Abitibi Dam

Abitibi Dam

In 1930 the Ontario Power Service Corporation began building the Abitibi Canyon Generating Station. The company went into receivership and construction was taken over by Ontario Hydro in 1933.

While following the trail system, snowmobilers can ride across the top of the massive structure taking them further along the A103. 

In Memoriam

This facility is the fifth downstream hydroelectric plant of six on the Abitibi River. Designed by George F. Hardy Company.  The construction of this 349 MW facility began in 1930 and became fully operational in 1936.  

Several construction workers died during the building of the plant. While some are buried at the top of a nearby hill, others are buried in the concrete of the power plant.  

The Settlement

The Abitibi Canyon settlement was established in 1930 to support the construction of the dam. 

True isolation

In 1940s, 130 people lived in the Ontario Hydro settlement, rising to 300 by 1980. The isolated community consisted of several homes, one grocery store, one truck, a swamp buggy, a nurse's office, a recreation hall and a staff house to house visitors and the unmarried Ontario Hydro employees.

There were no cars in the Canyon until 1966 when a road was finally built between the Canyon and the Abitibi Power and Paper community of Smooth Rock Falls.
The main means of access to the Canyon was by railroad, although sometimes float planes or helicopters would land.

The Ontario Northland Railroad (ONR) traveled daily between the Ontario communities of Cochrane and Moosonee, located on the shores of James Bay. In 1980, Ontario Hydro decided to close the community as a cost-saving measure. Today all that remains are a few structures, all abandoned and fenced.

Extract of
Cochrane, Ontario Wonderfully Unexpected

Cochrane, Ontario Wonderfully Unexpected image circuit

Presented by : Destination Northern Ontario

Get There

Download the BaladoDiscovery app (for Android and iOS) and access the largest network of self-guided tour experiences in Canada.