Lost Channel, located in the Parry Sound Region, got its start in 1914 with the opening of a small sawmill. Transporting the lumber through the bush to the nearest railway siding was both difficult and hazardous. For that reason, the company decided to build a small rail line to connect with the main Canadian Pacific (CPR) mainline at the Pakesley siding.
Schroeder Mills and Timber Company, based in Wisconsin, took over the mill in 1917. On the positive side, Schroeder went on to complete the Key Valley Railway and build a new workers’ village. James Ludgate, who owned another mill close by, headed up the Canadian division. .
All things considered, at its height, the Lost Channel town site was a busy operation. Accordingly, It included a bunkhouse, school, small hospital, cookery, and general store. Initially there were about a dozen homes for workers with families. Later on they added another 35 homes, followed by another change in ownership. Fire damaged the mill in 1930. As a result, it didn’t survive much beyond that finally closing for good in 1933.
On the positive side, the former Lost Channel bunkhouse remains in use as a summer lodge, mainly for hunting and fishing. Since good things rarely jump out at you, the remains of the old townsite lie hidden on the north side of the cove. They contain a number of interesting ruins. Learn more