The story of Canada is one of the places that started as tiny settlements and then grew into great cities. However, it’s also one of the places where things didn’t work out as planned.
Towns were started, in many cases thrived for a while and then, for various reasons, the inhabitants gave up and went to seek their fortune elsewhere. These spooky abandoned towns in Canada may not be as famous as the big, bustling cities but they’re no less fascinating.
Here Are Abandoned Towns You Won’t Believe Are in Canada
Embarras was named for the river and not for the verb. The town was founded in 1913 as a siding on the Alberta Coal Branch Line. As coal locomotives made way for diesel engines in the 1960s, Embarras fell into decline.
9.Stanley, British Columbia
Stanley popped up in 1861 during the Cariboo Gold Rush and, according to the Cariboo Regional District, had a population larger than that of nearby Barkerville. Today the only building still standing is the old Lightning Hotel, which could easily be one of the most unique hotels in the world.
Looking at Flowerdale today, you’d be forgiven if you thought it reminded you of one of those inspiring ancient places you can visit around the planet. Revolvy says the town once boasted a post office, a general store and a sod house. This is all that remains.
Nemiscam was founded in 1915 when inhabitants of nearby Bingham moved closer to the railway running parallel to Highway 61 in southern Alberta. According to Ghost Towns of Alberta, the town’s decline started in the 1940s as people moved to Foremost instead. Today, Nemiscam has only two inhabitants.
According to Saskatchewan Ghost Towns, Robsart was founded in 1910. The arrival of the railway brought an economic boom but the town went into decline with the Great Depression. Today there are only 20 inhabitants and lots of abandoned buildings.
Technically, Dorothy isn’t a ghost town because it still has a handful of residents. However, it’s full of abandoned buildings hinting of the town’s heyday. According to Ghost towns of Alberta, the village got its post office in 1908 and experienced a boom in the 1920s with the arrival of the railway. And then began to fade away.
Of course, there’s a place in Canada called Canuck but it’s definitely not representative of what the country is all about. Once a thriving community, Canuck’s population started to drop in the 1930s. Today nobody lives here anymore. It’s located just north of the US border and about 12.5 km west of Climax.
Located in what is today Banff National Park — home to some of the best hiking trails in Canada — Bankhead was founded in 1903 as a coal-mining town. The mines here supplied coal to the Canadian Pacific Railway and to the boilers at the Banff Springs Hotel. Atlas Obscura says that the mining operations closed in 1922 and the residents moved away.
2.Butedale, British Columbia
Flowing directly into the ocean, Butedale Falls on Princess Royal Island should really be one of Canada’s must-see waterfalls. Next to the falls you’ll find the abandoned buildings of what was once a thriving town revolving around a salmon cannery. The cannery was built in 1911.
If you’re moved by images of abandoned theatres, barns and television sets, you should put Bounty on your bucket list. According to Abandoned Playgrounds, Bounty lost its village status in 1997 because so many people had left. It used to be a thriving town back in the day, with a theatre, its own newspaper and even a professional baseball team.