Compared to the many other spots on Highway 11’s mid-west corridor, Geraldton is a relatively bustling town of 2400, apparently with its own suburbs – Jonesville and Geraldton East.

Geraldton has two town mottos – ‘Spirit of the North’ and ‘The Friendly Town with a Heart of Gold’.  It’s obvious that the town has put its golden heart to good use, as it is one of the most actively and professionally marketed towns in northern Ontario.

Geraldton, Ontario Highway 11 tourist centre

Geraldton’s fancy and new tourist center, visible from Highway 11

Thirty-eight kilometres west of Longlac, Geraldton has actively used a restored mine headspace in all its tourism literature.  The mine shaft is quire nicely restored. If you turn down Hardrock Drive (yes, it’s the best-named street in northern Ontario after Iroquois Falls’ Oil Tank Road) you’ll see a rocky landscape which I believe is the headframe’s parking lot and the starting point for the two hiking trails seen below.

The Geraldton Discovery Centre, on Highway 11 across from the mine shaft, is also really nicely done-up.  The Discovery Centre has exhibits on the area’s forestry and mining history, current practices in both industries, and also allows you to dress up in fireman gear and have your photo taken (handy if your wife or girlfriend is into that kind of thing and you’re not a firefighter like the most of us.)Geraldton's restored mine headframe on Highway 11Geraldon is on the shores of Kenogamisis Lake, which, by the way, offers some low-level cliff diving opportunities (I don’t endorse/condone/promote/suggest doing this, I just observed some people doing while I drove past. Do not jump off cliffs into the water, it’s really dangerous.)  Geraldton also has a nice golf course and some hiking trails.

Hiking trails in Geraldton, Ontario, highway 11

I think I’ll take a pass on the first one

I happened to be in town for their annual August long-weekend Jamboree.  I was planning to stop after I saw a Bristol board sign indicating that it was in nearby Macleod Provincial Park.  With my drive time approaching the six hour mark, and the valuable contents of my wallet becoming increasingly sparse with each stop for gas and coffee and doughnuts, and the rain beginning to pour, I declined my chance to jam with the locals.

Geraldton downtown, Ontario

Downtown Geraldton, Ontario north of Highway 11 (Credit: User P199 at Wiki Commons.)

I missed the town itself.  Geraldton is about five kilometres north of Highway 11.  (I was tired. I was trying to make it to Nipigon without getting gas. (Danger Will Robinson.  Red alert.  BAD IDEA!)  Plus. it was raining.  I had just passed a hitchhiker and felt really really guilty but not guilty enough to take my life into my own hands in the middle of nowhere in order to save the guy from the downpour.)  Therefore I continued along Highway 11, and missed out on mainstreet Geraldton.

If you continue up the road past Geraldton, you’ll eventually hit Nakina and Aroland, two of Ontario’s more isolated northern towns.

Greenstone municipal building in Geraldton, Ontario, north of Highway 11

Well this is pretty swish. (Credit: user P199 at Wiki Commons.)

60 thoughts on “Geraldton

  1. My wife’s grandfather was Spearman (Samuel) McBurnie who was one of the first mine claim holders in Geraldton. He used the first name of Samuel. He worked for the McLoud Cochshutte Mining company in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Does anyone have a photo of him or have any information about him. He died May 5, 1949 in Little Longlac. He is buried in Geraldton.

  2. I’ve been looking for my brother that was given up for adoption. He was born May 15, 1957 in Geraldton. If anyone may have information I would love to hear. I posted an ad in your local paper Time Star May 14 & 21, 2014. As this is his 57th birthday. He is not forgotten. I left Geraldton 1963. When I was 12, I found papers of my brother adoption. I’ve been searching for years. I come back to Geraldton quite often and alway stop in a Marino’s Hardware Store. My grandparents were the McAllister’s. My Grandpa Thomas worked the MacLeod Cockshuh Mine in the 40ies 50ies & 60ies. My Uncle Peter also for some years.
    Thank you, Linda (Nee Thomas)

  3. I was born in Geraldton in 1954, in the little hospital next to what we called at the time as, “first bridge”. For some reason my birth certificate says Errington Twp,….. I’m guessing that’s where I was registered. My parents immigrated from Italy and my dad worked in the gold mines. We moved in 1966 when I was 12 years. I still have childhood friends living in Geraldton. It was a great place to grow up as a kid, and I have to get back there soon. The old saying “you can take the boy out of the north, but you can never take the north out of the boy”, is soooo true. Regards, Renato Pitton

  4. my name is Alice jane Coe born oct. 17 1937 in little long lac hospital would hospital records show my time of birth,if so please get in touch with me,fathers name Orville Coe .mothers name marjorie.Thank you Alice jane Coe

  5. We are considering a move to Northern Ontario and there`s a possibility we may go for Geraldton. We`re not 100% sure yet, as there`s been a pretty tempting opportunity to seize there, but is it worth it because of the forestry industry in the state it`s in now and how it`s affecting all of the province of OntarioÉ

  6. coming that way next week,can we get our groceries in Geraldton on the way through before we fky in for 2 weeks thank you

  7. the official population is actually 2,600. however after the mine fiasco it’s around 1,200 – 1,000. and it’s famous for its mining.

  8. Lived in Gtown for about 6 months. Hated it. my husband cheated with crew at ambulance station. U can have your up north

  9. I am looking for any information or the where abouts of Louise Newman (nee: Goudie) and/or Mark Newman who lived in Geraldton in 1951. They were a young couple about 20 and 21 years old. Thanks so much.

