biopic

“Nobody knows Ontario like Ron Brown” is how the CBC once described this author, geographer, and travel writer. Ron Brown has long had a love affair with the landscapes of Canada. His book publications include:

  • Rails Across Ontario,
  • Rails to the Atlantic,
  • Rails Over the Mountains,
  • From Queenston to Kingston: The Hidden Heritage of Lake Ontario’s Shoreline,
  • The Lake Erie Shore: Ontario’s Forgotten South Coast,
  • Back Roads of Ontario,
  • Behind Bars, Inside Ontario’s Heritage Jails,
  • The Last Stop, a guide to Ontario’s federally designated heritage railway stations,
  • Downtown Ontario, is a look at Ontario’s most unusual main streets,
  • Top 100 Unusual Things to See in Ontario reveals landscape surprises right in our own backyards,
  • Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage, a photographic visit to Ontario’s manu ghost town sites,
  • The popular title, The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, an illustrated history of role of the train station in Canada’s history, has been updated and revised, and recently released in a third edition.

His travel pieces have been published in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Geographic Magazine, and VIA Rail Magazine. His 5000 image stock shot inventory includes views of Ontario’s lesser-known landscapes, with a specialization in historic buildings, main streets, railway stations and ghost towns. He has provided consulting services to advertisers and film makers, including a History Channel series, seeking unusual locations at which to film. He has participated on TVO’s Studio Two panels to determine Ontario’s “most historic town,” Ontario’s “prettiest town,” and Ontario’s “best main street.”

Following a 27-year career as a writer and community planner, including his role as an advisor to BIA’s, with the Ontario government, Ron Brown now lectures on, and leads tours to ghost towns and heritage landscapes across Ontario. Ron is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada, and is past chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada.

In 2015, Ron received the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award for his ongoing promotion of freedom to read and write in Canada

Ron Brown has been writing books about ghost towns, railways, and other unusual things in Ontario since 1978, and has written more than 20.

You can buy books listed with a price by clicking a link to Amazon.ca.

