In 1940s, 130 people lived in the Ontario Hydro settlement, rising to 300 by 1980. The isolated community consisted of several homes, one grocery store, one truck, a swamp buggy, a nurse's office, a recreation hall and a staff house to house visitors and the unmarried Ontario Hydro employees.
There were no cars in the Canyon until 1966 when a road was finally built between the Canyon and the Abitibi Power and Paper community of Smooth Rock Falls.
The main means of access to the Canyon was by railroad, although sometimes float planes or helicopters would land.
The Ontario Northland Railroad (ONR) traveled daily between the Ontario communities of Cochrane and Moosonee, located on the shores of James Bay. In 1980, Ontario Hydro decided to close the community as a cost-saving measure. Today all that remains are a few structures, all abandoned and fenced.