Archive | Northern Ontario History

[Sudbury’s Creighton Mine] The Greatest Nickel Mine in the World (MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE – January 1, 1910)

Creighton Mine, Sudbury Ontario. The mine which started operation in 1901 and is still in production. It is the deepest mine in the Sudbury Basin and among the four deepest in the country. (Wiki Photo)

http://www.macleans.ca/

A description of what is claimed to be the greatest nickel mine in the world appears in East and West. The mine is located at Creighton, about twelve miles west of Sudbury. Creighton Mine is very widely famed, being, indeed, the greatest nickel ore deposit known in the world. It is claimed that about two-thirds of the whole world’s supply of nickel is mined there.

So that, when we consider that by far the greater part of nickel used at the present time is utilized in making armor-plating for the great battleships, we begin to understand how dependent the little population of Creighton is upon the aggressive naval policies of the powers of Europe, and the other ambitious nations of the present day.

Electrical power is used in mining, transmitted from the High Falls, about twenty miles west. The power house, with its motors, powerful apparatus, is an interesting spot for anyone who likes machinery. The warehouse and office building is of red brick and is spacious and well lighted. Continue Reading →

Ontario Mining History: The Elliot Lake story – by Dit Holt (Northern Miner – January 8, 2001)

Global mining news

The evolution of Elliot Lake, Ont. — from a logging and fur-trapping centre in the early 1900s to the uranium capital of the world in the 1950s and 1960s, and then to its present status as one of most successful retirement communities in Canada — is unique. And few people know that history better than M.E. (Dit) Holt, a mining engineer who began his career by taking part in the staking rush that transformed a remote wilderness north of Lake Huron into a mining boom town.

In the next few months, Holt will bring that history back to life through a series of columns featuring the men (in those days, mining was a man’s game) who found, financed and developed a total of 11 mines in the district.

To set the stage, we’ll go back to 1948, when Aim Breton and Karl Gunterman discovered radioactive rock in Long Twp., east of Blind River. However, significant deposits of the radioactive element were not found, and Breton and Gunterman let their claims lapse. In 1952, prospector Franc Joubin (1911-1997), backed by financier Joseph Hirshhorn (1900-1981), restaked the lapsed claims and set out to determine exactly what was exciting his geiger counter. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Yet, though Bickell was so important both to Toronto and the Maple Leafs, the story of his incredible life is today largely obscure. This book sets the record straight, presenting the definitive story of his rise to prominence and his lasting legacy — on the ice and off. Continue Reading →

[J.P. Bickell and McIntyre Mine] Literary hockey history at Timmins Museum – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – October 2, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

J.P. Bickell was the CEO of McIntyre Mine which produced slightly over 10 million ounces of gold from 1912 – 1988. Gold mines that produce over 10 million ounces of gold are very rare, even today. – Stan Sudol

TIMMINS – In a darkened room, men mill about the bar while a reggae band plays. On Friday evening, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre’s permanent gallery space hosted Books, Bands, Beer and Beards. The evening started off with Jason Wilson & the Perennials’ version of the classic Hockey Night in Canada theme song – the hockey theme only grew from there.

Graham MacLaughlan and Kevin Shea, who wrote “J.P. Bickell: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy” along with Wilson, spoke at length about the man’s contributions to the sport and to this city.

When asked by host Andrew Autio about what surprised them while they researched the book, Shea highlighted the depth of Bickell’s philanthropy. “He was behind so many things that still exist to this day and flourished because of his money in the early days,” said Shea. “It doesn’t really resonate until you really start to research the book. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy – by Jason Wilson, Kevin Shea and Graham MacLachlan

To order a copy of “J.P. BICKELL: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy”: https://www.dundurn.com/books/JP-Bickell

Jason Wilson is a bestselling Canadian author, a two-time Juno Awards Nominee, and an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Guelph. He has performed and recorded with UB40, Ron Sexsmith, Pee Wee Ellis, and Dave Swarbrick. Jason lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Kevin Shea is a renowned hockey historian and bestselling author of fourteen hockey books. He is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, and a founding member of Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Kevin lives in Toronto.

Graham MacLachlan is a relative of J.P. Bickell who has an extensive business background in international trade that is equalled by his involvement in hockey in the IIHF, the WHL, Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Calgary. Graham lives in Calgary, Alberta.

OVERVIEW

He stayed out of the spotlight, but Leafs fans know J.P. Bickell cast a long shadow.

