The pick of Ontario. A story of amethyst and adventure – by Bill Steer ( – June 22, 2022)

This week, Back Roads Bill stops at an amethyst mine on the way to the most westerly point in Ontario

It’s road trip time, again, and this time we are headed west, not to the oil patch, but to stand on the most western, surveyed boundary of Ontario. The outcome of this trip and the subsequent story remains to be told.

Along the way will gather more day trip information from provincial parks and nearby communities for another travelogue. On the way, though, there will be a stop for a cool souvenir from a Northwestern Ontario back roads repeated destination. So many times a story was warranted but this is the time one was written.

A piece of the purple gemstone will brighten any day. It is called the ‘Sobriety Stone’ and the ‘Master Healing Crystal’ and it is Ontario’s gemstone. Purple is traditionally the colour of royalty, because of its uniqueness and rarity. The Pope wears an amethyst ring.


Amethyst is found in only nine countries and it is what brings ‘rock hound’ tourists to the north shore of Lake Superior as known by collectors around the world.

One of the most beautiful and distinctive characteristics of many Thunder Bay amethysts is the inclusion of red hematite microscopic disks/spherules within the quartz.

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