If you travel the Opeongo Line, one of Ontario’s earliest-built roads, you’re going to find at least one ghost town, and lots of spooky stories…
Back in the 1850s, the Canadian government proposed that the Opeongo Line run west from the Ottawa River to Opeongo Lake in present-day Algonquin Provincial Park, and then continue on to Georgian Bay. European immigrants were lured to this area with the promise of fertile farm land. Many moved on when they discovered a very rocky landscape. Today, along the old Opeongo Line and on nearby back roads, ghost towns like Brudenell, Foymount, Balaclava and Letterkenny remind us of what once was. Lonely, haunted grey-timbered buildings and split-rail fences, the Canadian hideaway of famous gangster outlaw Al Capone, and on the highest point of land around, even an abandoned radar line designed to detect Soviet-era bombers coming over the polar ice cap.
Head to the top of Foymount to get a sense of its past. This highest point of land in the area is where NORAD operated the Pinetree Radar Line from the early 50s to the 70s. You’ll find a series of old, abandoned NORAD buildings giving the place a ghostly feel. The view of the surrounding countryside is stunning.
Dead Man Saves Three Lives!
Back in the 1870s, the ghost town of Brudenell was the ‘sin bin’ of the Opeongo Line.