Then and now photos featuring McCollum’s Reflection Lake Resort and the former Canadian Northern Railway Nipigon Subdivision/Canadian National Railways Dorion-Kinghorn Subdivision. This picturesque location is nestled at the southern end of Orient Bay, Ontario and amongst the towering cliffs of the Pijitawabik Palisades (pronounced PEE-GEE-TUH-WAW-BIK). McCollum’s was established in the 1940s and is the last remaining resort on Orient Bay.
Situated at Milepost 44/93.7, the rail line was constructed through the area between 1911 and 1914 and opened for traffic in 1915. One of the most scenic locations in the entire district, its rugged terrain was beautiful but also an enormous challenge to build through. It is at this point where the line, which was discontinued in 2005, once crossed from the east to the west side of the bay (the bridge is visible on the right of the photos).
The first photo, a postcard, was likely taken in the 1960s. The second, an attempt to replicate the original by drone, was taken in August 2022.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 90.8-95) along Orient Bay, ON. Features the grade alongside Orient Bay south of McCollum’s Resort with cuttings, embankments, remains of a spur, milepost markers and gorgeous views of the bay.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 90.8-95) along Orient Bay, ON. Features the grade alongside Orient Bay near McCollum’s Resort with the remains milepost markers and other signage, a 40-foot bridge over the bay built in 1921, as well as breathtaking drone footage.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 90.8-95) along Orient Bay, ON. Features the grade alongside Orient Bay with culverts, embankments, concrete ties used as rip rap and breathtaking drone footage. In 1921, a significant construction project was undertaken in this area. Two 90-foot trestles were removed and infilled while a large channel was dug adjacent to the grade, rerouting the course of Orient Bay.
Then and now photos featuring Cove Inlet on Orient Bay of Lake Nipigon. Other than Orient Bay Station/Nipigon Lodge which is 1.5 miles to the north, Cove Inlet is likely one of the most photographed areas in the rugged and picturesque bay. The three period photos, all postcards, were likely taken during the 1940s or 1950s and look north along the rail line and highway, capturing portions of the high cliffs known as the Pijitawabik Palisades.
Cove lnlet was located at Milepost 42.8 on the Canadian Northern Railway Nipigon Subdivision. In 1924, shortly after the line was taken over by Canadian National Railways and became the Dorion Subdivision, a small spur was constructed here called “Cox” (likely after area businessman Charlie Cox). In 1938, the Abitibi Power and Paper Company constructed a marine base at what would become the headquarters of their water operations on Lake Nipigon. In 1960, CN merged lines and it was now located at Milepost 92.5 of the Kinghorn Subdivision. In the early 1970s, Abitibi closed their marine base and the railway spur was removed.
Cove Inlet eventually became the home of Sandy’s Cruiser Service, a staple business on the bay for several decades. Today it is very quiet with the closure of Sandy’s and the Kinghorn, which saw its last train in May 2005 and the removal of the rails in 2010.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 90.8-95) along Orient Bay, ON. Features the grade near Cove Inlet alongside Highway 11 with cuttings, milepost markers and old ties used to support the grade.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision (MP 90.8-95) along Orient Bay, ON. Features the grade south of Orient Bay Station with signage, culverts and spectacular views of the bay.
Then and now featuring CN 5227 and 5216 in September 1993 as they round a curve and lead an eastbound into the station at Orient Bay, ON while the high cliffs of the Pijitawabik Palisades loom in the background. Orient Bay was one of the major stations on this line when it was opened by Canadian Northern Railway in 1915. Located at Milepost 41.3/91, it was home to a station, two section houses, water tank and wilderness resort.
Thirty years later, the Palisades still remain but the rails are long gone (photo taken in May 2022). After becoming part of Canadian National Railways, the line was known as the Dorion Subdivision until 1960 when it was merged with the more eastern Kinghorn Subdivision. Twelve years after the first photo was taken, the last train would run on the line and the rails were pulled up in 2010.
Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.
This episode took us the area south of Macdiarmid, ON, where we explored the railway grade from the Postagoni River to Orient Bay Station. The views of Pijitawabik Bay and the cliffs of the Pijitawabik Palisades are incredible.
Video of the former Canadian Northern Railway/CN-Kinghorn (Dorion) Subdivision near McKirdy, ON. Features the grade between Highway 11 and Keemle Lake with cuttings, a small span bridge and great views of the Pijitawabik Palisades.