A large portion of Ontario lies within the Canadian Shield. Back in the mid-1800s, the government enticed new immigrants to settle in this part of Ontario with an offer of free land. Immigrants began building colonized roads, such as Opeongo Road in the Ottawa Valley. Early settlers made a living in the logging or agricultural industries, gathering in small communities where they erected schools, general stores, and churches. This article explores the mysterious and spooky ghost towns of Ontario.
These Ontario ghost towns now serve the purpose of a fun road trip destination for curious explorers who enjoy getting spooked. Some of the ghost towns in the region are completely abandoned, whereas others still have small populations that are nowhere as big as they once were.
Balaclava. Balaclava is a small ghost town located near Dacre, Ontario in Renfrew County. Just a short drive from Renfrew, Ontario on Highway 132, turn right on Scotch Bush Road at Dacre and you will come to the small village of Balaclava. Balaclava eventually became an abandoned ghost town with townsfolk moving elsewhere in search of employment.
Legends say that you should avoid this small town after dusk for fear of timber wolves that have taken over the secluded area and roam at night looking for prey.
Brudenell. One of the largest communities on the old Opeongo Line that runs through the Ottawa Valley was the town of Brudenell. The village was established in the 1850s and consisted of several small hotels, a church, and a general store.
Perhaps it was the transient crowd that the hotels attracted that caused the town’s demise. Today, when touring Renfrew County Road 512 south of Killaloe, you will pass by the spooky remnants of the old ghost town that was once known as the “Sin Bin.” – a place for transgressors.
Eldorado. Hiking through brush, rocky hills, and seemingly endless fields in the mid-1860s, prospectors scrutinized each area for traces of copper. After months of exploring in Madoc, Ontario, about 115 km northwest of Kingston, the miners came upon traces of gold on John Richardson’s farmland.
To commemorate the first gold mine in Ontario, a historical plaque was installed by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario. The plaque is located at the corner of Hwy. 62 and John Street in the village of Eldorado, with a few of the original buildings still standing nearby, a reminder of the once fleeting golden moment.
From time to time, it is said that prospectors still roam the area in search of lost gold.