Heritage Walk

Gold Heritage Corner – Helen Mine/McLeod Mine – Monument to Mining

Lion’s Beach Heritage Walk begins at the base of Gold Street. There you find the first Heritage Sign – “Gold”.



teddysIt all began in the summer of 1897, when William Teddy and his wife Louise Towab discovered a nugget of gold at what is now known as William Teddy Park. From that a gold rush began, with over 300 claims being staked in a few months.

By 1906 though, Wawa was a ghost town. With the rush over, the town was done as well.

in the early 20’s, gold came back to life! The Grace, Darwin, Minto, Parkhill, and the Jubilee reopened, and began to produce gold. Those are the big names, there were at least 15 other gold mines in the area who were producing.

WaWa City

Across Broadway Avenue from Lion’s Beach is Heritage Corner where this sign is, Wawa City.

Helen Mine/McLeod Mine

heritage-DSCF9195As gold failed, iron became very important.

The Helen Mine and the McLeod Mine produced iron ore which was shipped to Sault Ste. Marie. The Algoma Ore Division supplied Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with iron ore to make steel.

monument-DSCF9199Monument to Mining


At the end of the Heritage Walk, is the JOY! A huge monument to the mining industry that has supported Wawa for so many years, is a drill rig.


This actual machine operated in the Sir James Pit at the east end of Wawa Lake, and was restored, and placed on display as a tribute to the mining heritage that is the heart of this community.



Helen Mine


A short walk along Broadway Avenue, towards the Lady Dunn Health Centre will reveal another sign “Helen Mine”.

From there you can look out over Wawa Lake and to the left is what remains of the Helen Mine. Ontario Law requires the removal and restoration to a natural site once mining has ceased. The headframe and offices that were there, are now gone. All that is left is the scar in the mountain, and the Eagle’s Nest, the Wawa home of Sir James Dunn. Unfortunately, although the Eagle’s Nest has been declared of historic value, there is no access, and no attempts can be made to preserve the building.