Amethyst - The Official Gemstone of Ontario
Ontario’s Superior Country region is lucky to be home of the largest Amethyst deposit in all of Canada. Just 60km east of Thunder Bay (60km west of Nipigon), along the Lake Superior Circle Tour, sits Amethyst Mine Panorama. For over 35 years the mine has been operated by a local family that is dedicated to offering a quality product and experience for travelers and families.
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz that was once used by the ancient Greeks to decrease the chances of alcohol intoxication and to improve one’s intelligence. Although these features may not be accurate today Amethyst is still widely used in jewelry, landscaping, and the mines of Ontario have become an extremely popular attraction!
When I was young my family and I would camp at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park numerous times each summer. Often our group visited Amethyst Mine Panorama. We piled into three different vehicles and traveled the short 30-minute drive up to the mine from our campground. For me, and my friends, all around the ages of ten at the time, the mine was an astonishing wonder. We often spent our days exploring, digging, and learning.
To access the mine, you turn north off the Trans-Canada highway onto East Loon road. The road soon turns from asphalt to gravel. However, it is well maintained and shouldn’t be a cause for concern for anyone traveling in car or RV. The mine is 1,400 feet above sea level and the drive offers majestic views that will take your breath away.