Charlie Angus’ new book a reflection on rough, complex history of Cobalt, Ont. (CBC News Sudbury – February 6, 2022)

Town was ‘somewhere between a squatter’s camp and elegant cosmopolitan power’ Angus says

The rich, colourful history of Cobalt, Ontario is the subject of Charlie Angus’ new book Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals, Birth of a Mining Superpower. In it, Angus traces Cobalt’s history– the community was one of Canada’s first boomtowns– and the eccentric characters who dotted its landscape .

“There was a great description of Cobalt in 1909,” Angus said. “It looked somewhat like a cross between a wild west town and a medieval slum.” The town had its own banks, theatres and bordellos, Angus said, and even had a stock exchange long before Vancouver or Toronto.

“At the same time, there’s enormous poverty and the entire community is treated as one giant squatters shack by the mining companies,” he said. “Mining companies could come along and kick you out of your house. Dump rock on your property. Dig a hole. If you got involved in union activity, you got fired and you got evicted.”

“So it’s a cross between the squatters camp and this place with this image of elegance and world urban cosmopolitan power,” Angus said.

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