Exploring the Timmins Museum National Exhibition Center introduced me to the world of sports in Timmins, Ontario. On Your Mark: Sports in Timmins is a community exhibition celebrating the history of sports in Timmins, amateur athletes in Timmins, and those who have gone on to play professional sports. Unbeknownst to most, Timmins has a love for sports and has produced a wealth of athletes. Many of Timmins sport lovers have transformed from miners to successful national and international athletes. Timmins holds pride in their hockey players, skiers, skaters, ball players, and speed skaters who have made it to the top from a small Canadian city.
The Facts About Sports in Timmins
Curling- Curlers and clubs from Timmins have participated in the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario division along with competing at the provincial and national (the Brier) levels.
Hockey- For years, Timmins had the most hockey arenas per capita in Canada. Many hockey players from Timmins have gone on to play in the American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, National Hockey League, and on international associations and teams. Everyone in Timmins plays the game or knows someone who does.
Golf- Surprisingly enough, golf was incredibly popular with the workers at the Hollinger Mine. The Hollinger mine fought to get a golf course started in the Timmins area. Memberships at the Hollinger Club were being sold to men and women in 1923; Major C. Wilson, a professional, was hired to instruct all members on the secrets of the game. Tournaments would often be held where companies within the camps would challenge their presidents against the vice-presidents. Throughout the years, golf continued to grow in Timmins and a need for a second golf course was soon desired; this desire led to the Spruce Needles Golf Course being born.
Dog Races- During the days of the camps, specialized dog racing was the biggest sporting event in the Porcupine area which took over the town and streets. This beloved 14 mile route, 4 dog sled race, led crowds to the streets to cheer on their teams who raced from Pine street in Timmins to Moneta, South Porcupine, Schumacher, and finishing at the Goldfield Hotel (now the Scotia Bank on Pine and Algonquin). The A. R. Globe Trophy and cash prizes were among the winnings.
Skiing- The Porcupine Ski Runners Club and Kamiscotia Snow Resort are popular in the Timmins area and allow many opportunities for people to experience skiing in Timmins. Kathy Kreiner and Laurie Kreiner, Canadian skiing super stars, have led a positive examples of what doing your best on the slopes can do.
Ice Skating- Starting in the early 1900’s, weekly skating parties were popular in the Timmins area. The first figure skating show featuring the renowned Caley Sisters from Toronto in the Porcupine area occurred in 1915. The Timmins area is still known for its infamous skating clubs and McIntyre Summer Skating School. In 1942, along with one other ice surface in Salt Lake City, the Mac was the only indoor ice skating rink in North America during the summer months.
The Timmins Museum National Exhibition Center offers:
– Children’s corner
-A museum gift shop which offers a variety of local (and around the world) handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, products and souvenirs which is open year round.
-Educational programs for grades one to twelve
– A variety of temporary exhibits from across Canada
-Heritage and cultural services
-Bilingual services (French and English)
-An archival collection of over 20,000 images of the Porcupine camp, dating from 1908
-Opportunities for researchers
Timmins Fun Fact:
Shania Twain (who is from Timmins, Ontario) carried the Olympic torch in Timmins the final 400 metres into Hollinger Park in 2010, on one of the most frighteningly cold days of that winter season.