Post Last Modified – April 22, 2021
Visit The Historic Britannia Mine Museum In Britannia Beach British Columbia
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If your travels have you visiting Vancouver BC, then sure to Visit Britannia Mine Museum. This amazing museum is now a National Historic Site and was once the largest copper mine in the British Empire. This now major attraction in Western Canada, is perfect historical and fun tour the whole family will enjoy!
Selected by the Canadian Tourism Commission as a Canadian Signature Experience!
Explore This Award Winning National Historic Site
This Museum is ideally located just 45 minutes north of downtown Vancouver along the scenic Sea to Sky highway. This is the highway that eventually leads to world renowned ski resort town of Whistler BC. For those heading to the towns of Squamish or Whistler, this is the perfect place to stop for a break and visit this beautiful historic site.
Recognized as a major educational and tourist attraction, this site has certainly put its place on the global map and listed as a … Must See Attraction!
A Brief History Of The Britannia Mine
Britannia Mine began operations in 1904. By 1929 it had become the biggest copper producing mine in the once known – British Empire. Along with copper, the mine also extracted gold, silver, lead, zinc and cadmium in large quantities.
During its 70 year span, the mine produced over fifty million tons of ore!
Situated in Howe Sound on the west coast and until 1956, there were no roads or rail line access. The mine was completely isolated at that time. The only way to reach the site was by boat from the city of Vancouver.
Thousands from all over the world traveled to and settled in this area. They came to work and live in the two mining communities that were completely isolated from the rest of the world. Known as Britannia Beach and Mount Sheer, their combined population soared to 60,000 over the 70 years of the mines existence.
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A total of 210 kilometres of mining tunnels were dug in the Britannia Mountain site.
Brought back to life, today the Museum celebrates the achievements and hard work of our mining pioneers. At the same, its proud to educate everyone visiting on the mining industry in British Columbia. It also reveals the significant changes and improvements that have been made along the way.
Britannia Mine Museums Attractions
A massive $14.7 million restoration of this now heritage site was undertaken. It is now an wonderful attraction for all to enjoy and experience during their visit to this part of BC.
The Museum houses several historical exhibits in a number of buildings located on the site. One of the first things I recommend is heading to the museums theater. Take a moment and view the short but very interesting and entertaining film on the history of Britannia Mine.
It’s a great introduction, and gives you a much better understanding of what you are about to experience on the rest of your visit.
The museum houses many very interesting original artifacts and the original equipment used during the days the mine was in full operation.
Take An Escorted Fun And Informative Tour
When you enter the gate, you will be handed a tour pass and a specific time for your guided underground train tour. This tour takes just under one hour and is definitely a highlight of this museum.
The guides are very knowledgeable and entertaining, making the tour interesting for all ages.
Your tour starts with a ride on a rail car into the mine itself. Your guide will inform you of the mines history, and what the earlier miners had to endure during a typical workday. He or she, will also demonstrate some of the early drill equipment used in those days.
It gives you a feeling of what it must have been like to be a miner back in the early days.
A great display and demonstration of earlier mining equipment used years ago while viewing the inside of a mine shaft on your tour.
Explore Inside The Historic Britannia Mine Mill
Walking inside the massive historic mill building will simply amaze you! As you look up and view eight stories of mill floors, the size of the structure is absolutely incredible. One can only imagine the noise of machinery operating on these floors and what the workers had to deal with on a day to day basis.
View The Mines Surrounding Exhibit Buildings
Take your time to enjoy and view all the amazing exhibit buildings the museum has to offer. Pan for gold, grab something to eat at the snack bar and just enjoy the grounds and sites around you. There’s a playground area for children and a unique gift shop as well.
The shop offers a variety of local art selections, minerals and other specialty items for purchase.
We were so glad we had the opportunity to visit this historical landmark in my home Province of BC. What a fun and very educational experience to learn about the industry and what life was like for our ancestors. Britannia Beach and its Mine Museum should definitely be included in your travel plans.
British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Coastline from Vancouver is worth the drive as well.
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For more complete and detailed information on this historic museum, I have also listed their official website below for your convenience.
📸 Britannia Mine Museum
Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂
Although our visit was in collaboration with The Britannia Mine Museum , rest assured all content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.
✨ Did You Know …
“Gold Was Mainly Mined Until Silver Was Discovered In The Late 1800’s In The Province Of British Columbia,Canada.”
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