Derelict home in the workers' town site©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Burchell Lake was a company mining town, operated by North Coldstream Mines Limited, active during the late 1950s and early 60s. At its height, during the early 1960s, the town site was home to about 400 residents. It included a post office, general store, recreational facilities, service station and about 30 detached residences for both management and workers. As production increased, the company added a number of mobile homes to meet the increased housing demand.
The company thrived until 1966 when prices began to plummet and reserves were quickly depleted. By 1967 the company wound up its affairs and closed the mine permanently. With no prospective buyers, they simply walked away from the site.
The Burchell Lake town site is located in a relatively remote area of Northwest Ontario. Although popular with cottagers, the area remains sparsely populated.
The management town site was eventually salvaged and the homes renovated into attractive summer cottages. However the workers' town site was left decaying silently behind a padlocked rusty fence.