Township of Baldwin
McKerrow along Ontario Highway 17
McKerrow along Ontario Highway 17
Baldwin is located in Ontario
Coordinates: 46°19′N 81°45′W / 46.317°N 81.750°W / 46.317; -81.750
 • ReeveVern Gorham
 • Federal ridingAlgoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing
 • Prov. ridingAlgoma—Manitoulin
 • Land83.20 km2 (32.12 sq mi)
 • Total620
 • Density7.5/km2 (19/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal Code
P0P 1M0
Area codes705 and 249
Highways Highway 17 / TCH
 Highway 6

Baldwin (2016 population 620) is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario. Located in Sudbury District north of Espanola, the township's two main communities and population centres are McKerrow and Lorne.

The junction of Ontario Highway 17 and Ontario Highway 6 is in Baldwin, just west of McKerrow.

An old abandoned fire tower still stands north of McKerrow on Agnew Lake.

The township is part of the federal riding of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing (MP Carol Hughes) and the provincial riding of Algoma—Manitoulin (MPP Michael Mantha).


Residential side street in McKerrow

The township of Baldwin was surveyed in 1871 and subdivided in 1885, and was named after F. A. Baldwin.[2]

In 1901, the Spanish River Pulp and Paper Company was planning a mill town nearby which would become the modern-day town of Espanola. It situated the mill site next to the Spanish River, which fell to the south of the Canadian Pacific Railway's Sault Ste. Marie branch or "Soo Line", with the portion of the line west of Webbwood being a part of its Webbwood Subdivision. Therefore, a decision was made to build a spur line which would connect Espanola with the CPR, and ultimately the CPR with the Algoma Eastern Railway, which was routed through Espanola parallel to the CPR line. The place where this spur joined with the CPR was initially named Stanley Junction in 1908, then changed to Espanola Station in 1919.[2] The name was then changed again to McKerrow in 1931, after Jack O. McKerrow, a manager at the Abitibi Pulp and Paper Company. The population slowly grew, and Baldwin was officially incorporated as a township in 1927.

Throughout its history, McKerrow would continue to function as a minor hub for the CPR, befitting its status as a junction connecting the Canadian Pacific Little Current and Webbwood Subdivisions within the Sudbury Division of the Algoma District.[3] Throughout the mid-20th century, however, passenger service at the station slowly decreased; in 1943, there were two trains per day per direction, with one route going west to Sault Ste. Marie and another south to Little Current,[4] but by 1970, the Little Current route had been cut, leaving McKerrow with a single eastbound and single westbound train per day.[5] In 1976, passenger service to McKerrow was eliminated altogether and never restored. In the 1980s, the town's historic two-storey station was demolished, though a shed from the original station was moved and is now privately owned and preserved. Today, the CPR has some maintenance sheds at McKerrow and occasionally uses it as a location for crew changes.

The main historic building in the community was the McKerrow Hotel or McKerrow Tavern, which originally opened in 1910 as a typical railway station hotel. Over several decades it gradually expanded, with multiple outbuildings built next to it and the original building being enlarged. At various times it functioned as a hotel, bar, coffee shop, and roadside restaurant, but was vacant for a number of years and began to decay. With the decline in train ridership and the rise of highway-based travel in the latter half of the 20th century, several new businesses were opened closer to the junction point of Highway 6 and Highway 17, which many car-based travellers pass through on their way to Espanola and Manitoulin Island. The 110-year-old hotel was demolished in 2020 after being vacant for around a decade.[6]


Baldwin, Ontario – Historical populations
1986 652—    

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Baldwin had a population of 579 living in 238 of its 326 total private dwellings, a change of -4.3% from its 2016 population of 605. With a land area of 82.49 km2 (31.85 sq mi), it had a population density of 7.0/km2 (18.2/sq mi) in 2021.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Baldwin, Township". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Township History". Baldwin Township. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  3. ^ Chief Engineer's Office, Canadian Pacific Railway Company (10 June 1949). Canadian Pacific Railway districts, divisions and subdivisions (Map). 1:4,600,000. Montreal: Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  4. ^ Canadian Pacific Railway Company (1940–49). "Canadian Pacific Railway timetables". University of British Columbia Library. Canadian Pacific Railway Company. doi:10.14288/1.0357112. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  5. ^ Canadian Pacific Railway Company (25 October 1970). "CP Rail Eastern Region—Sudbury and Schreiber Divisions timetable". University of British Columbia Library. Canadian Pacific Railway Company. doi:10.14288/1.0362199. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  6. ^ Russell, Rosalind (29 May 2020). "McKerrow Hotel demolished". My Algoma Manitoulin Now.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  8. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.