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Case Study


How the Town of Cobalt Planned to Preserve its History

Creating a Heritage District

In the early 1900’s, the Town of Cobalt Ontario experienced a silver boom and became the first hard rock mining town in Ontario.  The boom which the discovery of silver touched off was one of the most colourful and exciting ever seen in Canada. The population swelled to over 30 000 residents from distant countries such as Sweden, Finland, the United States, Australia, England and South Africa and by 1928 the camp had produced more than $300,000,000 in silver. Unfortunately, the silver rush was over by the 1930’s. The population dropped to 1,500 and the town’s economy stagnated. Almost all that remained were the workers’ houses, towering headframes and open-cut veins in the hard rock.

The Town of Cobalt decided to try to capitalize on their rich history.  They knew that other municipalities had managed to create historic districts, but they did not know how to achieve their vision with a very small municipal staff and limited budget.  They reached out to us for help.

MacLeod Farley and Associates secured funding to get the project started, assembled a team of heritage consultants and created a comprehensive plan for the Historic Cobalt Mining Camp Heritage District.

MacLeod Farley & Associates then helped secure $4 million for the implementation of this project. Our consulting role included project concept development planning, proposal writing and financing, organizational development, conflict resolution, exhibit production and construction project management support.

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Hiring MacLeod Farley & Associates to conduct a Strategic Planning and Business Planning project was the best move the Classic Theatre board has ever made.

We have moved from being a group of individuals with good intentions, but lacking direction, to a professional organization with common goals, a strategic plan and the tools in place to achieve the plan.

Andrew Ager Past Chair Cobalt Classic Theatre
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