A self-made mining magnate and the man who kept the Maple Leafs in Toronto and financed Maple Leaf Gardens, J.P. Bickell lived an extraordinary and purposeful life. As one of the most important industrialists in Canadian history, Bickell left his mark on communities across the nation. He was a cornerstone of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which awards the J.P. Bickell Memorial Award to recognize outstanding service to the organization.

Bickell’s story is also tied up with some of the most famous Canadians of his day, including Mitchell Hepburn, Roy Thomson, and Conn Smythe. Through his charitable foundation, he has been a key benefactor of the Hospital for Sick Children, and his legacy continues to transform Toronto. Continue Reading →

Column: Resource-driven treaties often botched – by Tom Villemaire (Sudbury Star – August 22, 2017)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

A copper strike in northeastern Ontario is one such example

In the late 1840s, the near north Ontario experienced a copper mining boom, but it didn’t come without problems.

The use of copper was exploding, thanks to the nascent industries of hydro-electric power and telegraphy, both of which drove demand for copper through the roof. This all came together in the 1830s — in 1831, Michael Faraday created an electric generator and in 1832 Pavel Schilling came up with the earliest working version of an electrical telegraph.

All this was taking place in Europe, but the technology — and the demand for copper — would soon affect the world, including the remote areas of what would become the province of Ontario. Continue Reading →

Historicist: The Man the Rocks Talked To: A.P. Coleman uncovered Toronto’s prehistory, among other adventures – by Dennis Duffy (Torontoist.com – August 19, 2017)

http://torontoist.com/

Such a map as Coleman’s (and he drew many such, across Canada and elsewhere as he
took his geology students along on summer expeditions) was more than a guide to the
origins of the Sudbury Big Nickel that you can spy from the Trans-Canada. It helped
provide the kickoff for the exploitation of Northern Ontario’s mineral—as opposed
to timber—resources. It also promoted the growth of Bay Street, which has done so
much to reshape Ontario’s image and boost Toronto’s takeoff toward its present
position in the financial and commercial life of the country.

If you’re at the Evergreen Brick Works Market in the Don Valley, walk north along some 200 yards of lovingly created wetland. When you’ve gone about 50 yards past that, you will be on a little rise. Look behind over your shoulder for a view of the downtown skyline.

Then keep on walking until you get to a little cul-de-sac and look at the cliff face that you have been staring ahead at for the last while. It is overgrown. The small plaque in front of you states that you are facing one of the oldest geological formations in the Toronto region and that it was first “discovered” (let’s be more precise and call it “labelled”) in the 1890s by geologist A.P. Coleman (April 4, 1852–February 26, 1939), a scientist and public intellectual of great renown in his day and a figure still dimly remembered now. Coleman’s work on the traces of the last great ice age (the Pleistocene) enable us to view the Brick Works park within the broad perspective of the long history of our city. Continue Reading →

HISTORY: The Mac serves as Timmins’ hockey temple – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – November 26, 2016)

http://www.timminspress.com/

Karen Bachmann is the curator/director of the Timmins Museum and a writer of local history.

TIMMINS – In honour of Hometown Hockey Weekend here in Timmins, I feel that I have to go back and look at an article I wrote a while ago on the McIntyre Arena (home to Hometown Hockey, as it were, this weekend!).

While there is a lot of discussion out there about the arena itself, you cannot deny that it is our very own temple to the game.

Talk about history – it’s the rink that was home to many legendary local hockey teams (and quite a few NHLers to boot, including the Mahovlich brothers, Bill Barilko, Paul Harrison, Allan Stanley, Dean Prentice, Murray Costello and his brother Les, Steve Sullivan and so many others), as well as the headquarters for the world-famous Schumacher Skating School.

It’s also hosted umpteen concerts, circuses, conferences, trade shows, banquets and horticultural shows. It has been used to say goodbye to prominent citizens (Father Les Costello), and to ordain our local Catholic bishops. I would go even so far as to say that “The Mac” is a building that helps define who we are as residents in this city. Without it, we would be very much poorer. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Gold mining history] The Red Lake Marines – by Leslie Roberts (MACLEAN’S Magazine – November 15, 1937)

http://www.macleans.ca/

Freighting that ties up the air lanes with ice and water routes is a big job

BILL COOK, transportation executive at the Red Lake base, said, “If you’re all set, let’s get going.” The mechanic cast off from the dock. The pilot gunned the motor. The ship taxied out into clear water, nosed into the wind, raced over the choppy surface, stepped into the air.

