Grass now growing in Lorado Tailings, Fish live in once-dead Nero Lake

I remember clearly when the Lorado tailings resembled the surface of Mars. As a teenager, we’d walk across tailings field, marveling the rust-red dust, the absence of a single living thing. Nearby Nero Lake was completely clear, no fish, no plants, no living trees around its shore. The tailings field lived on after the mill that produced was demolished, the last point on the map of what had been the Lorado town and mill. Now, even the tailings field is covered, the lake restored. The point on the map has been completely erased, but for the single concrete pad where the mill once stood.

A remarkable achievement, returning the tailings field from a uranium mine back to nature. Hopefully, they have the same success at the Gunnar Mines tailing field to the south.

Uranium City one of 15 Canadian ‘Places’ that HuffPo finds both ‘creepy and beautiful’


Main Street, Uranium City, in the fog
Main Street in a fog

This article appeared in the Huffington Post (Canada) a couple of months ago. A friend sent it on. Good thing too, otherwise I would have missed it entirely. Uranium City is featured as one of ’15 Canadian Places That Are Equally Creepy and Beautiful’. Included is a short write and photo gallery, with one photo of Uranium City’s Main Street, and a short write-up:

One of the more famous ghost towns in Saskatchewan is Uranium City. It was close to achieving city status and then collapsed upon the closure of the Eldorado Mine and the mass exodus of its population. Today, roughly 70 people inhabit the town in order to keep it alive.

The photo is by yours truly, which is why the friend contacted me. HuffPo got it from my flickr page. They didn’t contact me or ask me or anything BUT they did credit me, which is something. This photo has turned up on everything from Uranium City’s wikipedia page to various (small-time) articles and not once did anyone even credit. Such, such is the age we live in . . .

The photo was taken in the summer of 1997. A fog had set in over the town, so low you couldn’t even see the neighboring hills. The town was completely isolated – the fog prevented planes from landing and taking off and the silence was very definitely eerie. Usually the wind is up, and you have the steady background sound of wind, swaying trees, rattling objects. On that morning, every sound was buffeted by the fog. Later, the ravens settled in, and filled in the background silence with their strange caws and cries, almost human sounds that are as much a part of the North as bush planes, blowing snow, and skidoos. For a few hours, until the fog lifted, it felt like Uranium City was the only town in the whole world.

You can read the article and see 14 more beautiful and eerie Canadian places here.