Visiting a quarry while studying rocks & minerals can be one of the highlights of your learning.

We are fortunate that in Canada that we have many good sources of building stones and aggregate namely sand, gravel and crushed rocks. Here in Ontario, there are many working quarries that welcome visits by school groups. The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association  keeps an up to date list of companies that offer school tours at http://www.ossga.com/tours


The quarries visited by my grade 4 class in the last few years include:

  • Burlington Quarry We watched how quarrying was done and sand was produced at the Burlington Quarry operated by the Nelson Aggregate Co.

  • Limehouse Quarry We visited a glacial deposit gravel pit in Limehouse courtesy of J.C. Duff Limited.

  • Milton Quarry At the Milton Quarry operated by Dufferin Aggregates we saw how quarries that are no longer being used are rehabilitated into wetlands.

Quarries are very important in our lives. In North America, we use up about 500,000 kg of stone, sand, gravel and cement per person in a lifetime. That is a HUGE amount. Of course you don't use it all up, nor do you use it at home. The reason the number is so high is because we all use roads, airports, schools, buildings, and anything else that needs crushed stone.

Many quarries for crushed stone use limestone which is a sedimentary rock. Not only can you find fossils in limestone, but mineral specimens are also found.

Since the rock is blasted and crushed into smaller pieces, quarries are a great place for Rockhounds because a lot of the hard work of breaking up the rock is already done. The Mining Act has rules about quarries because of safety issues. Quarries are all on private property and may not be entered without permission. 

Another word for crushed stone is aggregate. 

"Every year, the people of Ontario consume approximately 173 million tonnes of aggregate. That is about 1 truck load for every man, woman and child in the province! We all share in the responsibility for the demand for aggregate materials. Through responsible land stewardship, innovative operations, creative rehabilitation and responsible marketing, the aggregate industry is minimizing the impacts and maximizing the benefits that aggregates provide to the province of Ontario."

Source: http://www.jcduff.com/ J.C. Duff Sand & Gravel is proud to have been one of the FOUNDING members of the APAO (1956).

For an interesting look at the Quarry Industry's perspective, check out The Hole Story, a web site maintained by the  Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

If you are a member of a rock club, are over 19 years of age, and a member in good standing with CCFMS then you can also visit some quarries on planned field trips. Over the years, different quarries have welcomed rockhound groups belonging to Rock & Mineral Clubs. Some that we have visited in the past are:


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