Mining History at Dynamic Earth

As part of my recent visit to Sudbury I spent some time at Dynamic Earth.  I remember years ago visiting Sudbury as a child and I have a vague recollection of going underground as part of that visit. But I haven’t been back to Dynamic Earth as an adult or visited since it received a substantial renovation.

The main floor during my visit featured an exhibit on Megalodon, the largest shark that ever existed.  This was an interesting exhibit that had a number of interactive panels and well researched text, but I struggled with it being at Dynamic Earth.  The content didn’t relate to Sudbury or mining and it seemed out of place.  I think it would have worked better as a special exhibit at Science North, where the focus isn’t as narrow as at Dynamic Earth.

The lower floor of Dynamic Earth has a number of interactive exhibits all focusing on mining.  Visitors can pan for gold, remotely operate mining equipment, and learn about local history.  There is also a large mining themed indoor play area geared explicitly to children.

My favourite part of our visit was the underground tour.  The tour is over an hour long and takes visitors underground to learn about mining from the 1800s to now.  I was surprised by the production values of the tour, they have put a lot of money into interpretation including video screens, special effects, and reconstruction of historical looking mining conditions.

Our tour guide did an excellent job of talking about local history, the impact of social history (women’s rights, workers rights, environmental legislation) on mining, and the technical changes in mining. It was informative but also done in an engaging way that invited questions and was suitable for all ages.  I’d recommend it to anyone interested in learning a bit more about mining, Northern Ontario history, or who is just looking for a fun family outing.