Depot Harbour, Ontario • Ghost Towns of Canada

Depot Harbour, Ontario • Ghost Towns of Canada

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Running time:

23 minutes


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Available in Canada

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Part of the Ghost Towns of Canada series

On the shores of Parry Island in Georgian Bay, Canadian lumber giant John Rudolphus Booth built Depot Harbour, the terminus for his private rail line that transported timber and linked grain farmers in the west to ports on the Atlantic. Initially, he purchased land from the island's Ojibway reserve and later expropriated more territory from the band using a little-known provision of the Railway Act. But despite these acrimonious beginnings, the town of Depot Harbour would grow into a tight-knit community in which the Ojibway people and diverse immigrant groups lived together happily.

By 1900, Depot Harbour handled more than 35% of Canada's grain shipments and boasted a population of 3,000. For $16 million, Booth sold his railway, the largest private line in Canada, and his departure would signal the beginnings of Depot Harbour's demise. The last vestiges of the town would remain, however, until a dramatic fire at the close of World War II, in which stores of cordite sparked explosions visible for a 10-mile radius.

Titles included in this series:
Ireland's Eye, Newfoundland
Grosse Île, Québec
Val Jalbert, Québec
Silver Islet, Ontario
Creighton, Ontario
Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan
Rowley, Alberta
Nordegg, Alberta
Barkerville, British Columbia
Sandon, British Columbia
Ocean Falls, British Columbia
Cassiar, British Columbia

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