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Latlng: (46.47916, -80.840833)

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Greater Sudbury

Coniston Smelter


Discovered by TWP
Created Jan 01 2006
Recent status Unknown
Category Industrial
City Greater Sudbury, Ontario
Location # 451

In 1911, the Mond Nickel Company was preparing to move their smelting operations from Victoria Mine to the Coniston area. The reason for the move was the company could not expand their current operations any further, and Coniston not only offered ample land but also shipping access via the CNR and CPR railway lines.

Sir Alfred Mond, owner of the Mond Company, purchased the family farms of the original settlers in the Village of Coniston. After a location for the future town-site had been surveyed and drafted, streets and sidewalks were constructed and water was piped in from the Wanapitei River. The first company homes to be built were actually brought over from the former Victoria Mine town site. (source:

The Coniston smelter plant officially opened for business on May 13th, 1913. Shortly afterward a roast yard was constructed three-quarters of a mile from the smelter. The roast yard would remain in operation until 1928 when the Ontario Legislature enacted to forbid the use of open roast yards.

Mond Nickel Company wanted to ensure that their new town was going to be a successful one. In 1913 the company constructed a three-room schoolhouse to replace an old log schoolhouse that had burned down. Two of the rooms were used by the Public School, the third one used by the Separate School. The company also built a fire hall, customs office, municipal building and jail. (source:

The schoolhouse was destroyed by fire on February 26, 1918 while classes were being held; fortunately all pupils were safely evacuated.

During the 1920’s, a nickel boom saw more men and their families moving to the Village of Coniston. The Mond Nickel Company created additional subdivisions to accommodate the additional population,. Some of the subdivision lots were purchased by similar ethnic groups. These ethnic areas took on their own names such as the “Italian Town” and “Polock Town”.

By 1933, over 340 men were working at the Coniston smelter but only 116 men had company housing. Boarding homes were built to accommodate the additional workers. To ensure beds were always available, the boarding homes used a “hot bedding” process. Men just finishing shift were given the beds of men who were just leaving for shift.

The Coniston smelter was closed in 1972 when the 381-metre high “Superstack” was constructed in Copper Cliff. The closure of the Coniston smelter and Falconbridge’s iron ore sintering plant resulted in a 50 per cent drop in sulphur dioxide ground level concentrations.

Latlng: (46.47916, -80.840833)

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