  10. I was born in Geraldton and moved away when I was six. I was passing by on the way to work in Kap. and couldn’t resist the urge to stop in and see the old town. My parents old house looks like it is doing well but my grandparents house is gone. I can still remember many of the old landmarks like the post office, Marino Hardware, the Dairy Dip. Nice to see the town is surviving. I know the forestry industry is hurting all over and this is especially hard on small northern communities like Geraldton.

  11. It was 71 years ago yesterday when I was born at LLL Hospital. We left in 54 when the mine closed but hope to return next summer at the anniversary. Will there be info posted about it?

    • Hi John
      We went to same LLL School (Mr Sikes) I was back for the 75th Anniversary, and several times since for reunions with the MacLeod Townsite gang, MacDonnells, Newman’s, Specks, Kerr’s, B.Stull, M Doyle, R Gair, I Craik, McKewens, great to get together.

  12. To Jim Rye from Cochrane, Ontario…Thank you very much for the info concerning the picture of the Little Long Lac Hospital in Geraldton. I now have the picture. You made my day!

  13. hello..i lived in geraldton from 1936 t0 1949..have been back over the years..had a great time aug.2010..have heard there will be a 75th year anniversary celebration in 2012..any dates as yet ??..would like to attend..wil elik

  14. I was born and raised in Gtown. I left for 10 years post secondary but return for a summer and never left. I now teach here full time and I am raising my family here and we enjoy all the outdoors activities.

  15. I spent the the best years of my life in Geraldton. I moved there as a child and stayed until I left for college. It is small, quiet and quite remote, but I wouldn’t change my childhood there for anything.

  16. Hey there, Im Ashley and I know that I have family here, The last name is BULL, My Grandfather lives in Elliot Lake and in September we celebrated his 70th birthday, i would like to come to Geraldton…i would like to see the BULL CAMP? Anyways if anyone sees this please contact me.
    Ashley Bull

  17. I have spent many a nite in your town and have always been treated with respect and your community has always pulled together and made my stays the most memorable.I fly in and out 3+ times a year and give you guys thumbs up..Thanks to all of you..Bob

  18. I was born in Geraldton in 1946. Left when I was about four years old, and unfortunately never returned. I remember it though, and the Lakoskies. Benny\’s hotel as well. We did love it there. Also had the pleasure to serve with Admiral Tyrone Pyle in the Royal Canadian Navy.

  19. I was born in Geraldton in Little Long Lac Hospital in May, 1939….likewise my cousins….my Dad and his 3 brothers all worked in the mines….my parents were married there in ’38. I’ve been back there many times…I never drive by….I love just driving in and out on the main ‘drag’….maybe I’ll live there again…who knows …

  20. I am from geraldton, I lived there when i was a child, from what i could remember, it was cold,lot’s of snow, but never the less I rather enjoyed it,people were nice. I would like to get in contcact with some of the people again, ty

  21. hello, i hunt in the area and it is a great place to do so. no black flies in the fall except last year.
    i am inquiring about a quarry or sand /gravel pit company situated on hwy 11 towards \\long Lac. would appreciate name and phone number. please send me at
    thank u

  22. I’m going to retire soon and looking for a place in the north . And have looked a a few places ( Geraldton , LOnglac ) I realize it is the north cold in the winter and black flies . Wondering about fishing walleyes pike bass trout in the area . And is there any high speed internet or is it dial up ? I f anyone can give me any information on these communities it would be gratefully appreciated. Thx Cal

  23. I used to fly for norOntair from 1989 to 1995. I had spent a week there when I was a kid in the early 70’s as a guest or Bob and Sue Wise at their cottage on Wild Goose lake. I always liked the town but more so the people, you just won’t find a more friendly lot of folks anywhere.

  24. If you watch KARE-TV 11 weather here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Geraldton appears on the regional weather map every night. It’s the most northeasterly town on the map, so if you don’t watch using a wide-screen TV, you won’t see it. Now I’d like to travel there. The KARE-11 map also shows Pickle Lake, Ontario (far north of Thunder Bay) and goes as far northwest as Brandon, Manitoba.

  25. My wife lived in Geraldton for 26 years and I lived there for 6, to Evelyn Danelley of Nipigon there is a picture of the Little Long Lac Hospital in “and the Geraldton Way’ on page 292 I believe.

  26. I met the coolest guy. Works at the weather station at the airport, flew in there one night at like 3am with a patient drop off, had a good conversation.

  27. so true about cold winters…it’s exactly -39 with the wind outside right now, but you get used to it…lol

  28. You forgot to mention the clean air and the black flies. The rocks and “overgrown” weeds indicate natural growth. Spent a lot of time there. 16 yrs go be exact. Don’t miss the COLD LONG winters

  29. I am looking for a woman with the last name Slickus that lived in Geraldton around 1965-67 she would have been about 18 or 19

    • Nanci and Janice Slikus. Nanci has passed away and Janice is in Lethbridge. I was friends also (although younger) and lived next door.

  30. Where would I find a picture of the Little Long Lac Hospital in Geraldton?
    I was born there & would like a picture for my family album.
    thank you- Evelyn

  31. What is that thing on the corner entrance to Geraldton?…what does it mean? Anyway I use to live past the mine on the point, it was a beautiful house with a sunkin living room, lake front on two sides,and a giant screen house…I was only 5 or 6 but I remember!

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