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. Spent a great deal of time on fires from 1975 to 1977 with Great Lakes Helicopters and again in 1980/1981/1982 with Toronto Helicopters.

    Lost of good times at the Roswell Hotel (Vince) with all the crazy Fire crews – Popowich was one of the fire bosses in my day, nice guy – overdid it on Branvin during a birthday celebration.

    I stayed at the Park Bay View – when it was the Park Bay View…

    I fell in love with Geraldton and a wonderful girl who was born and raised in Geraldton.

    Amazing good times…I miss those days – I would not trade the memories for anything.

    Thank you Geraldtown for being part of my life…

  2. Hi Janie, That was me I remember you so well…. Your dad was Gerald, with glasses and your mom was Eleanor. Do you remember those white houses we lived in ? and we had a bear prowling around one day….Do you still live There?… We are retired and living in Orillia Ont. on Lake Simcoe. Hope you respond!!!

  3. Can someone share with me, maybe from their parents or grandparents’recollection of the beginnings of St. Therese Parish in Geraldton, Ontario. Why was the parish named after St. Therese?

  4. Back around 1975 our family drove a truck camper into the Geraldton area while on holiday. Seeking a place to camp for the night and being a police officer in the states, I went to the O.P.P. office for advise..
    Officer I spoke to suggested a place where he and his family camped. All I remember is that it was about 20-30 miles north on a paper company road. It was a small site for just two camp spaces. It was just off the road to the right about 100 ft or so with a lake shore a short walk away. Many years later some thing keeps calling me back but doubt if I could find it again. Any ideas?

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  7. Robert Charles Arthur Forman, born in Geraldton on Sept. 22, 1942, passed away on February 23, 2017, Calgary, AB. If anyone still living in Geraldton remembers Bob please respond.

  8. We lived in a creme colored duplex next to the hospital and the mine was just across the road. I also remember going to St. Teresas School at the far end of town past Jonesville. Does anyone remember Jim Kyle?

    • Hi Maureen . We’re you by any chance , Maureen Gillick? If so you were one of my best friends when we were little girls. I remember playing dress up in your Aunt’s nurse uniforms? The Maureen I knew lived in the duplex by the hospital. Hope you are the right one. Jane Gregory.

  9. I was born in Geralton in the 1930 s
    My father worked in the gold mine. Long Lac is the name I remember.
    They lived just over the rail tracks in Geralton He left to work in the Collingwood shipyard.
    Years later our son and his family settled in Geraldton and our two granddaughters were raised in your nice little town . There has been a lot of changes there over the years. and our son and his wife are still there. My father would be pleased to know that his grandson has settled there.

  10. this small town is home to me and always will be…The people are amazing, the town is very beautiful so many outdoor things to do…We left my little brother who passed there to be buried there as that Is home…The saying is right the town with the heart of gold….I miss home so much…Love all u Geraldton people especially the ones i knew and loved over there.

    • Cheryl…!are u the one that hung around with Arlene , Judy,Cathy. Etc… If so… wow it is really a long time since high school..

  11. I was born and raised in this small little town, I still have family there and love visiting at least every few years to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. I now live in Southwestern Ontario, but do like to reminisce with people who actually know where Geraldton is.

  12. My friend says Geraldton was named after him,He was born there,he lives in Stoneycreek now,anyone know where Geraldton got it’s name. thanks Pat.

    • Not unless your friend was a Fitzgerald or an Errington. “The settlement of Geraldton is a compound of the surname of financiers of a nearby gold mine near Kenogamisis Lake in 1931 (Fitzgerald and Errington).”

      My great aunt is the longest living resident of Geraldton – back to the 1920’s.

      • Hi jane Where are you living now? Of course I did become an RN and really enjoyed those years. Maureen Gillick now Maureen Gillick[

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