masthead image

Kerr and Giroux Lakes

Introduction

Town site photo

Abandoned building

©Copyright: Yvan Charbonneau

The Cobalt silver rush in 1903 was one of the richest in Canada's history. The run which lasted close to 30 years produced over 50 mining properties and an estimated wealth in the range of $80 million.

Of the many mines operating in the area, one of the most profitable was the Kerr/Giroux Lake Camp. The Kerr Lake Mine operated from 1904 to 1922. It produced 27,005,276 ounces of silver and boasted the lowest production cost for any mine in Canada.

The two mining communities included full service town sites that contained about 40 houses, two general stores, two pool halls, two churches, school and a post office. At its height, there were nearly 300 people residing in the area. Many of these businesses relocated to Kirkland Lake when the silver boom began to subside.

A number of people remained in the town site through the 1950s, however by the mid 60s there no residents were left.

Visitors to the Cobalt area can take a self-guided tour of the many mining sites in a community designated as "Canada's Most Historic Town." A number of shells, abandoned structures, and old machinery, can still be found at the Kerr Lake site.