Scotia (Junction)


Photo of rail trail
The rail trail
©Yvan Charbonneau

Scotia, first settled around 1875, began as a small postal and farming outlet in Parry Sound District. By 1879 the little community included a mill and a number of farmsteads.

Things changed quickly with the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in 1885. Following construction of a small section village and station, businesses quickly began to pour in. By 1890 the settlement had a general store, inn, blacksmith shop, school, church, and nearly 100 residents.

In 1899 the Canada Atlantic Railway (CAR) crossed through Scotia establishing a junction point with the GTR and the inevitable boom quickly followed. Scotia’s population swelled to nearly 400 residents. That led to an expansion of railway facilities and the construction of three hotels to accommodate the anticipated rail traffic.

World War I hit the railway industry hard but the major blow for Scotia took place after the war with the collapse of the GTR. In 1923, the government took control of the bankrupt railway and nationalized it under the banner of the Canadian National Railways (CN). CN, forced to assume the debts of its predecessors, lost no time in taking quick measures to cut their costs. Damage to a bridge trestle from ice and flooding in Algonquin Park in 1933 led to the shutdown of the CAR. In 1955, they listed the tracks.

Scotia’s slide downward was slow, but steady. The community still exists as a small rural settlement. Four original homes are all that remain from the old village. Learn more

How to get there

Scotia is located in Parry Sound District.

From Huntsville drive North on Hwy 11 for about 15 kilometres to Novar. From Novar an offramp will give you access to Hwy. 592. Follow the road for nearly 8 kilometres until you arrive at the Scotia and Birchdale Roads. Here lies the remains of downtown Scotia. The little bridge before the intersection crosses the old CAR and leads a further west to the junction.

View Ontario Ghost Town Map in a larger map

Nearby centres: Kearney 9 kilometres, Burke’s Falls 15 kilometres and Huntsville 23 kilometres.

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