Cape Breton Miners' Museum

Ocean Deeps Colliery

Useful Information

Location: 2 km from Downtown Glace Bay.
Open: 02-JUN to AUG Mon 10-18, Tue 10-19, Wed-Sun 10-18.
02-SEP to 01-JUN Mon-Fri 9-16.
Fee: Museum: Adults CAD 5, Children CAD 4.
Mine Tour: Adults CAD 5, Children CAD 4, Family CAD 25.
Classification: MineCoal Mine ExplainRoom and Pillar Mining SubterraneaReplica Underground Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Museum: self guided.
Mine tour: D=20 min.
Bibliography: Ian McNeil (2010): Pit Talk: The Legacy of Cape Breton's Coal Miners, ICON Communications & Research, 172 pages, $39.99
Address: Cape Breton Miners' Museum, 17 Museum Street, PO Box 310, Glace Bay, NS B1A 5T8, Tel: +1-902-849-4522, Fax: +1-902-849-8022. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1672 first coal discovered.
1672 first mine opened at Port Morion.
1888 rapid growth of the mining.
1914 height of the mining, 12,000 miners work in 18 local pits.
1932 mine opened.
31-JUL-1967 museum opened as a centennial project.
DEC-2001 last mine in the area closed.



The Cape Breton Miners' Museum is situated at the Atlantic Ocean, on the most picturesque coasts of Cape Breton Island. The six hectare site is one of North America's largest mining museums. The goal of the museum is to show the working conditions of miners from the 1930s to the 1950s. There are various buildings at the surface and a lot of mining machinery. The museum shows historic documents, artifacts and a 30-minute movie on the life of a coal miner.

Ocean Deeps Colliery was never a working mine, it is an artifical mine, a mine replica, but it is more than a fun tourist draw. It is located underground, beneath the Museum building, and shows the various types of coal mining and mining techniques. Mining history, brought alive by local miners who once worked in the mines of the industrial tip of Cape Breton Island. The mine tour is designed to give an impression of a workday of a local miner. At the change room visitors gear up with a dark cape and helmet. The mine looks like a real mine, 600 meters beneath the Atlantic. The seams are about a metre thick, and the result are spaces the same height. The miners had to crawl to their working place. It is a 1932 room and pillar mine, which means pillars of coal were left to support the ceiling, while the coal in-between was removed.

The museum is also the base of the Men of the Deeps, Cape Breton's coal miner chorus. In contrary to other choirs the most important requirement to become a member is not to be a good singer, but to be a miner. Nevertheless, the ability to sing is the second requirement, and the choir is rather famous. It performs at the museum during the summer months.