In the most westerly reaches of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton we find Morris Island in the Ottawa River, site of the Kingdon Mine, and the Chats Falls Hydroelectric dam.
The mine was known as early as the 18th century, but did not come into prominence until 1914 when the demand for lead spiked with the declaration of war. Until it ceased operations in 1931, Kingdon was Canada's largest producer of lead. Production was high enough that a mill and smelter were built on site, eliminating the expensive process of transporting the ore to distant facilities. The remains of the mill and smelter, as well as the extensive tailings pile, and the slag heap are still there to explore.
An interesting sidebar is the use of the tailings by new residents for their white gravel lanes and walkways. The fine aggregate is spread all over the area by people who figured they could get something for nothing. In January 2000, the health department issued a warning to residents about high lead levels in the tailing, which might be ingested by children. How the hell did the locals miss the fact that this was a lead mine?
The Fitzroy Historical Society has published a book on the history of the mine and the town. For more historical information, check out the links below.
Access to the Kingdon Mine site is possible using public lands. After you cross the branch of the Mississippi River you will come to a hydro right-of-way which crosses Loggers Way. Park your vehicle (unless you have 72 inch rims), and walk west along the right-of-way to the tailings pile. Turn right and follow the edge of the tailings until you reach a road into the woods. Follow the road and you might literally trip on the remains. (Watch your step!) It is about a Km walk in.