I have a new-found love for ghost towns in my area of Eastern, Ontario. For some, the word ghost town conjures up images of old western towns that were abandoned post-gold rush. The ghost towns I am on the search for are a little closer to me and are usually a direct result of an economic downfall. The local mill was usually the economical center of the 1800’s small towns of Easter Ontario. Once the mills shut down, the townspeople left.
I recently explored another Ontario ghost town called Allan’s Mill. Similar to Balaclava, Allan’s Mill was founded around the mill. Balaclava was a bustling lumber town in the 1860’s. Balaclava is now considered an abandoned or ghost town. What remains is “a few houses, an abandoned general store and blacksmith shop, an old dam over which the main road passes and a marvelously intact 19th-century sawmill.”
The Balaclava Mill is easy to spot on your drive through the area. The mill is visible when you are approaching the bridge on Scotch Bush Road off of highway 132. It is in pristine condition for photographs, I would not explore the building itself. No trespassing, private property.
There is so much to love about this building. I love the windows, the wood, and the peeling metal roof. Perfect for a ghost town.
A peek inside the old saw mill from the bridge. There was NO way I was entering the building. There are NO TRESPASSING signs everywhere and the look of those floors is enough of a deterrent for me. The zoom on my camera is all the exploration I need! Besides, I bet there are HUGE spiders in there… big nope.
On the other side of the bridge and dam, there is this old weathered building. I can only guess at what this building was used for in the past. All I know is today, this building is photogenic.
My husband and I think this was the old general store in Balaclava. Just steps away from the wood mill makes Balaclava the easiest ghost town to explore and photograph. There was one last building, the blacksmith maybe, too far in the rough to explore. Overall, Balaclava is a great spot to take a peek at a real Ontario ghost town. Not too far of a drive from Ottawa.
A bonus was being able to stop at a famous chip truck in the valley. Our little treat. If you have not been to Wes’ you must. They do one thing only, fries, and they do it well. Stop in if you are in the area.
Have you explored a ghost town?