The not-quite ghost town of Venosta, Quebec

NOTE: While we always strive to contact landowners before photographing, in this instance we did not. That is trespassing and we should have done better. Don’t do this.

We were inspired to spend a weekend in the municipality of Low when an opinion piece on the importance of saving Quebec’s ghost towns came across my desk. We have gone ghost-town hunting in Pennsylvania and in Texas, but searching in our own back yard had never occurred to us.

Venosta, the ancestral town of the writer, isn’t strictly a ghost town, as many homes are obviously lived in and the lush land is still farmed. Settled primarily by Irish immigrants in the 1800s, this region in the Gatineau Hills about 50 kilometres north of Ottawa is an agricultural and logging area, and so has benefited and suffered from the historic highs and lows of those industries.

We got more than we bargained for with our rented cottage in Low, and a little less than we expected in the ghost town, a collection of picturesque falling-down buildings surrounded by high grass, and fields and trees beyond.

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    1. Hi Colin.
      I think my great great great grandmother Isabella Myles is from this town also. I am searching for a marriage certificate. Do you know where I would begin to search?


      1. Hello Kathleen,
        Checking on that one. My father’s cousin still has relatives in the area. His parents
        were James and Molly (Brown) Myles. Their parents were Michael Myles and??


      2. Hi Kathleen,
        We’re you able to find any information on your Great Great Great Grandmother. There was an Archie Myles married to Mary Jane Laporte and they lived in the village at Venosta.


  1. Michael Coyle (married to Bell Cobey) was a Venosta Irish farmer, born near the turn of the century,. and brother to sister Bridget Coyle -married to Richard Murphy in 1865, in Ireland. Michael Coyle was a close relative to President John F. Kennedy through John’s mother’s family Rose Fitzgerald’s in Ireland. Michael Coyle’s farm was on the other side of the lake near the sand hill and Brown’s field.


  2. I lived in Venosta in the 90′, what a sh*thole. The only reason I would get back there is if the apocalypse is upon us : nothing ever happen over there, I would be safe from the devastation.


  3. My father was a British Home child. At some point he ended up working for the Gleason family. He became very close to Edward (Teddy). Growing up we would go up to Teddy’s quite a few weekends in the summer. His farm was on a lake, of which I do not know the name of. Many happy memories of spending time there and down the road at his brother’s farm with their kids.


  4. I was today years old when I discovered the lake by the sand dunes is not bottomless and THERE WAS ANOTHER ONE right behind my grandpa (Carroll’s) house across from the Church.


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