Ontario is sprinkled with ghost towns, places that started with big dreams that were ultimately dashed for one reason or another. These types of places are most common in the northern part of the province, but there are a few within a manageable drive of Toronto.
Variously spooky, sad, and beautiful, these towns and camps have stubbornly refused to be erased from history. Here are five ghost towns and abandonments to explore near Toronto.
Ottawa is known for having its fair share of haunted buildings, but one rarely talked about scary sight is an abandoned town just an hour’s away from downtown.
Just outside of Perth is Allan’s Mills – an abandoned mining town that became vacant in the 19th century. While not necessarily haunted, to this day, much of the original buildings still exist, including a general store, a post office, and even a small schoolhouse.
Practically every original building is still intact, making it one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Ontario and Canada. You’ll find the town – or more so, a hamlet – down a long stretch of gravel road near Perth. There are no streetlights going down the road, so if you’re afraid of the dark, perhaps don’t visit at night.
During its peak, Allan’s Mills was home to a shoemaker, a carpenter, a wagon maker and a few other nearby mill owners. All gradually left as business started to decline.
Today, the mill and its surrounding buildings are privately owned. This means you’re unable to explore the inside, but you’re still able to drive down Allans Mills Road to check out the buildings from your car. But, again – as the area is privately-owned – be respectful.
If you’re ever in Perth, the 10km drive to check out one of the province’s most famous rural ghost towns is always worth it. That is, if you’re brave enough.