Bradford one cold weekend in February, the Rally of Abandoned Ontario blew our goal clean out of the parking lot.
If you’ve ever watched that classic movie The Italian Job, (the proper 1969 version starring Sir Michael Caine that is) you’ll know that it features cool cars, precision planning, teamwork, awesome driving and something about a robbery. Very much like the rally, with the exception of the robbery.
Conceived originally as a fun event to get a few people out exploring (in the dead of winter when the Ontario 4x4 community loses most of the trails to snowmobiles), drivers were to be given written clues to fifty abandoned locations within a predetermined area. All they then had to do, was using a specific Back Road Map Book, plot the locations, plan their route and set off to discover and photograph abandoned Ontario. The pictures would then be uploaded to a secure Dropbox account for verification and to determine the ‘roll of honour’ once the rally was over.
The clues were posted to social media in the early hours of Saturday morning and those who wished to compete had to register in person at the Husky (as we were also accepting donations for the Bradford Food Bank who received $450 plus two trunk loads of food. Thanks guys!). For two and a half hours the CORE Outfitters support crew marshalled an amazing variety of vehicles through registration process before parking them up prior to the planned 11 am start.
Teams had travelled from as far afield as Sundridge, Windsor, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and even Gatineau, PQ to compete, and they arrived in everything from full spec overland rigs, through stock 4x4’s, a variety of ‘normal’ cars