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City (single-tier)
City of Timmins
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Motto: The City with a Heart of Gold
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
District Cochrane
Established 1912
 • Mayor Steve Black
 • Governing Body Timmins City Council
 • MPs Charlie Angus (NDP)
 • MPPs Gilles Bisson (ONDP)
 • Land 2,979.15 km2 (1,150.26 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 294.70 m (966.86 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 43,165
 • Density 14.5/km2 (38/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code FSA P4N, P4P, P4R, P0N
Area code(s) 705 and 249
Aerial view of Dome Mine "super pit," 2010
Specimen gold, probably from Pamour Mine.

Timmins is a city in northeastern Ontario, Canada on the Mattagami River. At the time of the Canada 2011 Census, its population was 43,165. At 2,961.52 square kilometres (1,143.45 sq mi), Timmins was Canada's largest municipality in land area until 1995, when the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Alberta, was created, but it remained the largest municipality in Ontario until 2001, when it was superseded by the newly amalgamated cities of Kawartha Lakes and Greater Sudbury. It is the 69th largest metropolitan area in Canada. The statistical boundaries for its metropolitan area coincide with its municipal boundaries.


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Climate 3
  • Politics 4
    • Current Timmins city council 4.1
  • Tourism, art and culture 5
  • Police 6
  • Schools 7
    • Postsecondary education 7.1
    • School boards 7.2
    • High schools 7.3
  • Media 8
  • Notable people 9
    • Notable athletes 9.1
  • Demographics 10
    • Language 10.1
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Timmins was a company town.[3] It was founded by Noah Timmins in 1912 following gold discoveries in the Porcupine Camp. By 1912 the Hollinger, MacIntyre, and Big Dome Mines were founded. The new town had already grown larger than the original mining camps to the east on Porcupine Lake. Situated 680 kilometres north of Toronto, the camp attracted men and women eager to find their fortune in gold mining. Starting in 1907, the area became home to dozens of prospectors who explored the areas around Porcupine Lake and the Frederick House River. The City of Timmins owes its birthright to the riches of the Canadian Shield. On June 9, 1909, Harry Preston slipped on a rocky knoll and the heels of his boots stripped the moss to reveal a large vein of gold, which later became the Dome Mine. This vein was several hundred feet in length and was 150 feet wide. Benny Hollinger and his partner Alex Gillies as well as Allen McMartinlater discovered the Hollinger Gold Mine which was founded in 1910.[4]

The rail system which began to operate around Timmins in 1911 accelerated the growth of the Camp. Until then, travelling to Porcupine was done by canoe and foot from Haileybury. That same year, two days after the first train arrived in the Porcupine, the entire Camp was destroyed in the fire of 1911. Due to the importance of the gold discoveries, very few people abandoned the camp and the area was rebuilt within two months. In 1912, Noah Timmins founded the town to house the employees of the Hollinger Mine. The 1920s and 1930s were prosperous years. The Great Depression did not adversely affect the economy of the area. Jobs were available from any of the mines and lumbering facilities and farming also offered opportunities for the residents of the area. A third important event in the history of the Camp was the decline of the gold mines in the 1950s. Until then, the community had been sheltered from the Great Depression and its effects on the economy. The discovery of base metals in the 1960s increased the value of the industry and today the city continues to prosper because of numerous additional gold deposits and important zinc, copper, nickel, and silver finds. Secondary industries, such as lumbering, government and business services and tourism have also helped to maintain this growth.[4]

Discovered by Sandy McIntyre (1869-1943), the McIntyre Mine was the last of the most important gold discoveries in the Camp. Many other gold mines would open up in the area around the Porcupine Camp in the next 60 years. However, no other gold mines discovered to date have ever equaled in value of importance than the first mines in the Timmins area, called the Big Three. Most of the people who came to the Porcupine area settled around Porcupine Lake and the Dome which is situated one mile from the lake. Four miles down the road, around the McIntyre Mine, the hamlet of Schumacher was established, which was named after Frederick Schumacher who was a supplier of 'miracle medicines' in a dry camp used as medicinal therapies. The downtown core of Timmins today was in fact the location for the company homes for employees of the Hollinger Mine.[4]

Shortly after Timmins was founded it experienced its first general mine strike in November, 1912. Mine operators hired gun thugs[3] during the 1912-1913 strike, prompting the intervention of the Ontario Provincial Police, which had itself been formed in 1909 partly in response to lawlessness connected with the gold rush.

In 1973, the provincial government of Ontario amalgamated all the municipal jurisdictions within a 3,200 km2 (1,200 sq mi) area, including the Town of Timmins, South Porcupine, Schumacher (Tisdale Township), Mountjoy Township, Porcupine (Whitney Township) and the many of the other smaller surrounding communities which created the Corporation of the City of Timmins. The city's nickname became "The Super City" before the name "The City With A Heart of Gold" was adopted.

