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Main Street, Uranium City in the fog

Uranium City Past and Present

Welcome to the Uranium City History website, covering past and present.

Uranium City is located in the northernmost corner of Saskatchewan. Originally a Cold War town, Uranium City came to life in the early 1950s, rapidly growing to more than a dozen mines, some with townsites for their own, and reached a population of nearly 10,000. By the 1960s, Canadian uranium could no longer be used for military purposes, and Uranium City supplied ore Canada’s Candu Reactor, then just beginning to come online.

The sudden closure of its last mine, the mammoth Beaverlodge Mine owned and run by Eldorado Nuclear, in 1982, saw the towns’s population plunge from 4000 to less than 400. Since then Uranium City has survived as, variously, a regional hub, the site of ongoing exploration, and mine reclamation. Tourism also supplies some visitors who come to fish in the many lakes, hunt in season, and generally enjoy some of the most spectacular landscape in Canada, if not the world. Depending on the time of year, 50 – 80 residents remain.

This site is dedicated to the history and present of Uranium City and area, and history of the Canadian North generally. For a general Uranium City history, please visit our About Page.

Latest Posts

  • Welcome to Uranium City sign.

    Uranium City is small town Canada taken to an extreme

    Northern Saskatchewan’s Uranium City may be a life too isolated for the likes of most city dwellers, but as photographer Ian Brewster and anthropologist Justin Armstrong discovered on their trip to the ghost town, the city’s sense of community has kept its remaining 70 inhabitants going strong. “I have this idea of writing a place […]

  • Abandoned Tower at Gunnar Mines, SK

    Uranium City 1996-2003

    Click on box on upper right to open to full page These are among the dozens of photographs I took of Uranium City between 1996 and 2003, during which I visited the town four times. During this period, the town dropped in population from just under 200 to less than a hundred, especially after the […]

  • Newspaper Icon

    From the Archives: Uranium City Mayor Battles On

    Article from just after the announcement, December 1981

  • View of Uranium City, Saskatchewan

    Uranium City Return: Arrival

    At the end of the road, an airstrip appears, as unexpected as a landing pad for aliens. Instinctively, I look for the Eldorado Mine and the company town of Eldorado that stretched around the lake behind the airstrip and am startled to find nothing but hills and trees and a muddy black field. The plane […]

  • Main Street, Uranium City, in the fog

    Going Back Home to Uranium City

    The vehicles began streaming in on Friday morning and by late afternoon almost 600 people had arrived at the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park for the 2001 Uranium City Reunion. Almost 20 years had passed since Eldorado Nuclear announced the closure of its Beaverlodge Mine, which led to Uranium City losing over 80 percent of it’s […]

  • Plane flying over Uranium City, mid 1950s

    Classic Photos from the Saskatchewan Archives

    Click on any image to open lightbox Classic photos from the 1950s from the Saskatchewan Archives.Included here is downtown Uranium City (Main street), the Uranium City township circa the mid-’50s, the Gunnar and Lorado mines. Gunnar was shut down in 1964, Lorado in 1959.

  • Uranium City Hotel, circa 1997

    Up In the Old (UC) Hotel

    Weeds rise from the cracks in the underbrush along the edge of the parking lot, reaching up the concrete steps to the hotel’s main entrance. In the fog, the weeds look febrile, like they are about to crawl right up the walls. I climb the steps, pull on the steel door that once opened onto […]

  • Native Indian Road Crew clearing brush, Uranium City, 1951

    At Work: Historical Images of Labour in Saskatchewan

    Thanks to Andrea Fiss for this link: At Work: Historical Images of Labour in Saskatchewan The caption for this image reads: Construction crew for the Uranium City road. The crew appears to be made up entirely of First Nations men, employed to clear a route through the forest. Date: 1951 The collection includes 5 photos […]

Latest Places

  • Gunnar Mines, early 1960s

    Gunnar Mines Part 1

  • Goldfields, Saskatchewan, circa mid -'30s

    Goldfields: The First Boom Town

  • Cover of Patricia Sandberg's Sun Dogs and Yellowcake

    Sun Dogs and Yellowcake, Extract from Chapter 8: 

  • Rix Athabasca Headframe, 1959

    My Memories of Rix Athabasca Mines and Uranium City 1957 – ’60

  • Dr. Colin Dafoe, Dogsled Doctor

Latest Photos