Ruins of a home©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Pakesley, located in Parry Sound Region, began as a sleepy little siding and whistle stop on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) around 1912. As the CPR pushed northward, they established a small section village and freight station for shipping goods.
In the meantime the Schroeder lumber mill in nearby Lost Channel completed the Key Valley Railway (KVR) to connect with the main CPR line. Once the railway was completed, Schroeder added a large lumber yard and Pakesley quickly grew to become an important satellite village for the Lost Channel lumber operations.
At its height, Pakesley contained terminal facilities, three boarding houses, two offices and an assortment of other buildings to service the railway. Two trains arrived daily bringing lumber to be stored and dried. A number of homes were added, and later a school, two-storey hotel, and a restaurant. There were also a number of lodges and tourist facilities. By 1924 the community contained nearly 30 structures and about 150 residents.
Pakesley's days of prosperity didn't last long. After the lumber mill closed in the 1930s, Pakesley began to fall silent. Most of the businesses were closed by the 1950s.
Today three original homes, the schoolhouse, a shell and foundations are all that remain of Pakesley.