From mining town to retirement destination—the transformation of Elliot Lake – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – July 8, 2018)

Elliot Lake was on the brink of becoming of ghost town when the mines closed in the early 1990s.

Four seniors from southern Ontario are quietly sitting in the back of a mini-van as it whizzes up and down the hilly, curvy streets of Elliot Lake. In the driver’s seat, Retirement Living tour guide Linda McKay is far from quiet.

“You’re going to feel like you’re going in circles all the time, and you’re going to get dizzy, but you’ll never get lost,” McKay tells them. She tells the visitors, who were put up in a hotel in the town last night, about everything from the transit service to where they might spot some wild foxes.

McKay drives past the vacant lot where the mall that “collapsed on us” used to stand, referring to the Algo Centre Mall disaster that killed two women in 2012. “Tired yet?” she asks.

“Just from climbing the hills,” says a woman from the backseat. “Yeah, we have a couple,” McKay says with a laugh. “Must be fun driving around here at winter time,” the woman says, sounding concerned.

“It’s not bad. They have the 24-hour road crews, they’re out, they get it sanded and it’s not really that much of an issue.” About 2,000 people take these tours every year and about 30 per cent of them end up moving to this former mining town, about a two hour drive west of Sudbury.

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