Ghost towns in Alberta.

Dorothy, East Coulee, Wayne......regular readers will remember them in my daily posts from the Canadian Badlands. Now Air Canada's Enroute has published me talking about Alberta's ghost towns. But what is it about ghost towns that we find so fascinating? I think it is the tinge of sadness about these places which makes them so irresistible.

The only pub in Wayne.
They are the opposite of the manufactured "tourism experience". There is a test you can take which tells you what sort of tourist you are according to the Canadian Tourism Commission. I took it and I am an authentic experiencer. 

Abandoned cars in Wayne, Alberta

Theme parks and historical re-enactments leave me cold. I want the real story. Which is probably why I've always loved the small town rather than the big city tour. I like my towns a little rough around the edges. Towns without tourists are my idea of heaven. Of course I'm not a tourist. Heaven forbid. I'm a traveller.
Dirt road to Finnegan Ferry
I put it down to two things - being an ex-news reporter and therefore allergic to bullshit but also coming from a gritty northern town myself (Newcastle in Northern England). I find beauty in the relics of industrial landscapes. The ghost towns of Alberta were once thriving mining towns that could only be reached by the railway.
Abandoned car in Dorothy
For me there is something very moving about exploring them now the mines and the railway have gone.

What kind of tourist are you?
Visit the Canadian Badlands website
Read my original posts from the ghost towns


  1. I love ghost towns and sites too. Somehow, the voice of the place is clearer when there's no modern day bustle and the story of something that once was and is no more is MUCH more compelling than places that sell out to modernity in an attempt to stay current. Just my opinion. Great photos.

  2. Ahhhh Anne, you see what we see. We are so lucky to have been able to travel the Canadian Badlands extensively through our work with the country's tourism industry. I just never tire of road tripping this place. No traffic, big sky, beautiful landscape, wildlife (so excited when I saw my first antelope). I like the early architecture. Some stuff reminds me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. Friendly folk and the light- I just can't get enough of that magnificent light.

  3. Interesting post! Like you, I am also a traveler. Small town is much good than big city. The adventure is there, you only need to find it.

  4. You will like:

    My dad was a WW2 RAF airman serving in Saskatchewan. I had the honour to travel in his footsteps in 2013.


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