Lost Channel


Photo of Ruins
Sawmill ruins
©Jeri Danyleyko

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

How to get there

Lost Channel can be found just off Highway 522, about 20 kilometres east of Highway 69. Follow the Lost Channel Rd. to the lodge. You’ll see a dirt road on the other side of the cove, across from the lodge. Follow the road (and former bed of the KVR) a few hundred metres to a clearing on your left. Walk down the clearing to the water where you’ll find the location of the old townsite off to your right.

View Ontario Ghost Town Map in a larger map

Nearby centre: Magnetawan, 17 kilometres

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