Michele Beacom - 11 July 2023
Last year, after nearly a decade of work led by Donna Beneteau, assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Civil, Geological, and Environmental Engineering and an active member of CIM’s Underground Mining Society, CIM released the Historical Canadian Mines Data Hub and Visualization Centre, which includes a growing collection of operational and production details as well as location information for more than 14,000 mines in Canada. One of the latest features of the database is the Mining and Geology Exhibits layer on the map. Find attractions interesting to adults and children alike across Canada.
St. John’s, N.L.
If you are headed to St. John’s, plan to take a couple of hours to visit Johnson Geo Centre. Learn about the incredible forces of nature that shaped our land— and the planet—when you venture under- ground in the ancient rock of Signal Hill.
Cape Breton, N.S.
Will you be in Cape Breton? Visit the Miners Museum in Glace Bay. Aside from learning about the region’s long and rich history of coal mining, treat yourself to one of The Men of the Deeps concerts. Made up of working and retired miners, this choir has shows scheduled throughout the summer.
While in Nova Scotia, you can also check out the Malagash Salt Miners’ Museum.
Val d’Or, Que.
In Val d’Or, don’t miss La Cité de L’Or museum, where you can see the Village-Miner-de-Bourlamaque historical site. The attraction includes 60 loghouses from the 1920s Abitibi gold rush and an underground tour of the Lamaque mine.
While you’re in the area, don’t miss Musée Minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, where you can visit an operating open-pit gold mine, the Canadian Malartic mine.
If you plan to be in Toronto, don’t miss the Royal Ontario Museum’s Teck Suite of Galleries. Feast your eyes on the treasures of the Earth in this series of collections and exhibits dedicated to minerals and mining.
Travel north to Sudbury and visit Dynamic Earth, home of the Big Nickel, for an underground tour of a demonstration mine, where you can learn about the evolution of mining from the turn of the 20th century to today. That is just one of the fascinating attractions at Science North.
Next stop, Saskatoon, where the kids can enjoy a day of science activities at Nutrien Wonderhub.
If you’re interested in a more authentic mining attraction, check out the free mine tours at Poplar River Mine.
If it is rocks you are hoping to see, you will not be disappointed with the collection at the Sesula Mineral and Gem Museum and Rock Shop in Radisson.
Fort McMurray, Alta.
If you are in Alberta and heading north, the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray is sure to engage you with the history and the science of the oil sands. Don’t miss the industrial equipment garden!
If you are not heading so far north, the Bankhead Ghost Town in Banff National Park is the site of a former coal mine, closed in 1922. Lace up your hiking shoes and experience a bit of Alberta history.
The Britannia Mine Museum, near Squamish, is a not-to-be-missed attraction for all. The museum has several interesting mining exhibits, including an underground mine train tour and a gold panning pavilion, and this summer it is celebrating “100 Years of Mill No. 3.” Britannia mine’s 20-storey mill, which was an architectural feat at the time, played an important role in the economic development of British Columbia.
Dawson City, Yukon
Plan a Yukon weekend reliving the Klondike gold rush. Goldbottom Mine Tours offers the Great Yukon Summer Experience, with log cabin accommodation, mine tour and unlimited creek gold panning!
Photos courtesy of: Historical Canadian Mines Data Hub and Visualization Centre, Miners Museum; La Cité de L’Or; Dynamic Earth; Bankhead Ghost Town; Britannia Mine Museum