Under BCCC
Degrassi, PCBs and keys

Bell Centre for Creative Communications


951 Carlaw Ave (Pape and Mortimer)
Former borough of East York - now Toronto.
  • The Carlaw Building originally constructed in 1955 as a teachers college for the University of Toronto.
  • Sold to Centennial College in the 60s and was mostly abused/unused until 1994
  • In the late eighties, the campus was used to film the Canadian teenage melodrama, Degrassi High.
  • Now the Communications Arts campus of Centennial College and is Canada's largest multimedia training centre.
  • Received a complete overhaul, as well $35 million in corporate funding from Bell Canada, Silicon Graphics, Kodak, Sony and others. 

Official Webite - http://www.bccc.com/

Located at fringe area where upscale Riverdale meets Canada's only borough lies the Bell Centre, the wonderful, airy, almost-downtown, high-tech campus of Centennial College.  From the minute you enter the terrazzo tiled foyer, you're greeted with large windows, looking out to the courtyard, and a huge ramp leading up to the second  floor.  

On the left however, are four doors leading to the auditorium, a part of the building which remains rather low-key.  After the huge renovation, the college didn't have enough money to finish the auditorium, and it sits un-renovated and unused.  The doors are locked.   The auditorium plays an integral part in infiltrating the BCCC (B-triple-C to the ultra-hip)

Bell Centre Map

(to give you an idea of the building, the large space in the middle is the courtyard)

If you're lucky enough to find the auditorium doors unlocked (which they occasionally are), you'll then have to try your best to avoid security.   The campus is patrolled 24 hours a day by rent-a-clowns, who usually sit at their desk all day or night, which, by the way, is located in the front foyer, directly across from the auditorium doors.   A clever ruse would be to inform the guard about the "disturbance" at the other end of the campus.  There are also quite a few cameras (for such a small campus) around the school... notably, one in the foyer, pointing toward area of the ramp... easily avoided if you're trying to enter the auditorium.  Also,  there is a side entrance to the auditorium, but it only opens from the inside.. we secured this as an entry point for future exploration after we lucked-out the first time and found the front doors open.

Once inside the auditorium, there are stairs leading down to the basement on either side of the stage.

Time exposure looking down a tunnel...

In the auditorium, to the right of the stage, there's an old stairway leading into the basement.

Workbench...Continue down a small hallway, and you're in a large, empty room with a door leading  further down the hallway and another to your left, containing some ventilation shafts, as well as a workbench with some fluorescent light tubes, and and old ditto machine.. probably from the days of the old teacher's college.


Corridor leading to tunnels.. Here's the corridor leading into the main tunnel system.  The lights are usually turned off here, but there's a switch on the wall... it's accompanied by a loud (whoomp!) sound.. 

A wee bit further down, there's a large fan or some ventilation gizmo.  At the right of this photo you can see some white boards against the wall.  These are from the days when the college was pitching the idea of the campus to the corporate sponsors, and outlines their "game-plan" for getting funding.Propaganda..



Past the fan and the a few paces down the corridor is a tiny ladder leading upto a small door... it's a tiny door that looks like it's belongs in Alice's Wonderland.

Looking down another tunnel...tunnel2.jpg (12122 bytes)

About halfway down the tunnel, there's another leading off to the left... if you follow this.. it leads to a fork, going left will lead you to the other side of that tiny tunnel with the spool (picture above), going right will lead you to down a longer tunnel, full of cobwebs  and you'll end up jumping out of a whole in the wall and into another room, containing a large brick pit... filled with sand.  I have no idea what's underneath the sand, and didn't really care to find out.


Exiting tunnel system...The exit point of the main tunnel.  This is where things really get out of control. We thought this was just another mechanical room, until we noticed a table by a door...

This thing really blows..





It had a few boxes, and what looked like drill bits

KEYS!!!   Tonnes and tonnes of keys!  Judging by the metal filings on the table, this is where maintenance staff used to make copies of the keys for the entire building.

Keys!!!KEYS!!!!List - shows which key opens which door...

It's in a (supposed) locked room.. locked from the outside.   I guess they forgot about the tunnel. In one of the boxes is a whole lot of numbered envelopes, containing 2-4 keys per code..They leave them in here for students to exploit.... and if that's not enough;

There's a piece of paper lying on the table which details and outlines which code/numbered key opens which room in the building.  For the purpose of our visit.  We borrowed the keys necessary for our exploration. 

Disclaimer:  Kids, When exploring/infiltrating.. do not take things! It's just plain wrong...  We borrowed them, used them and returned them.

Feet..Amateur Locksmithing..

Darkness.. beautiful darkness.Brilliance.

Beyond the key room is a hallway with 8 doors, 4 on either side... some are locked, but... hey.. guess what?  We have keys! :-)    The doors on the opposite side of the keyroom act primarily as a storage place for the college and some of its defunct programs... in here you'll find; old modems, bulletin boards, parking signs, old overheads and other exciting teaching-aids...  On the other side of the hallway.. things start to get a little interesting.  The first thing that stands out is a door with the following sign attached to it:

Polychlorinated Biphenyls...

Hmm... PCB Storage?  The basement of the school acts as a storage site for some old transformer containing PCBs... yummy.  This room is locked, and shall remain that way (for good measure, we tried out keys; to no avail..)

The next door on the same side is also a tasty little treat... also locked, it's a treasure-trove of old equipment, including old MACs, a few SGI's... a big box full of IndyCams, Macintosh peripherals.. old/broken laser printers, keyboards, mics,   5.25" floppy drives.. all the stuff I used to play with as a kid when I should have been busy having a social life..  There's also a box containing miscellaneous junk, including old Kodak 8mm film (really old - we're talking 1930s here)   I took the liberty of checking out the footage... it contained some home movie type-stuff, featuring old Model T's, affluent looking people dressed to the height of fashion sometime in the 1930s as well as some footage taken from the grassy knoll.

Fun-filled corridor..NOT asbestos..

(That's the hallway.. at the end and to the left is where the door to the key room is)

LockersShower.. without a shower head.

The further down the hallway you go, it gets weirder and weirder.... the next two doors house... of all things, showers.  These two (girl/boy) locker rooms are the most renovated parts of the basement.  Bizarre.

That's it for the corridor, peek your head out the exit door and there's a set of stairs leading up to the loading dock (where one must stealthily try and avoid security)

This way up

Directly across from the corridor is the entrance to the engine room.. a fun-filled adventure for the entire family...

Engine RoomEngineered Air??

Probably a bomb.Looks heavy duty..

Climate ControlTry using login name: Guest...

The only other sorta-cool thing that we did while exploring the building, was venture up to the roof... this was achieved by scaling the "cage" at the top of one of the flights of stairs.. it's basically this big metal gate/fence/cage deal.. that you can easily climb over, and slip through the unlocked door leading to the roof.. here's a pic of the ever-elusive Ninjalicious... it's such a lovely photograph, taken by Holmes Hardware.. to appreciate the full beauty of the photo, I should mention that the sky was pitch black when this was taken...

Ninj on BCCC roof... 


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