Jackfish is one of the many ghost towns nestled in calm obscurity in northern Ontario.

A former railway stop, Jackfish used to be a small rail depot close to Highway 17 and the north shore of Lake Superior between Terrace Bay and Marathon. The town, founded in 1881, was supported by rail, fishing, forestry, quarrying, and a noteworthy hotel that housed up to 300 men until its abandonment in 1961.

Jackfish, Ontario in 1906. Highway 17 highway11.ca

Jackfish, Ontario in 1906. Now abandoned.

Jackfish was settled because it had an excellent harbour, allowing big ships to unload coal on-site for use by the railway. But the decline of steam technology led to the eventual decline of the town, which was left for good in 1961 when a papermill was built in nearby Marathon.

The CPR demolished a lot of the leftover buildings, including the church, the school, and the rail depot.  The local hotel burned down however there are some buildings standing in Jackfish that you can go see.

I didn’t take any photos so if you have any, or want to add to this page, please let me know by emailing me.  My address is info (at) highway11 (dot) ca.


Noslo is the place where the last spike was driven in the Montreal-to-Winnipeg portion of the CPR — the Last Spike at Noslo. Click here for a commemorative photograph of the event.

The first of the last spikes, Noslo was the point where the original thrust of the CPR (from Montreal to Thunder Bay) was finished on May 16, 1885, and the line was used to send troops to Manitoba to “deal with” Louis Riel soon after.

Noslo Lastspike highway 17

The last spike between Winnipeg and Montréal, photo from okthepk.ca

Today, there is a monument marking the place and the event. You’ll have to head off Highway 17 to reach it.