There are several good reasons to visit a ghost town. Perhaps you're a photographer in search of a new site to hold a photo shoot; or you're an urban explorer/historian, looking for answers to the past. Or maybe, you're just interested in the thrill of exploring. There's just something intriguing about wandering through an abandoned place that was once so full of life and colour.
Here are 10 ghost towns in Ontario that are all equally beautiful as they are hauntingly creepy. Some of these towns may now be populated with an extremely small number of residents.
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Nicholson is located northwest of Chapleau in Sudbury. It was formerly a lumber mill town that used to be home to approximately 400 residents. The town was most known for its Austin-Nicholson mill, which was the largest producer of railroad ties in the early 1900s. The mill eventually burned down in 1933, causing the financial collapse of the town.
Germania was colonized by several German migrants in the 1870s and was primarily a farming town. At one point, it accommodated about 200 residents; however, the town began to die down as older farmers retired and children began to move to more urban areas.
Falkenburg is found in the Muskoka region and was the main site for the construction of the Muskoka Road in 1859. The road allowed for the use of stagecoaches for transportation, which the town relied on economically. With the appearance of a train station a few years later, stagecoaches were abandoned and Falkenburg's importance began to diminish, leading to the eventual demise of the town.
Balaclava is a ghost town in Renfrew County that was once a thriving lumber town. The town grew rather rapidly, and established amenities like a dam, sawmill, blacksmith shop and hotel soon after its founding. A fire plagued the town in 1939 and the production of timber by the town was greatly decreased. The town eventually was abandoned; however, today there may still be a few new residents.
6. Allans Mills
Allans Mills was a small milling hamlet west of Perth in Lanark County. The town was named after William Allan, who the built saw and grist mills that kept the town alive. The town later acquired more buildings, like a general store and a shoe shop; but by the late 1890s, business for the town declined as timber supplies became scarce. Today, it is one of the few ghost towns in Ontario that are still relatively intact.
Indiana is a ghost town found within the Ruthven Park National Historic Site; 1 km North of Haldimand County. The town was developed by a man named David I. Thompson, who built a saw and grist mills, as well as a dam in a stretch of land he obtained by the Grand River. The town flourished in 1870 and was home to about 300 people, but was later abandoned.
Swords is a ghost town found in the township of Seguin in Parry Sound. The community became a lumbering town after the development of a railway in the area in 1894. In 1925, a family with the surname "Sword" attained the township and ran many of its businesses. One business in particular, called the Maple Lake Hotel, still stands today but has been victim to several break-ins and vandalism.
Vroomanton is located northwest of Sunderland, Ontario. It was primarily a farming town, founded by Colonel James Vrooman who attained the land as a reward for his service in the War of 1812. Although the village thrived, railways were not accessible to the area. Residents began to move out to a neighbouring town, Sunderland, which did have railway lines and the town was eventually abandoned.
2. Cooper’s Falls
Cooper's falls is hamlet on Black River in the Ramara Township near the village of Washago. The town was named after Thomas Cooper, who was the first settler in the area. Cooper's family built several establishments that kept the town alive, particularly a lumber mill. When the lumber mill closed in the late 1800s, the town's residents all left to find business elsewhere. Currently, there are a few residents (around 14) but the area still has a somewhat eerie vibe.
Newfoundout is located 6 km north of Opeongo Road in Renfrew, Ontario. The town was populated by families that were forced there by the Public Land Act of 1853. It became completely abandoned by 1948, as the barren and rocky landscape made it impossible to farm and make a living out of the area.
Exploring The Obscure investigates ghost towns just like these on their TV show, as well as other odd places around the world. Check them out on Facebook!