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Vacation Ideas from EEA

August is a great time to get away from work (as long as you have a job). Canada’s a great place to visit, be it for the great outdoors in places like Algonquin Provincial Park, in Ontario, or cosmopolitan Montreal, the closest thing you can get to Europe without the jet lag.

Quebec is home to the town of Thetford Mines, created in 1876 when high quality deposits of asbestos were identified in the region. Thetford Mines became the center of a booming chrysotile asbestos mining industry that supplied the US with millions of tons of raw asbestos for production into thousands of building and other products. Take a look at our E-library gallery for a collection of photographs old and new. Better yet, attend our asbestos training, check out some vintage specimens, including the 1951 75th Annual Report from the Johns Mansville Corp and hear tales from our very own Quebecois, Paul “Frenchy” Reid.

Thetford Mines has been in the news recently. In 2007, a prestigious US scientific study concluded that residents were in significant danger. The locals shrugged it off. Just this summer, LAB Chrysotile, the company currently operating the mine, threatened to shut the doors on what is now the last fully operational asbestos mine in North America. No word on if it’ll stay open yet.

Thetford Mines struggles to survive, and, like many Upstate New York communities, is hoping to draw folks in with quality of life and recreational opportunities along with emphasis on a rich cultural heritage. The residents are proud of the mines, hosting “Musee Mineralogique et Minier de Thetford Mines”. Check out the museum’s link. Good luck with the french.

There’s still time to plan a summer trip or make a stop if you’re en route from Montreal to Quebec City. If you’ve time, make a side trip to the town of Asbestos. Surely a destination, or a pilgrimage, for the asbestos professional to the place it all began.

Au revoir!

PS, in fairness to our northern neighbors, here’s link to a US Department of Interior on the “magic mineral”. Boy, were we stupid or what!!?