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BC’s History Comes to Life at the Britannia Mine Museum

The history of Britannia Mine is fascinating. Located between Vancouver and Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky highway, this once thriving mine is now home to a National Historic Site and museum.

DSC_0091Once the lifeline of Britannia Beach, a “company” town, home to the workers of Britannia mine, this was the largest copper mine in British Commonwealth during the late 1920’s/early 1930’s.DSC_0106

There’s plenty of things to do here: One of the neatest activity is the mine train. This guided tour takes you deep into a tunnel, where you can learn some of the history of mining. Even on this day of age, mining is one of the most dangerous trades in the world. I can’t even imagine how hard it must’ve been (and dangerous!) back in the 1930’s.

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Inside the tunnels you get to see some really neat equipment in action, including drills.

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My favourite activity at Britannia is panning for gold at the Gold Panning Pavilion. It was so much fun! Best part? I found gold! Gold flakes anyways, but at least I got to keep them!

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The impressive building that can be seen from the Sea-to-Sky Highway is Mill 3. It was once considered the heartbeat of the Britannia community. Here, ore was processed. The cathedral-like industrial interior is awe inspiring.

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Britannia Mine Museum is open year round. Hours of operation are 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tour Times

Monday – Friday: Every hour from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (last tour).
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: Every half hour from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (last tour).

Most visitors spend an hour in addition to the tour to view the Museum in its entirety including exhibits, gold panning, the award-winning film and historical buildings on site. You may want to allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours for your visit, although many people stay for longer! Also is a good idea to bring a sweater, the underground tour can get a little chilly!

 

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