Fraserdale began in the early 20th century as a small railway stop close to the Abitibi Canyon. Take highway 634 north from the town of Smooth Rock Falls.
The Ontario Power Service Corporation, a subsidiary of the Abitibi Power and Paper Company, sought to construct a hydro generating plant in the area. In 1930 the Dominion Construction Company began construction of the generating station. Unfortunately construction was halted in July of 1932 when the OPSC fell into receivership. Construction at the station resumed in 1933 when the Province of Ontario took over development.
While the facility was being built, the OPSC also began construction of a small community to house their workers. The community was given the name Abitibi Canyon Colony. By the 1940's approximately 130 people lived in Abitibi Canyon Colony that now included 30 permanent homes, four temporary homes and five privately owned homes. The colony offered many of the same services that other towns could offer including a well-equipped staff house, community hall, skating rink, shooting range, school, hospital, general store, post office and church.
The community also contained swimming pool, four-lane bowling alley, billiards rood, library, theatre, and curling rink. These luxuries were necessary to keep families
entertained, due to the isolation of the area. The winters were particularly cold and the summers full of black flies.
Until 1966 the only access to Fraserdale and the nearby colony was by railway. The nearest town, Cochrane, was 116km away. A train would run Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Passengers disembarked at the Fraserdale station where they would take the Hydro train for a 5.6km ride to the colony's siding. The name of Fraserdale came from Alan Fraser, an engineer for the railway.
The area's isolation was broken in 1966 when a 74km road (Highway 634) was constructed south to Smooth Rock Falls.
At its prime, the colony had over 1000 residents. As families grew older, children left to attend high school. The hydro company was spending over $1 million dollars per year to maintain the site. Beginning in 1980 the colony was phased out over a two-year period.
After the Abitibi Canyon Colony closed, Fraserdale took over as a colony for hydro workers and once could boast over 1500 residents.
Fraserdale is located 131km north of Timmins. Today it is a spot for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. From Fraserdale, a gravel road leads north to the Ontario Hydro generating station at Otter Rapids.