Gypsum Mines of Ontario


The Province of Ontario and the area in and around the Grand River between Paris Ontario and well down river of Cayuga Ontario has had a rich history of early Gypsum exploration. I have visited numerous sites in the past few years to photograph what is left of the old mines, my main goal is to get a photographic record of the various gypsum mines before all traces of the sites have vanished forever. Most of the Gypsum mine sites have been rehabilitated in the past few decades, very few sites have survived the government rehabilitation program. I have found numerous mining relics, mine shafts, adits, narrow gauge rail track and many foundations for machinery and workers houses. Most of these gypsum mines are located on private property and should be accessed with permission from the land owners.

(Notice) Abandoned mine sites are very dangerous and should not be entered at any time. These pictures are for educational purposes only, explore at your own risk.

Lythmore Gypsum Mine #1

The main mine shaft at the Lythmore gypsum mine has been filled in, but according to the property owner the shaft keeps on slumping down. Over 80,000 Tons of gypsum was mined between 1917 and 1927. Two beds of gypsum were mined, one at 25 Meters, and one at 42 Meters in depth. Numerous foundations remain on the property.


lythmore mine #1

Top of the filled in mine shaft at the Lythmore Mine #1

Lythmore Mine #1

The filled in shaft that keeps sinking down.

Lythmore Mine #1

A well used tire dump. The mine shaft is in the background.

Lythmore Mine #1

There were a few of these filled in pipes. Possible air shafts?

Lythmore Mine #1

A foundation from of one of two workers houses I found at the site.

Excelsior Gypsum Mine

This site proved a bit hard to find, but after knocking on numerous doors I found some nice people who enjoyed talking about the old gypsum mine on their property. According to the records around 20,000 Tons of gypsum was mined between 1875 and 1895. The gypsum was mined at a depth of 15 Meters. There does appear to be an old buried adit that lines up with numerous sinkholes and a filled in air shaft a few hundred Meters away.

excelsior mine

Possible path of old adit coming towards photographer.
Possible shafts or sinkholes above path of adit.

excelsior mine

Filled in air or mine shaft with the possible adit in line in the far background.

excelsior mine

A small piece of narrow gauge rail track hints at the mine that was once here.

gypsum mine ontario

Narrow gauge rail track and old building foundation.

gypsum mine

Not sure how old this tire is.Odd construction.

gypsum mine

Old gears on a foundation for a piece of machinery located close to where the adit might have started.

gypsum mine gear

One of a few surviving relics at the site.

gypsum mine

Some foundations near where I believe the adit once started.


A piece of gypsum found in a pile at the potential adit location.


A small broken piece of pipe near the gears.


A few old hinges buried in the dirt.


Another small foundation at the site.

Martindale Gypsum Mine

The Martindale gypsum mine started operation in 1846 and was closed in 1917. During this time period over 110,000 tons of gypsum was mined at the site. The main adit was driven in from the river bank at a 1 in 10 gradient and has long been buried and sealed up. According to the mine property owners and neighbors in the area there use to be a narrow gauge rail line to take the gypsum from the mine to a nearby train station. I was unable to locate any remains of the track, but I was told from a local resident that there is some concrete piers where the track crossed a small creek back in the bush, perhaps one day I will make it out to check them out. The government records show two gypsum seams at the property, one at a depth of 21 Meters and another at 33 Meters.

martindale gypsum mine

A built up loading dock leading up towards the mine shaft.

martindale gypsum

The loading dock. Mine shaft on the right side of platform.

gypsum mine shaft

Top of the filled in mine shaft.

mine shaft

The filled in shaft. This mine site has been rehabilitated.

gypsum mine in ontario

Some foundations with the loading dock in the background.

Cayuga Gypsum Mine

The Cayuga gypsum mine started operation back in 1942. The mine was a late bloomer for the area where the 1800s were the boom years for early gypsum mining. Access to a one Meter thick layer of gypsum was encountered in the shaft at a depth of 26 Meters. It appears this mine site was in operation for less than a Decade. The site itself is somewhat void of any ruins or foundations. The main shaft is most of what remains at the very overgrown site.

cayuga gypsum mine

The filled in mine shaft and foundations of possible hoisting devices.

cayuga gypsum mine

The garbage filled shaft. The edges of the shaft are still well defined, not allot of slumping.

Cooks Gypsum Mine

The Cooks gypsum mine was in operation between 1805 and 1880, with an undisclosed tonnage of gypsum removed. The one photo I got is of a collapsed area in a cliff face where the property owner believes the adit was located. There is what feels like a slight breeze coming form the crack in the breakdown. The Cooks mine is located right next to the Martindale mine site, it is possible that some features that I listed at the Martindale site may be part of the Cooks mine site. Its hard to know where one mine ended and the other started with the records available to me.

cooks gypsum mine ontario

Potential collapsed adit in rock face.

Gypsum Mine Site #6

From what records I have found online, this site appears to be a test mine that went in a few hundred feet. One of the few sites that have not been rehabilitated in the area. The adit is around 1.5 by 1.5 Meters in size.

gypsum mine

The entrance to the test mine.

gypsum mine entrance

A close up of the entrance.

gypsum mine adit

Just inside the entrance, the adit appears to go in a few hundred feet.

Check out my Caves of Ontario website.

You can contact myself Jeff at