November 30, 2013

Mid-Canada Line Site 050 - Fort Albany, Ontario


Site Name: Mid-Canada Line Site 050
Location: Fort Albany, Ontario 
Built: 1956
Operational: 1957 - 1965  
Coordinates:
Lot/Concession:
Condition: Remediated
Current Ownership: Unknown
Distance from paved road: Accessible only by air or winter road (January-March)
Condition of access road: Unpaved, walk-able from the airport


Overview/Background:

A troposcatter repeater station was set up at Fort Albany to connect Mid-Canada Line Site 415 Cape Henrietta Maria and Sector Control Station 500 Winisk with Mid-Canada Line Station 060 Relay.

When Fort Albany's Mid-Canada Line troposcatter repeater site was abandoned, the Diesel generators and power distribution equipment continued to be used by the local population, since it was in such close proximity.  In hindsight, if the transformers and electrical equipment which contained PCB contaminated oils, had been taken away at that time, there would likely have been less contamination of the site.  However, the site was left to fester, and contaminate the local environment.  It would seem that the site has now been sufficiently remediated and no further contamination is occurring.

Here is a very detailed report, including maps, pictures and details of the remains of MCL Site 050
http://www.merc.ontera.net/reports/mclrs-01.pdf

Here is a video about the environmental impact the MCL sites are having on aboriginal communities.



Directions:

If you were to fly into Fort Albany, the airport is less than a 2 Km walk from where the site was located (see map below). 


Trip Report:

I have not visited the site, and have no immediate plans to, this is just a palce-holder for the information I've gathered for a potential trip.

The POL site (Diesel Storage) is still standing and fenced off, but east and west of it are bare areas which look to have had buildings.  I am not sure which buildings were at which area, but presume the generators were located to the west where transformers and power lines can still be seen, and barracks to the east where the outline of foundations can be seen.

I believe the picture below (as Mike Milinkovich pointed out) is of Fort Albany, since it has a village in the background.  If so, this picture was likely taken facing Westward, and the power house, housing the diesel generators, is on the left of the picture with a small horizontal Diesel tank peeking around the back of the building from this angle.  This would put this picture as being taken from around where the Diesel tanks are now at the POL site (just left of the green arrow on the map) perhaps from on top of the tank, for the angle, since it looks like it was taken at an elevation.

"Site Up North" - Is this an picture of Fort Albany from the late 1950s?
Photo by Raymond Fortin

Maps:

Mid-Canada Line Site 050 - Fort Albany
atlas.gc.ca

View Larger Map

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