I didn’t notice the difference between Cobalt and North Cobalt while driving through the area the first time, but my recent trip to the Temiskaming region confirmed that it is indeed separate and distinct, even if only by a few minutes’ drive.North Cobalt is a former mining camp established right between the towns of Cobalt and Haileybury during the silver rush in the early 1900s. It was a stop along the Nippissing Electric Railway that ran from Dymond to Cobalt. Along with Haileybury, North Cobalt was destroyed by the fires of 1922.
The North Cobalt Flea Market isn’t a true flea market in the usual sense of the word – it’s more like a liquidation place like the Bargain Shop or a going-out-of-business BiWay that sells everything it can get its hands on. On my first trip, however, they had a whole whole wall full of St-Hubert sauces and mixes. Now, it’s only a rackfull. I’ve bought some each time I’ve driven through town. I love St-Hubert.
While North Cobalt is a bit newer-looking and better kept than its predecessor, there doesn’t seem to be much to do. There is Gramma’s Chipper, a summer-time chip stand, and a couple of gas stations that seem to have lower prices than any in the Tri-Towns. There’s an old cemetery behind the local
Catholic Church. I read in the Toronto Star once that there is an egg grading station in North Cobalt. I also found the Maiden Bay Camp, which is on a rural road in North Cobalt. It seems there are some abandoned towns nearby as well. You could also venture off the main road to visit some “ghost towns“, although in northern Ontario a “ghost town” is usually just a razed or abandoned settlement – nothing like the fully-intact, faux-fronted, tumbleweed-infested ghost towns of western legend.
North Cobalt does, however, have Devil’s Rock, which provides hiking and a nice view of Lake Temiskaming. Haileybury tries to claim it, but I have the good word of a Tri-Towns resident that the devil lives in north Cobalt.
North Cobalt became part of Haileybury in 1971 and has been part of the town ever since. I don’t know if a separatist movement exists but considering its northern Ontario, there probably does.