Did you know that Ontario has several ghost towns scattered across the province? It is filled with them. And Bancroft Ontario just so happens to be home to a few.
Just over a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto is Bancroft, Ontario – a town rich in history, filled with picturesque buildings and abandoned homes in the countryside, according to its site.
It’s nested in the York River Valley on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield and is a tourist attraction thanks to its natural wonders and outdoor experiences. It’s popular for fishing, camping, snowmobiling and more.
Though the town itself is full of life, home to a small community with a lot of heart, the same can’t be said for the surrounding ghost towns that reflect Ontario’s past.
According to Bancroft’s official site, the ghost towns in the Bancroft area have since been abandoned due to a number of reasons like the economy, natural disasters, or the absence of gold.
“These eerie, abandoned towns often hold a rich history and serve as a haunting reminder of the past. It’s fun to imagine what life was like for the people who once lived there and these places offer a unique and intriguing glimpse into the area’s past.”
Travel back in time to the mid-1850’s, right to the town of Blairton – an iron manufacturing town located on the shores of Crowe Lake. With the addition of the railroad, the town saw an increase in profits and saw prosperity for 10 years until ice flows “ruined the railroad trestle and water seeped into the mine. The railroad was repaired, but the mine was devastated and never re-opened,” shared the site.
Craigmont is another mining town that only lasted 23 years after a fire destroyed the mill, and the town started to go downhill.
Eldorado was established when the first gold rush hit our province in 1866. “With great hopes of finding their fortune, people fled to the area, causing hotels, bars, brothels, boarding houses, stores, and more than 80 buildings to spring up,” states the site. But as fast as it grew, it quickly fell apart as the gold mines were proved to be worthless.
Foymount saw the Canadian Armed Forces set up a radar base there, “but when their occupancy in the town was no longer necessary, they shipped out, and the town lay quiet.” Now, six apartment buildings, a warehouse, and a school remain empty and overgrown.
Furnace Falls is also a ghost town with a small yet mighty cascade.
History buff or not, this ghost town experience is one of a kind and can easily be explored at your leisure.
After visiting those of the past, come back to the present and explore Bancroft while you’re at it.