The Sturgeon (Namewaminikan) River is in full flood. Looking S from the highway bridge. All images by myself; credit Greenstone History for historic pictures

As I drove north of Nipigon, I found snowbanks and frozen lakes. Greenstone was recovering from the last blast of winter.

View looking W. Creelman Creek is racing.
View at the creek looking S. Where the sun can work its magic, the ground is exposed.
A camp road in heavy shade. Plowed roads are bare.

As I neared the construction zone of Greenstone Gold Mines, I found little change ̶ at least viewed from the highway.

View looking S at the junction of Hwy. 11 and Michael Power Boulevard. Hardrock Road is now closed to public access. In the distance, notice a new hill of broken rock excavated from the starter pit.

As I did on October 3 last fall, I found a vantage point to view the mining activity. This is as close as the public can get. One gets no impression of the millions of dollar poured into this open pit mine every week ̶ unless one reads the press releases or does a fly-over.

View of the starter pit looking E on October 3, 2022. Beyond the vast clearing, notice the beginning of mining activity.
View from the same vantage point, looking NE. Notice the two-storey house and the former store/gas station. On the hill beyond is the Geraldton Interpretive Centre, now used as an office.
The Interpretive Centre in a closer shot. This sequence of shots is taken moving right.

View looking E. Compare this view with the view on October 3. Enormous mounds dominate the former clearing.
A closer shot.
View looking SE. As far as the eye can see, mounds. In the distance is some infrastructure.
A closer shot.

In the community of Geraldton itself, nothing much is changed ̶ except for the absence of road traffic. I made my deliveries of The Walleye to grateful residents and renewed a few acquaintances.

Leo Furoy in Jellicoe accepts a copy of the the May edition of The Walleye. In a short chat, he said he was 77 years old and still working a lot of the time. He started in the bush with Tom Tansley of Beardmore, then spent the rest of his working life, 38 years, with St. Lawrence Corp. and Domtar.

Geraldton’s business section is dead. One of the two sit-down restaurants is closed ̶ can’t find a cook. Practically anyone who can, takes a job in mine construction for the high wages. One or two smaller take-outs have opened up but no one is lining up. One or two closed businesses are renovating, anticipating a boom in business some day.

Popeye’s Restaurant, the oldest building in town. It started out as a one-room Murphy’s Meats, and became Murphy’s Lunch by July 1936, and later, the Geraldton Tea Room.
View of Main Street in July 1936 during the Great Fire, looking generally S. Murphy’s Lunch is next to the Presbyterian Church. In the foreground, a portion of Mascotto’s Garage.
Lots of properties and businesses for sale. It’s as if residents don’t believe that prosperity is just around the corner.

I checked into Marino Hardware, the Street Talk Centre of Greenstone, and engaged the two proprietors in conversation. There might have been one or two customers wandering the empty aisles. We three engaged in an animated debate about the new King and his consort (now a Queen). We learned nothing new and stuck to our guns, but our five minutes was the most exciting event that Geraldton experienced that day (and likely for that week).

View of Main Street looking N from Popeye’s. The building on the left used to be Mascotto’s Garage, the far building next to the brick building (Canada Post) is still Daneff’s, rebuilt in early 1937 after fire destroyed it.

I got a take-out and took a break at the little park overlooking Barton Bay at the Municipal Office.

View looking SW over Kenogamisis Lake from the Municipal Office. Most lakes are still frozen, though the thermometer climbed to 18 degrees Celsius.

Back on the highway, I pulled over to take a shot of the new highway alignment. This is probably the most expensive piece of road in all of Ontario; construction is entering its third year, and no bridge or serious infrastructure is involved.

The point where the highway realignment meets Hwy. 11, looking generally E. That bed of crushed rock will last into the next century. (That finger is not meant for you.)

But Greenstone Gold Mines is well funded. No tax money is invested. And when operating, it will bring in billions ̶ unfortunately, little of it for the town itself.

An image from Greenstone Gold Mines’ weekly news release, dated May 8.

4 thoughts on “GREENSTONE UPDATE May 8, 2023

    1. Nice to see the pictures and comments. How often our family went to those rapids just above your photo. My father would always try fishing for pickerel but all he ever got in the Sturgeon were pike. As kids it was always fun


  1. Just saw this site and think 🤔 there’s inspiration in your commentary and hope for the dreamers of today. Nice going and good luck to all involved.


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