Faro | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Faro, Yukon, incorporated as a town in 1972, population 348 (2016 census), 344 (2011 census). The town of Faro is located 6 km north of the Campbell Highway, 192 km by air northeast of Whitehorse.


The Cyprus Anvil Mines Co. built the town in 1969 to house employees of its open pit lead and zinc mine. Ravaged by a forest fire in its first year, it was quickly rebuilt and became the territory’s second-largest community. The mine was Canada’s largest producer of lead, and its exports became a mainstay of the Yukon economy in the 1970s. As a result of depressed lead and zinc prices, the mine shut down in 1982 and Faro was depopulated. Between the census years 1981 and 1986, three-quarters of the town’s population left. From its first closure until permanently closing in 1998, the mining operation went through a series of openings and closures and was sold twice.


Today, Faro's population has stabilized and its residents are employed in government services and commerce. Its name is derived from a game of chance popular in Klondike saloons, in which the cards bore a stylized portrait of an Egyptian pharaoh.