Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Giant Mine possibilities

John King
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 14/05) - About 20 Yellowknife citizens gathered at City Hall to voice their opinions on what should be done at the Giant Mine waterfront area last Wednesday.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Walt Humphries makes a pitch during a public meeting on the Giant Mine waterfront lease area for a museum and other tourist attractions on the site. A public meeting held last week sought input on what to do with the Giant Mine townsite. - John King/NNSL photo

Walt Humphries, who lobbied on behalf of the Mining Heritage Society, said the area should be turned into a place where Yellowknifers can celebrate their unique history, and tourists can learn about what made the NWT capital what it is today.

"This is the last chance to save this historical site of the North," Humphries said.

Long-time resident, Yvonne Wotherspoon, would also like to see the area become a place where the history of the region could be taught to all.

"I thought it would make a perfect heritage park," Wotherspoon said. "It could be a mini-heritage town."

Dillon Consulting is expected to present a list of recommendations to city council within two months.

"We're here to help create a vision," said Nalini Naidoo, a planner with Dillon. The consensus at the meeting was that the site should not include a massive residential development, but a neighbourhood similar to the one that served miners.

"I would love to see a summer arts markets and art studios down below close to the water, and a residential area up above," said Terry Brookes.

Most at the meeting were not concerned about potential health hazards left from mining.

"The real pollution is at the mine site itself not the town site," Humphries said, "It's cleaning itself up naturally."

After the brainstorming session, many felt that keeping the natural character of the area intact is importance.

Residential development would be fine only if it kept the feel and character of the existing town site.

Only the Great Slave Cruising Club said it would rather not see any such housing development. "I don't think we need more houses there at all," said Paul Guy, president of the Great Slave Cruising Club. "The area is a public place and should be left for all to use."