Elliot Lake, Ont, incorporated as a city in 1991, population 11 348 (2011c), 11 549 (2006c). The City of Elliot Lake is located 156 km west of Sudbury. Elliot Lake formally came into existence in 1955, only 2 years after the famous "backdoor staking bee" of Joseph H. Hishhorn had alerted the mining world to the area's uranium potential. Stimulated by the American military demand for uranium, Elliot Lake boomed (1956-63).
By 1959 9 mining companies were in operation and nearly 25 000 people resided in the carefully laid out, government-planned community. The American government's decision that year not to renew its contracts was a devastating blow. By 1966 Elliot Lake's population had dwindled to 7000, and by 1970 only Denison Mines and Rio Algom were in operation.
In the later 1960s and 1970s the uranium industry was revived by the advent of nuclear-generated electrical power. In the early 1980s, long-range sales to Ontario Hydro brought a second surge in growth, but by mid-decade falling prices once more brought a decline in population. In the 1990s the 2 companies closed their mining operations and the city began attracting retirees to the houses vacated by mining families. In addition to promoting itself as a retirement mecca, the city is also concentrating on expanding its manufacturing and tourism sectors. The Elliot Lake Nuclear and Mining Museum traces the development of the uranium mining industry in the region.