masthead image

Lost Channel


Town site photo

Shell of a building

©Copyright: 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. To get around that the company decided to build a small rail line to connet with the main Canadian Pacific (CPR) mainline at the Pakesley siding.

In 1917 the mill was taken over by the Schroeder Mills and Timber Company, based in Wisconsin. Schroeder went on to complete the Key Valley Railway and build a new workers' village. The Canadian division was headed by James Ludgate who also owned another mill close by.

At its height, the Lost Channel town site was a busy operation. It included a bunkhouse, school, small hospital, cookery, and general store. Initially there were about a dozen homes for workers with families. Another 35 homes were added later. After another change of ownership, the mill survived until 1930 when it was hit by fire. It finally closed for good in 1933.

Today the former Lost Channel bunkhouse remains in use as a summer lodge, mainly for hunting and fishing. The remains of the old town site, which contain a number of interesting ruins, lie hidden on the north side of the cove.