'Rails Over the Mountains' book cover
Rails Over the Mountains
This book leads rail lovers through the spectacular mountains of BC and western Alberta to explore the many bridges and tunnels used to overcome the challenging obstacles faced by Canada’s rail builders. The book also explores railway towns, museums, historic roundhouses, and some of Canada’s most scenic rail excursions.
To be published 2016 by Dundurn Press
186 pp with B&W illustrations
$29.99Buy now from Amazon
'Rails to the Atlantic' book cover
Rails to the Atlantic
Rails to the Atlantic leads the reader and traveller to the often forgotten railway heritage of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. The reader will visit the many historic stations, ride scenic trains and explore some of Canada’s finest railway museums.
Published 2015 by Dundurn Press
144 pp with B&W illustrations
$29.99Buy now from Amazon
'5-book bundle' book cover
Railroad 5-Book Bundle
Includes In Search of the Grand Trunk, Rails Across the Prairies, Rails Across Ontario, The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, and Rails to the Atlantic
Published 2015 by Dundurn Press
1040 pp with B&W illustrations
$39.99Buy now from Amazon
'Rails Across Ontario' book cover
Rails Across Ontario
Ontario was once criss-crossed with a spiders’ web of rail lines. Most are now gone, but their legacy lingers in the old railway stations, bridges and lesser known features like murals water towers, roundhouses, and coal docks.
Published 2013 by Dundurn Press
182 pp with B&W illustrations
$29.99Buy now from Amazon
'Backroads of Ontario' book cover
Backroads of Ontario
Journey along more than 20 of Ontario’s most scenic and historic back roads. They lead along forgotten shorelines, though fertile farmlands and past the cliff-lined Niagara Escarpment, as well as early pioneer trails.
Published 2013 by Firefly Books (originally published 1984)
224 pp with colour illustrations
$24.95Buy now from Amazon | Buy now from Indigo
'Top 115 Unusual Things to See in Ontario' book cover
Top 115 Unusual Things to See in Ontario
Ontario was once criss-crossed with a spiders’ web of rail lines. Most are now gone, but their legacy lingers in the old railway stations, bridges and lesser known features like murals water towers, roundhouses, and coal docks.
Published 2012 by Firefly Books
248 pp with colour illustrations
$24.95Buy now from Amazon
'Rails Across the Prairies' book cover
Rails Across the Prairies
Explore the railway heritage of Canada’s prairie provinces
Published 2012 by Dundurn Press
192 pp with B&W illustrations
$29.99Buy now from Amazon
'In Search of the Grand Trunk, and Other Ghost Rail Lines in Ontario' book cover
In Search of the Grand Trunk, and Other Ghost Rail Lines in Ontario
In Search of the Grand Trunk looks at the many abandoned rail lines across Ontario and shows hikers, cyclists and recreational drivers the many heritage features along them which recall the once heady days of rail.
Published 2011 by Dundurn Press
256 pp with colour illustrations
$24.99Buy now from Amazon
'From Queenston to Kingston: The Hidden Heritage of Lake Ontario's Shoreline' book cover
From Queenston to Kingston: The Hidden Heritage of Lake Ontario’s Shoreline
Travel the shoreline of Lake Ontario to discover ghost ports, forgotten coves, old forts and historic lighthouses
Published 2010 by Dundurn Press
224 pp with colour illustrations
$26.99Buy now from Amazon
'The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore' book cover
The Lake Erie Shore: Ontario’s Forgotten South Coast
The Lake Erie shoreline has born witness to some of Ontario’s earliest history
Published 2009 by Dundurn Press
192 pp with colour illustrations
$24.99 Buy now from Amazon
'The Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore' book cover
The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
An illustrated history of role of the train station in Canada’s history
Updated 3rd edition published 2008 by Dundurn Press; originally published by Broadview Press
185 pp with colour and B&W illustrations
$24.95 Buy now from Amazon
'Ontario's Ghost Town Heritage' book cover
Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage
A photographic visit to Ontario’s many ghost town sites
Updated 3rd edition published 2007 by Boston Mills Press
208 pp with colour and B&W illustrations
$24.95 Buy now from Amazon
'Top 100 Unusual Things to See in Ontario' book cover
Top 100 Unusual Things to See in Ontario
This book reveals landscape surprises right in our own backyards
New edition published 2007 by Boston Mills Press
208 pp with 100 colour illustrations
$24.95 Buy now from Amazon
'Behind Bars' book cover
Behind Bars
Inside Ontario’s heritage jails
Published 2006 by Dundurn Press
160 pp with B&W illustrations
$22.95 Buy now from Amazon
'Downtown Ontario' book cover
Downtown Ontario
A look at Ontario’s most unusual main streets
Published 2003 by Polar Bear Press
206 pp, illustrated
Out of print
'The Last Stop: Ontario's Heritage Railway Stations' book cover
The Last Stop: Ontario’s Heritage Railway Stations
A guide to Ontario’s federally designated heritage railway stations
Published 2002 by Polar Bear Press
192 pp, illustrated
Out of print
Castles and Kings, Ontario’s Mansions and the Men and Women Who Built Them
Published 2001 by Polar Bear Press
Disappearing Ontario
Published 1999 by Polar Bear Press
Ontario’s Secret Landscapes
Published 1999 by Boston Mills Press
Ghost Towns of Ontario, Field Guide, Vol 1 and Vol 2
Published 1997/1999 by Polar Bear Press
Toronto’s Lost Villages
Published 1997 by Polar Bear Press
Ontario’s Vanished Villages
Published 1996 by Polar Bear Press
50 Even More Unusual Things to See in Ontario
Published 1991 by Boston Mills Press
50 Unusual things to See in Ontario
Published 1989 by Boston Mills Press
Ghost Towns of Canada
Published 1988 by Cannonbooks
Ontario Ghost Towns and Scenic Backroads Atlas
Published 1985 by Cannonbooks
Ghost Towns of Ontario, Vol 2
Published 1983 by Cannonbooks
Ghost Towns of Ontario
Published 1979 by Stagecoach Press; later republished as Volume 1 by Cannonbooks

If you’d like to:

or for general inquiries, email Ron Brown at

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