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Return to index of Parry Sound District

Located in: Parry Sound District
Location #186

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Location Owner: OAP
Creation Date: 1/1/2006
Last Updated: 1/1/2006

Nobel is located in McDougall Township off of highway 69. Its first church was built in 1878 and a school the year prior.

It all began as a small farming community named Ambo. In 1912, one F. Lankford began buying up properties in the area. Some locals thought he might be opening a ranch, others thought perhaos it would be a goat farm.

It was later realized when the deal was done, that he was purchasing the land to house Canadian Explosive Limited. He'd purchased approximately 5000 acres of property which took some considerable negotiating given the secrecy he was required to abide by.

Plans were laid out in 1913 to build a dynamite and gelatin plant. By the summer of 1914 the production of dynamite had begun. The town was later named to Nobel at the request of CEL. This would be in honour of Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite.ΓΏ As for the plant itself, it was known as "Nobel Worls". This plant employed approximately 150 people.

The production of dynamite changed to the production of munitions for the First World War. In 1916 an explosion ripped through the pshrapnel lant, killing some workers.

By 1916 it became apparent that more accomodations for the increasing number of employees were necessary. As a result the "New Village" was built aprox. a mile south of the plant. It contained 26 homes, a bowling alley, rifle range, clubhouse and recreation centre. There were also docks for pleasure boats.

After the war, some of the factories were dismantled (1918).

The second world war brought back life to Nobel, as over 4000 people were now needed to produce explosives. After the war, in 1946, A.V. Roe of Canada Ltd. took occupation of many of the buildings. Then Orenda Engines Ltd. leased the site to test airplane engines for the Avro Arrow. When the Arrow was cancelled, the town returned to a ghost town state.

Status: Some ruins remain in the woods, as well as old plumbing lines and pavement. Once again the cemetary eluded me, frustrating, as I find these the most exciting part of a hunt. Old plumbing lines can still be found sticking up from the ground where the homes once were. The road eventually turns to grass however the grass is well trampled.

Location: Take Parkway Avenue (from Highway 69) in the town of Nobel. The road ends in a loop, with luxurious homes. Between two homes on the right hand side, lay the remains of the old sidewalks and road. The laneway is PRIVATE PROPERTY - do not trespass!

Abandoned houses may be dangerous! Read the LEGAL DISCLAIMER.
Always obtain permission before entering someone else's property.

Status: Unknown
Category: Ghost Town

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Video footage from Nobel

A foundation for a children's slide which was part of a grass field park.

This is the road into the forest.

A close up look at the road info the old site.

A square foundation in the forest.

The grassy path

Old plumbing can be found along the way.

The main road resumes again after the forest.

The Avro Arrow (from CBC movie).

Rusting gate leading to the old site.

Side view of one of the wind tunnels.

The tunnels used to test the Avro Arrow


Large cement floor

These pictures are from the testing grounds for the Avro Arrow, which was also the site for Canadian Explosives.

September 2008 photos of the Nobel Avro Arrow test site