There's a lot of raw historical value in abandoned buildings - structures left seemingly untouched and left behind over the decades. While some abandoned buildings in Ottawa have rightfully been restored, quite a few have been left dormant.

Most abandoned buildings in Ottawa typically get demolished but there's still a small selection scattered within and outside the city limits that can still be explored. Whether you're looking for an old Soviet radar site or an old military base, there's ought to be a place you have yet to explore.

See these abandoned buildings before they're shut down due to crowds. Here's 8 abandoned spots near Ottawa that are totally worth visiting:

via @rorywass

CFS Lac St. Denis

Distance: 1 hr. and 30 minutes

What was it: Former Canadian Forces station

A hugely underrated 5-story abandoned military complex that stands high up on a hill near the lake of the same name. The place is riddled with graffiti now, but it's still open for exploration.

via @veveordie

Willson Carbide Mill

Distance: 45 minutes

What was it: An old carbide mill

Located near Meech Lake in Gatineau Park, these ruins are accessible by trail and have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Head out early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Generally speaking, the trail itself is well-maintained and not too strenuous.

via @bjhart0

Stony Swamp Ruins

Distance: 20 minutes

What was it: An old house

Located in the Greenbelt in Stony Swamp is early evidence of some of Ottawa's first settlers. You can find the ruins of this old stone house right off Trail #26.

via @theklattinthehat

Mackenzie King Estate

Distance: 45 minutes

What was it: Former Prime Minister Mackenzie King's estate

The Estate itself is located right on Lac Kingsmere and has since been restored and is in good condition. What's more fascinating on the property is King's collection of ruins that are scattered across the estate to explore.

via @ottawa_magazine

Ottawa Jail Hostel

Distance: Right beside the Rideau Centre

What was it: The Carleton County Gaol (Ottawa Jail)

Some of Canada's most notorious criminals were hung here and some would argue that they've seen their ghosts roam about the former prison's halls. The prison complex is now privately owned and is a low accommodation hostel in the downtown core of Ottawa. You can book a budget room and stay overnight in the jail cell of a former criminal right here.

via @barlowc

Brockville Railway Tunnel

Distance: 1 hr.

What was it: Canada's first railway tunnel.

Though you won't be able to explore the tunnel in its entirety, a section of the abandoned railway is located right in downtown Brockville for easy accessibility.

via @travelmetric


Now preserved as a museum, this abandoned former nuclear fallout shelter is a great place to take photographs and to explore. The bunker goes deep, so if you're claustrophobic, prepare yourself. Admission for adults is $14.00 and $10.00 for students

via @nightly_adventures

Rideau Trail Car Dump

Distance: 20 minutes

What was it: Car dump

You can find this old dump west of Ottawa. Plenty of vintage cars from the 40s have been scrapped here and their bodies are still in actually relatively good condition. The coordinates of the exact location are hard to pin down, but Capital Gems has a good waypoint linked here.

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