Discover the Hollinger Open Pit Lookout: One of Canada's Most Unusual Destinations
One of the more unusual destinations in Northern Ontario has to be the Hollinger Open Pit Lookout, located in the vibrant city of Timmins. This new attraction offers visitors the chance to enjoy panoramic city views while getting up close and personal with an active gold mining operation.
The History of the British Empire's Biggest Gold Mine
What was once the biggest gold mine in the British Empire, discovered in 1909 by Benny Hollinger and won by way of a coin toss against Alex Gillies, the Hollinger mine has been a Timmins landmark for many decades. After the initial mine closed its doors in 1968, it was acquired in 1999 by the Kinross Gold Corporation with the goal of preventing it from caving in under the Abandoned Mines Rehabilitation program. It was then acquired in 2007 by Goldcorp Porcupine Goldmines, which determined that around 528 000 ounces of gold remained in the ground. This was the beginning of the Hollinger Open Pit project—and the idea for a lookout was born.
Visit the Hollinger Lookout for Views of Timmins and Beyond
The Hollinger Open Pit Lookout is officially open to the public from June 1st - September 30th, between 8 am and 8 pm. Conveniently located off Brunette Road, south of Water Tower Road, visitors can enjoy the incredible 360-degree views of the city along with close-up views of a real-life gold mine.
The lookout is fully accessible and offers paved walking paths, picnic tables, and free parking. Afterward, be sure to check out the nearby restaurants as well as the Timmins Public Library and Timmins Museum. It's a great spot to visit during your lunch break, on a day trip, or just to learn more about the gold mining operations that take place in our amazing city!
Keep in mind it's still an active mine, though! During blasting times that occur from 11:30 am - 12:00 pm and 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm, security guards are on hand to ensure that everyone is a safe distance away. Each blast can loosen around 30,000 tons of rock, and the ore is then transferred to the nearby processing plant to be crushed and milled.
Is it Noisy, Though?
With the inhabitants and visitors of the city in mind, Goldcorp has invested more than a million dollars in over 45 different methods to attempt to reduce noise pollution. Noise is monitored 24/7 in real-time with the use of 7 monitoring systems which are located around the pit. The noise is kept at 50 dB during the day which is the equivalent of the noise produced by rainfall and 45 dB at night which is less than the noise produced by a normal conversation. This makes for a more enjoyable environment when visiting and living in the area.
The Future of the Hollinger Mine
While the Hollinger Open Pit's main purpose is to recover as much gold as possible there's also a plan to eventually return the site of this historic mine to public use. The most ambitious reclamation idea is to someday convert the site into a city-owned area featuring hiking trails, campgrounds, as well as one—very deep—lake.
So, if you are in the area come on down and visit the Hollinger open pit, the only mine in Northern Ontario that offers you an up close and personal view of the active mining operations along with everything that our spectacular city has to offer and more.