Behind us the town of Red Lake faded toward the northern horizon a town of 900 people who live in virtually the same circumstances of creature comfort as may be found in Aurora or Orillia, excepting the absence of railroads or motor highways. Back in Red Lake, nattily uniformed waitresses were spreading white damask and spotless silver on the tables in the hotel dining room; guests were debating politics and the stock market in deep armchairs in the lobby.

Around the streets youngsters were wondering if this Infantry Paralelasis, or whatever it is, would mean longer holidays, the way it did in Toronto. Their mothers were plugging electric-iron cords into wall sockets, buying steaks down at the shops along the Main Street sidewalk, talking bridge, tennis, plans for the coming badminton season with their neighbors. Continue Reading →

Throwback Thursday: A tribute to the Superstack – by Callam Rodya (Sudbury Northern Life – January 26, 2017)

 

https://www.sudbury.com/

Earlier this week, mining giant Vale made headlines when it announced that, beginning in the year 2020, it will decommission and dismantle the Superstack and replace it with two smaller stacks.

The 381-metre smokestack, the second tallest in the world, has been an iconic symbol of Sudbury since the 1970s and, on our website, many readers expressed their sadness that the towering chimney may soon vanish from the landscape. Continue Reading →

The story of nickel is industrial romance writ by man in metal – by Charles Vincent (MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE – December 15, 1936)

http://www.macleans.ca/

THE CONSTRUCTION gang foreman looked down the cut where his crew was tackling the tough rock with heavy picks, getting ready to blast. The track layers were right on his heels, pushing the new Canadian Pacific Railway westward to bridge the continent. The foreman’s eye fell on one man.

“Hey, you !” he roared, “what’re ye standin’ there gapin’ at? Get busy with that pick.”

“Well, take a look at this slab of rock, boss; it’s kind of queer.” And so in 1883 nickel was uncovered at Sudbury.

It was a product that nobody wanted. When the first smelting yielded a metal which was curiously pale instead of copper red, and when analysis showed that this fault was due to the presence of nickel, men cursed it as a plague which they neither knew how to get rid of nor how to use in such large quantities. It was the copper content of the Sudbury ore on which they had set their hopes. Continue Reading →

[Gold mining tradition] F.W. Schumacher’s Christmas generosity crossing generations – by Sarah Moore (Timmins Daily Press – December 21, 2016)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – A holiday tradition more than a century old continued on Tuesday as elementary school children received Christmas gifts courtesy of the late Frederick W. Schumacher.

Nearly 200 students with Schumacher addresses were greeted by members of the Schumacher Volunteer Fire Department inside the McIntyre Ballroom that evening, eager to tear into a beautifully wrapped present that was just for them.

Schumacher, a business man and well-known philanthropist, was a Danish native who eventually settled in the United States. He was a pharmacist by trade who would eventually get into the gold mining industry and acquire a number of properties in the Porcupine Gold Camp. Continue Reading →

High-grading: Timmins’ worst-kept secret? – by Frank Giorno (Timmins Today – November 25, 2016)

https://www.timminstoday.com/

Author Kevin Vincent launches his new book — a dramatic telling of the 1986 Aquarius Gold Robbery

Kevin Vincent, Timmins author and chronicler of the city’s second largest industry, gold high-grading, launched his second volume of stories dealing with the thefts of gold from the city’s gold mines, this volume dealing with the brazen Aquarius Gold mine theft of 1986.

The launch of Bootleg Gold Vol.2 was held at the Timmins Public Library Tembec room, last night, to a packed room of guests that included Timmins Mayor Steve Black, and Gregory Reynolds, former editor of the Timmins Daily Press and someone who also has many stories on the topic.

Vincent has been working for 30 years at collecting and telling the stories of more than 100 years of high-grading or gold thefts from Timmins gold mines since the very early days of the Porcupine gold rush and the founding of Timmins in 1912. Continue Reading →

Remember This? Bruce Mines was kind of a big deal (Soo Today – December 11, 2016)

https://www.sootoday.com/

Driving along Highway 17 East you pass through the town of Bruce Mines, but many people may not realize that it is a town with a long history.

The town’s roots can be traced back to the industry of copper mining. Samuel de Champlain recorded the existence of copper mines on his map of 1632 during the early exploration of this area. Etienne Brule is believed to have spent one winter in the area of Bruce Mines investigating the existence of the copper deposits.

Members of the First Nations tribes in the area had discovered the importance of copper as a valuable item to trade with the white men who had begun arriving in the New World. The actual site of Bruce Mines was established as a settlement in 1842 when the first settlers came from Cornwall, England. Continue Reading →