The village began when the Lauder, Spears and Howland Company built a small sawmill on the Pickerel River. The lumber was hauled by horses down a rough road to nearby Mowat about 20 km away.
By 1912-1914, this situation was improved with the completion of a railway known as the Key Valley Railway which connected with the nearby Canadian Pacific Line to the west. At the western end of the line was Pakesley. On the Lost Channel end, a wye for turning locomotives was built as was a log dump for the sawmill.
The site also grew to contain a bunkhouse, cookery, hospital, school and single cabins.
On November 1, 1930 a fire broke out in the rail shop, which soon spread to the mill and destroyed it. The mill was rebuilt but in 1933 was closed and did not open again.
While not much is left except cement foundations, I was hardpressed to picture how the structures would have looked. Some of the cement foundations were on rocks, an unlikely place for a building. Also note a cement foundation on the shoreline. This village was used while lumber was cut and shipped by rail.
Barry Cott has a web page for model railroad enthusiasts. Two of his prototypes are the Lost Channel and Pakesley railways. An aerial view of Lost Channel can be found here.
Today, Lost Channel is a summer lodge operating out of the former bunkhouse.
Location: Take Highway 522 east (off highway 69) until you see Lost Channel Road and turn right. Follow the road to the lodge sign (if it is sitting on the road). Where the road forks, turn right to get to the lodge (which is the old boarding house) or take the narrow road on the left (left and right roads are split by the water) to get to the old ruins in the woods.
* In the middle of the 1900's other ghost towns listed on this site also had a Department of Lands and Forests' fire tower lookout located on a nearby hill. These include: Pakesley, Key Junction, Key Harbour, Dufferin Bridge, Bummer's Roost, Pickerel Landing, Lost Channel, Byng Inlet, Moon River, Cheddar, Germania, Ormsby, Uphill, Biscostasing, Renabie Mine, Milnet, Armstrong, Metagama, Cheminis, Wavell and Pineal Lake . For more info. on Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts go to this link: Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts.