Residents of Greenstone, Ont., mourn as decades-old landmark is set to give way to a gold mine – by Logan Turner (CBC Radio Thunder Bay – May 1, 2022)

Greenstone Gold says it will hold consultations on how to commemorate mine shaft headframe

The 700-kilometre stretch of Highway 11 snaking through a vast expanse of northern Ontario is home to many unique roadside attractions, from the “world’s largest snowman” to polar bears, to lumberjacks.

But after this week, the landmark that welcomed residents and tourists alike to Greenstone will be gone. The headframe of the old Macleod-Cockshutt mine, which was constructed in the 1930s at the junction of Highways 11 and 584, is being dismantled by Greenstone Gold to make way for a new open-pit gold mine set to begin operations in mid-2024.

“It represents home, safety, love, and it also represents the legacy of our mining town and the history of it,” said Hilairy O’Brien-Walter, who was born and raised in Geraldton (now amalgamated into the municipality of Greenstone).

O’Brien-Walter grew up on the same street as the headframe, which is the structure that sits above the entrance to a mine shaft. “When you’re driving on that highway, heading towards Geraldton, it’s the one thing that tells you, ‘Yes, you’ve made it home, you’re just a few minutes away.'”

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