In the 1990s, the City of Timmins became a regional service and distribution centre for Northeastern Ontario. In addition to its business based on natural resources, new areas of manufacturing, high technology and a labour-intensive service industry have emerged. The city's key industries include mining, forestry and manufacturing value-added wood products, metal fabrication, retail, service industries, and government.[4]


City Hall Engineering Building, formerly the main public library, previously the post office

Its industries include forestry, tourism, recreation, health care, education, commercial and industrial commerce and telecommunications. The community has been undergoing a moderate boom in gold mining, with several new underground mining operations opening up and a large scale surface mining reclamation project currently underway in the east end and another in a more centralized location in the planning stage by Goldcorp Inc..

The Timmins and District Hospital is a major referral health care centre for northeastern Ontario, particularly the Cochrane District, but like the rest of Northern Ontario, Timmins is still considered medically underserved. The city is serviced by the Victor M. Power Airport. It has scheduled service to numerous southern and northern Ontario locations via Air Canada Jazz, Bearskin Airlines, Thunder Airlines and Air Creebec with Porter Airlines offering direct service to downtown Toronto that began January 16, 2012. Timmins Transit provides regularly scheduled local bus services.


Timmins is near the northern periphery of the hemiboreal humid continental climate (Dfb). Timmins has very cold winters, being in northern Ontario, but temperatures in late summer and fall tend to be among the coldest for any major city in any Canadian province, although during the spring and summer it can get very hot. Timmins also holds Ontario's record low for September, which is −12.1 °C (10 °F) .

Climate data for Timmins Victor Power Airport (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 6.9 10.7 21.8 32.1 41.1 43.0 44.0 42.0 40.1 32.9 20.8 17.1 44.0
Record high °C (°F) 7.6
Average high °C (°F) −10.6
Daily mean °C (°F) −16.8
Average low °C (°F) −23.0
Record low °C (°F) −44.2
Record low wind chill −54.2 −53.7 −45.8 −37.1 −18.8 −8.5 0.0 −4.0 −9.3 −19.2 −38.0 −53.1 −54.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 51.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 3.2
Average snowfall cm (inches) 57.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 17.5 14.0 13.5 11.1 12.6 14.7 14.4 14.3 15.8 16.5 19.3 19.8 183.6
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 1.6 1.1 3.7 6.9 11.7 14.7 14.4 14.3 15.6 13.5 6.9 2.7 107.2
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 17.7 14.0 11.8 6.6 2.1 0.14 0.0 0.0 0.62 5.9 15.5 19.3 93.5
Source: Environment Canada[2]


Hollinger Park grandstands

The city's mayor is Steve Black.[5] He was sworn in on December 1, 2014, succeeding Tom Laughren.

Eight councillors serve with the mayor to complete the municipal government. Those eight councillors are elected to one of five areas of the city through a ward electoral system; rural parts of the city elect one councillor each, while the urban core of the city elects four at-large councillors. Councillors are elected to a four-year term.

Current Timmins city council

  • André Grzela, Ward 1 Councillor[6]
  • Walter Wawrzaszek, Ward 2 Councillor[7]
  • Joe Campbell, Ward 3 Councillor[8]
  • Pat Bamford, Ward 4 Councillor[9]
  • Andrew Marks, Ward 5 Councillor[10]
  • Michael J. J. Doody, Ward 5 Councillor[11]
  • Noella Rinaldo, Ward 5 Councillor[12]
  • Rick Dubeau, Ward 5 Councillor[13]

Provincially and federally, the city is located in the Timmins—James Bay electoral district. Previously, Timmins had been part of the Timmins electoral district from 1949 to 1979. It was represented by former Timmins mayor Karl Eyre from 1949 to 1957, as a Liberal member in the House of Commons. In 1957, Murdo Martin, a Timmins fire fighter was elected under the CCF banner. He was re-elected in 1958, and then as a New Democrat in 1962, 1963 and 1965. Trudeaumania swept through Timmins as well, and Martin was defeated by Timmins businessman Jean Roy, who held the Timmins riding from 1968 to 1979. In 1979, the riding was redistributed, adding new areas south to Cartier, near Sudbury, and west to Lake Superior. The new riding of Timmins—Chapleau was represented by Roy's Liberal successor Ray Chénier from 1979 to 1984 and then Aurèle Gervais, a former mayor of Iroquois Falls, who was swept into office as a PC in the Mulroney landslide of September 1984. Gervais was defeated by the New Democrats' Cid Samson in 1988. Samson lost to Timmins lawyer, Peter Thalheimer, a Liberal in the 1993 federal election. Timmins-James Bay was formed in time for the 1997 federal election. Reginald Belair served as a Libeal MP from 1997 to 2004. In 2004 and 2006, the NDP candidate, Charlie Angus won the seat. He remains in the House of Commons as of the 2011 federal election.

