Happy Valley, located in a small valley in the Sudbury Basin, was first settled in 1911 as a small farming community. By the mid-1920s, the small settlement had grown to include about 50 residents, mainly farmers. About a dozen miners, working in the nearby mine in Falconbridge, joined them during the 1930s.
By the end of the 1920s, the new Falconbridge Mine, located just north of Happy Valley, was in full production. In 1930 Falconbridge added a smelter and three years later built a mill to process the ores.
Within a few years poisonous sulfurous fumes began to affect the local farmland. The farmers complained and struck a deal. If the winds were unfavourable, they would shut down the smelter until the situation improved. However by 1940, the mine was in full production for the war effort, and Falconbridge reneged on its deal with the farmers.
The farmers eventually took the company to court but abandoned the area after losing their case. The miners however chose to stay. By the late 40s, over 20 homes sprang up in the settlement.
As the mine continued to expand, the problem resurfaced, this time in the form of chronic pulmonary diseases. In the 1960s the government became involved. They found serious contamination and ordered the evacuation of everyone. Falconbridge agreed to compensate the residents, then bought up the townsite and levelled it. Today Happy Valley is off limits. Learn more