You may be hard pressed to identify Minesing on a map of Southern Ontario but perhaps even more remarkable is that this remote farming community of a few hundred people just minutes North of Barrie was home to water park and resort, Splash Canyon.
You mean you haven’t heard of Splash Canyon?
You’re not alone. I live a mere 10 minutes South from its location in Springwater Township on Nursery Road, a two-lane country road truly in the middle of nowhere. It’s only been since its closure six years ago and subsequent reputation as “the eerie abandoned water park” that I learned about it.
And eerie it truly is.
Despite visiting on a bright, warm, sunny Spring day with another photographer, I was constantly looking over my shoulder. It truly is a ghost town, the kind of thing you’d expect to read about in a Stephen King novel.
Surprisingly, the premises (which have fallen into major disrepair and been subject to extensive vandalism) were not secure in the slightest. The vast barren parking lot adjacent to the road was surrounded by a black iron fence which had multiple breaks in it, beckoning in any curious adventurer.
Upon arriving, we freely entered the main gate and began investigating an orange bungalow – what I presume was the main office for the resort. The interior, littered with thousands of brochures, had hosted many visitors prior to us.
The premises were actually quite impressive and expansive. A large size wave pool, partially filled with rain water still boasted some of its former relics alongside weeds that had grown up through the concrete.
Towards the back of the property, Splash Canyon boasted a large RV park, equipped with electrical outlets and a large building housing showers and bathrooms. A couple of trailers were never removed, adding to the overall creepy feeling of this deserted resort.
After visiting this one-of-a-kind attraction (or remains thereof), it begs the question, How did this happen? Why would someone build a large, elaborate water park in the middle of a small remote community and why was it left (somewhat intact) to rot?
If my memory serves correctly, 15 years ago, a Christian camp was on these premises before being overhauled to make room for Splash Canyon. Why its tenure was so short and why it was abandoned remains a mystery to this day.
Ironically in the past six years since its closure, the remains of Splash Canyon have remained a popular attraction, albeit for different reasons. A popular (and free) attraction for hoodlums and photographers, it has quickly become a destination of choice for the urban explorer.