Ontario Abandoned Places

Documenting Canada's Abandoned Structures

Altona (ghost town)

Ontario : Ajax/Pickering
Location #691

Location Owner:clay70
Creation Date: 6/5/2009
Last Updated: 5/15/2019

Altona is a ghost town located on the border between Uxbridge and Pickering Townships, in the old Ontario County. It was named after the town near Hamburg, Germany where many of Markham Township's first settlers hailed from. Today, Altona is in the City of Pickering in Durham Region at Sideline 30. It is just east of Stouffville, Ontario. Its north section is in Uxbridge Township.

In 1852, the Altona Mennonite Church was erected. The building was constructed by pioneers who immigrated here from Pennsylvania in the early 1800's. The bricks came from the Cherrywood brick yard. Local families included the Reesors, Widemans, Nighswanders, Hoovers and Stouffers. The first grave is dated 1835.

The 1st postmaster was J. Monkhouse in 1857. A photo of his farmstead on the west side of Altona is pictured below. He built the large grist mill just SE of the 4 corners below the mill pond. The Nighswanders built the woolen mill 1 km south of the hamlet on the west side of the road. It was converted into a cider mill that was popular throughout most of the 1900's. It has been taken down in recent years, but the mill pond waterfall is still there.

In the 1800's, along with the post office, grist and woolen mills there was a hotel at the main intersection's NE side, built in 1858. It is located right on the Uxbridge/Pickering border. The site was used as an inn for 60 years and then as a grocery store and later in 1921 as an apartment building. A public hall existed on the NW side of the 4 corners.

Today, 2 churches, a school, 2 cemeteries, the general store/hotel, and homes remain; but more than half of the other buildings have been been boarded up by the federal government due to supposed plans to bring an airport to the area. This gives a very eerie feeling as you drive through from all four directions. As of 2010 they are being torn down one-by-one.

A web search reveals this from Ontario County records (1869):

A village in the township of Pickering, 20 miles north-west of Whitby. Population about 200.

Brown, A, hotelkeeper
Monkhouse, T., merchant
Cliff, E., carder, &c.
Mordon, G., laborer
Haggerman, L., pumpmaker, &c.
Neighswander, S., merchant miller
Hoover, J. G., laborer
Neighwander, M., farmer
Jones, A., farmer
Robertson, R., shoemaker
Key, M., carpenter
Skene, J., millright
MONKHOUSE, JOSEPH, Postmaster, &c.
Stouffer J., farmer
Wilson, J., blacksmith

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Status: Unknown | Category: Ghost Town

Altona (ghost town)
Created on:5/15/2019
Created by: magnezone150
5 photos
abandoned farm MARCH 2017
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:7/15/2017
Created by: Hvyds
4 photos
Altona Cemetery
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:6/1/2017
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Altona Secondary No.16
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:9/24/2016
Created by: n3rdf1ght3r
6 photos
Altona Mennonite Church / Ceme
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:6/1/2016
Created by: JussticeJ
4 photos
Altona SS NO 16
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:2/15/2016
Created by: Ornada
8 photos
Cowboy Church
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:6/7/2014
Created by: DARKMAN
3 photos
Altona Community Center
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:12/22/2013
Created by: gabrillathehun
3 photos
Union Church 2012
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:12/5/2012
Created by: D Explore
4 photos
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:10/10/2011
Created by: lauradv
7 photos
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:8/21/2011
Created by: chri5tin3
13 photos
Union Church
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:4/30/2011
Created by: timo explorer
4 photos
Sideline 28 Bungalow
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:1/2/2011
Created by: captamerica
6 photos
Historic Altona photos
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:1/1/2011
Created by: clay70
3 photos
Paulapie's Altona
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:8/17/2010
Created by: paulapie
6 photos
Altona Ghost Town in Progress
Altona (ghost town)
Created on:6/30/2010
Created by: clay70
31 photos

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Province: Ontario

mobileworks says:
4/27/2016 8:51:54 AM

If there are old cemeteries there, then there is still lots to explore:) Why not expand Markham Airport just SW or expand Oshawa Airport just east?

clay70 says:
4/6/2015 8:10:46 PM

most of the buildings were removed for good 2 yrs ago

__seetee says:
4/5/2015 8:57:17 PM

The hubby and I went up here on Friday, and there was really nothing to explore at all. Shame really.

gabrillathehun says:
10/6/2014 4:17:31 PM

I still have very good friends living in Altona, although many Homes, Farms, and other buildings are gone, I believe there may be about 150(ish) people still living in the area.
A beautiful two story home I used to live in on the 30 Sideline (right beside clay70's cover photo house Altona Ghost Town in Progress. It burnt down from the tenant that moved in after me. :( 2 Barns, Pool, nice proper

gabrillathehun says:
10/6/2014 4:13:00 PM

That hotel from what I understand, had William Lyon MacKenzie as a guest.

glueguy says:
6/8/2014 9:07:45 AM

Is the entire town abandoned?

clay70 says:
7/7/2013 11:33:22 PM

I am glad I preserved the history of this place before it was too late...I knew it was a ghost town when I 1st visited it even though Brown never wrote about it in his books

timo explorer says:
3/29/2013 3:56:17 PM

The school is now gone, and the church just to the east as well. Altona has been wiped off the map.

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