Provincially, Timmins had been part of the Cochrane South riding, which existed from 1926 to 1999. Since 1943, the riding has alternated between CCF-NDP and Progressive Conservative representatives. Iroquois Falls lawyer Bill Grummett held the riding for the CCF from 1943 to 1955, when he was defeated by Timmins mayor Wilf Spooner. Spooner went on to serve in the cabinets of Premier Leslie Frost and John Robarts, as Minister of Lands and Forest and Minister of Municipal Affairs. In October, 1967, Spooner was defeated by Rev. Bill Ferrier, a United Church minister, who ran for the NDP. Ferrier successfully defended his seat against Spooner in 1971 and won again in 1975 against Alan Pope. Pope won the seat in 1977 and held it until 1990. Gilles Bisson won the riding for the NDP in 1990 and served first as MPP for Cochrane South from 1990 to 1999 and then as MPP for Timmins-James Bay, from 1999 to present.

Tourism, art and culture

Gillies Lake Board Walk
Chamber of Commerce

Some of the main tourist attractions within the city include: The Timmins Museum and National Exhibition Centre, Cedar Meadows Wilderness Tours, Kamiskotia Snow Resort, Porcupine Ski Runners Cross-Country Trails and Chalet, Hollinger Golf Club, Spruce Needles Golf Club, the Sandy Falls Golf Club, the McIntyre Community Building and the Timmins Snowmobile Club.[14] Snowmobiling impacts the Timmins economy as tourists from all over North America travel to explore area trails.

Shania Twain played a concert at Hollinger Park on July 1, 1999. An estimated 22,000 people attended the outdoor concert.

The Pioneer Museum is located in Northeastern Ontario approximately 30 miles east of the City of Timmins, in Connaught. It is a small community with 400 people, looking to preserve their local heritage. The surrounding areas consist of Barbers Bay, Dugwal, Finn Road, Hoyle, Ice Chest Lake, McIntosh Springs and Nighthawk. Local history in the area dates back over 300 years; back to the days the natives and the Hudson Bay Company frequented the land and navigated the waters.[15]

La Galeruche Art Gallery, located at 32 Mountjoy Street North (Centre Culturel La Ronde), provides local francophone artists with a venue to exhibit and sell their work.[15]

The Porcupine Miner's Memorial tribute is a statue of the miner, head frame and tablets bearing the names of 594 miners killed in mining accidents were unveiled in 2008. The following year, the statues of a mother and two children were unveiled to commemorate those families left behind.[15]

Timmins Murals painted by Ed Spehar, Gary Bostrom and Paulette Brozowski, three of our local and accomplished artists. Much of their work now graces the sides of buildings or is on display inside public buildings. These murals reflect the history of Timmins including the founders of the city. Murals are available for viewing at the McIntyre Community Centre, Hollinger Park, the Northern Tel Building, the Maurice Londry Community Centre, the CM Shields Library, Golden Avenue Public School, the Timmins Public Library, the Victor M. Power Timmins Airport and Theriault Catholic High School.[15]

The Timmins Public Library was constructed in 2005 with locally manufactured products, using wood as the main structural material, making efficient use of our natural resources while reducing construction waste. The eco-friendly design was recognized by the Green Building Initiative and the building achieved a 3 Green Globes rating for its efficient use of resources and sustainable development.[15]


The local police force is the Timmins Police Service, established in 1912. Provincial highways in and around Timmins are patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police from the South Porcupine Detachment.

The Dante Club - Italian Social Club


Postsecondary education

The main postsecondary institution in Timmins is Northern College, a College of Applied Arts and Technology. The city also has a local campus of Collège Boréal and Laurentian University's Université de Hearst. Collège Boréal / Université de Hearst has a new campus between École Secondaire Catholique Thériault and Timmins High and Vocational School on Thériault Blvd. Algoma University also offers degrees in Social Work and Community Development on the Northern College Campus in South Porcupine.

School boards

Four school boards serve the City of Timmins.

High schools


The Timmins Daily Press Building

In 1952, broadcast pioneer J. Conrad Lavigne launched CFCL, the first French-language radio station in Ontario.

Notable people

See also: List of mayors of Timmins.

Notable athletes


Canada 2006 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian 10 0
Chinese 125 0.3
Black 140 0.3
Filipino 115 0.3
Latin American 40 0.1
Southeast Asian 50 0.1
Other visible minority 30 0.1
Total visible minority population 510 1.2
Aboriginal group
First Nations 1,460 3.4
Métis 1,690 3.8
Inuit 25 0.1
Total Aboriginal population 3,275 7.6
White 40,665 91.2
Total population 44,676 100

The 2006 census indicated that Timmins was 91.1% White, 7.7% Aboriginal, and 1.2% Visible Minorities.[20] After several years of decline, the city's population has grown again, with an intercensal population estimate of 44,507 in 2008 and a rapid increase in new retail development projects in the city's west end.[21]


In Timmins, according to the 2011 census, 57.7% of the population reported English as their first language (Anglophone), 37.2% reported only French (Francophone) as their first language, and 4.6% reported only non-official, neither English nor French, as their first language (Allophone).[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c d Archived January 6, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c d e
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Retail projects spark space struggles in Timmins’ West End", Northern Ontario Business, July 4, 2008.
  22. ^

External links

  • City of Timmins official website
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