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Madawaska Roundhouse

Located in: Algonquin Park
Location #5263

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Location Owner:timo explorer
Creation Date: 8/25/2012
Last Updated: 10/24/2012


Back in the day when lumbermen and railway barons ruled the land, the most famous of all in Ontario was J.R. Booth, owner of the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway. Booth was primarily a lumberman, but also built his own railways to haul his logs to the mills. His railway. built in the 1880's, ran from Ottawa to its terminus at Depot Harbour, near Parry Sound. Most explorers of abandoned places have visited Depot Harbour, and if you haven't I highly recommend doing it very soon. The highlight is the incredible roundhouse, standing like a Roman coliseum in the forest.
Booth also built a second roundhouse, near the mid-point of his railway along the Madawaska River. Here he built a roundhouse and station, just as impressive as the one in Depot Harbour. Unfortunately this structure, which stood for over 100 years, was torn down in 1994, for safety reasons and for the construction of a new dam.

Today all that remains is the berm which surrounded the tall concrete walls, a few pilings, and the concrete pad. If you look closely in the overgrown young forest, you can still see stone, metal and wood remnants of a time gone by. Now most of the area has become a community park, but the area of the roundhouse stills remains, although vastly overgrown. The former rail line is clearly visible, now only an ATV trail.
The village of Madawaska owes its very existence to the railroad, and yet no plaque or historic sign marks this spot.

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Status: Abandoned
Category: Foundations

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Madawaska Roundhouse
Created on:10/23/2012
Created by: WrecksdaleWreck
3 photos
Madawaska Roundhouse (c1987)
Madawaska Roundhouse
Created on:9/8/2012
Created by: dieter
3 photos
Madawaska Round House
Madawaska Roundhouse
Created on:8/25/2012
Created by: timo explorer
9 photos

SuperSonic says:
3/2/2013 8:11:11 PM

this is a cool site

WrecksdaleWreck says:
10/24/2012 2:09:28 AM

CN continued service on the line from Ottawa on a daily basis after 1933. The water tank was moved to Barry's Bay where locomotives could be turned. Occasional trips to end of steel were made from there.

WrecksdaleWreck says:
10/24/2012 2:05:30 AM

Abandonment of the Madawaska Roundhouse was largely a result of the closure of through service in 1933 on the CN line from Depot Harbour to Ottawa was the result not of the depression, but a decline in traffic, a year after the opening of the enlarged Welland Canal. CN's excuse to close the through service was a condemned wooden bridge in Algonquin Park.

WrecksdaleWreck says:
10/23/2012 7:28:59 PM

I was in Madawaska on one fine sunny summer day in 1972 and I took the photograph of the roundhouse that Timo Explorer has uploaded to this site. He must have uploaded it from my flickr page.

WrecksdaleWreck says:
10/23/2012 6:54:53 PM

KyrinRan The railway at Lake St. Peter was Canadian Northern.

dieter says:
9/8/2012 10:10:51 AM

This was, of course, the Ottawa Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway (OAPSR), or just "The J.R. Booth road". I recommend the book "Over the hills to Georgian Bay". A very good history and lots of photos.

dieter says:
9/8/2012 10:07:52 AM

Had a cottage just outside of Barrys Bay in the '80's and used to visit the roundhouse site every summer. I found a few photos I took in 1987 during one visit. A good friend worked for CN on the Madawaska sub. Many good stories about the places up there.

clay70 says:
8/26/2012 12:30:04 PM

people today probably dont think of the effort needed to build these railways in the canadian shield back then...

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On 10/24/2012 1:33:50 AM user WrecksdaleWreck deleted photos : GTR Madawaska (19).jpg /
On 10/24/2012 1:30:50 AM user WrecksdaleWreck uploaded photos : Roundhouse.jpg /
On 10/24/2012 12:50:10 AM user WrecksdaleWreck uploaded photos : GTR Madawaska (19).jpg / Madawaska 3.jpg /
On 10/23/2012 8:27:48 PM user WrecksdaleWreck uploaded photos : Madawaska 5.jpg / to SID: 5263Wrec2152
On 10/23/2012 8:22:25 PM user WrecksdaleWreck created gallery : Madawaska
On 9/8/2012 10:00:34 AM user dieter uploaded photos : 024.JPG / 027.JPG / 028.JPG / to SID: 5263diet5757
On 9/8/2012 9:58:21 AM user dieter created gallery : Madawaska Roundhouse (c1987)
On 8/25/2012 9:21:38 PM user timo explorer uploaded photos : P1090135.JPG / P1090132.JPG / P1090133.JPG / P1090134.JPG / P1090136.JPG / P1090137.JPG / P1090138.JPG / P1090139.JPG / images.jpg / to SID: 5263timo1819
On 8/25/2012 9:18:33 PM user timo explorer created gallery : Madawaska Round House
On 8/25/2012 9:17:36 PM user timo explorer changed the following: latitude, longitude, description