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.
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 […]
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 […]
Article from just after the announcement, December 1981
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Photos from Chris Robinson, from the first big boom in the 1950s
I worked in Uranium City from 1966 to 1971 and I knew Enda and I met him again in Avoca…
Hi Ernie, Thanks! The video in this post went missing, I put it back. I didn’t make this – came…
Nice piece of work UC resident and student 1959 thru early 1962
I really enjoyed this article. I taught in Uranium City from 1977 to 1982 and my husband worked in the…
Hi Tim, I just taught at Gilchrist and art just to my own class. I believe Jerry Kortello was an…