Goderich Ontario has the largest salt mine in the world

Goderich Beach & Salt Mine

Goderich, Ontario: As summer sun worshippers relax on the beach and munch on fresh lake perch from the 'fish and chip' truck parked near the base of the pier, an incredible natural phenomenonn hides beneath them. There is a deposit of salt so vast, it supplies 'The World's Largest Salt Mine.' Above ground portions of the mining operation can be seen near the mouth of the harbour. The mine itself is 1,750 ft below surface, extending 7 sq km under Lake Huron - that's roughly the size of the town itself. To date 150 million tones of salt has been produced from the mine and by 2012, after recent investments, it will be able to produce 9 million tons a year. This all started in 1866 when prospector Sam Platt was searching for oil and discovered rock salt instead 300 metres under Goderich Harbour. Just over 50 years ago the harvesting of the salt began.

The town's excellent Huron County Museum (I heard there was a eight-legged kitten there, but I never did spot it) does include a full-size locomotive, a a WWII Sherman tank, an extensive milatary collection, and a small exhibit related to the salt mining.

Goderich is also the home of the Celtic Roots Festival (275 volunteers help make this happen Aug 5-7) and Celtic College (more than 50 teachers, Aug 1-5) 2011 dates. This is one of the top three Celtic Festivals in the World, and at 19 yrs, the oldest of them. About 8,500 are expected to attend the 2011 event.

Goderich's historic jail 'The Huron Historic Goal' is an intersting National Historic site that can be visited. It's said to be the site of the last public hanging in Canada. It is also where Stephen Truscott was first incarcerated.

Where: Goderich is located on the eastern shorth of Lake Huron 73 km from Stratford, 98 km from London. It is known for its Victorian homes and gardens. One Victoria home, The Astoria, is now a lovely bed and breakfast. The heart of town is the 'octagonal-in-the-square'. A popular Sunday flea market held on the grounds if the square in summer. The town, pop. 8000, has three beaches. The tourist information office is located at 91 Hamilton St. (corner of Hwy 21 N) 1 800 280-7637.
Astoria Bed & Breakfast

Goderich is in Huron County which is part of a tourism region known as Shakespeare to the Shoreline. Just a 30 minute drive away is the Blyth Festival, known for its popular theatre festival - an incubator of Canadian talent and content. It’s fitting that the theatre, which is in their Memorial Hall (dedicated to those local residents that gave their lives during conflict) is currently presenting Vimy - with four soldiers reflecting on the grueling 1917 storming of Vimy Ridge. Also currently being presented: Hometown, written by a group of playwrights from across Canada. They were asked simply: what does the word “hometown” mean to you? Check the Blyth Fesitival website for current productions.

Cool communities you could also visit in on the shore of Lake Huron south of Goderich include the historic village of Bayfield (award-winning author Alice Munro 'one of the world's formost writers of fiction' lives nearby and sometimes can be spotted in The Village Bookshop.) Continuing south, 1.6 km before St. Joseph, the play 'Narcisse, a new play about St. Joseph' is being presented , on the grounds of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church until July 30, 201. Further south is the beach village of Grand Bend - lots of family fun & Nat Geo said one of The World's Best Sunsets.

Ice Culture in the village of Hensill is a world leader in the ice industry, creating, shipping and setting up ice lounges from Sydney, Australia to South Africa, Dubai and Thailand. Curently Iceculture welcomes groups for pre-arranged tours, and and in the future will be open to individuals..


Lucy Izon

Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page

Canada’s Coolest:

Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Lucy@CanadaCool.com. Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!

The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives

Here are some of my favorites...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.

And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...


More from Canada’s Coolest

'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:

  • Golf Course Features
  • Haunted Hotels
  • Hotel Special Services

Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com

Recent 'Canada's Coolest' topics: