Timmins, Ontario (03:41)
John Okonmah immigrated from Lagos, Nigeria to Timmins. In 1907, Canadians began venturing into northeast Ontario looking for gold, sparking a gold rush. Noah Timmins arrived in 1912 and founded a town site that drew in small businesses, restaurants, and a newspaper.
Development in Timmins (02:50)
Most of the gold found during the rush did not stay in Timmins, but was sent to law offices in larger cities, like Toronto. The practice hindered Timmins from developing beyond its gold rush start.
Immigrant Miners (03:40)
Parliament member Charlie Angus' grandfather immigrant from Scotland to work in the Timmins mine. Mining companies hired immigrant workers, using the threat of deportation to manage behavior. Duties at the mine and neighborhoods within the town were divided by ethnicity.
Immigrants in Modern Timmins (03:17)
John Okonmah's three sons agreed to emigrate with their parents. Johnathan, the youngest, had difficulty adapting to life in a small town. John worried about being one of the few black families.
Early Miners in Timmins (06:44)
Dan Andreata's father arrived in 1923 to work in the South Porcupine mine. He lived in a shack on mine property while working 12-hour shifts in dangerous conditions. Accidents and deaths were frequent occurrences.
High Grading in Timmins (10:53)
People in gold mining communities found ways to enhance their income. Some theft rings, like that of famed gangster Rocco Perry, made huge profits. Many miners would steal small amounts of gold to pay for goods in town.
Newcomers to Timmins (04:28)
Okonmah works for immigrant services in Timmins; he and his wife Agnes help newcomers get acclimated. The city is trying to attract new residents to improve sustainability, but John worries about the lack of diverse services.
Community of Timmins (03:13)
Timmins began as a mining camp and did not became a real city until the miners' wives and children arrived. The town then built churches and schools, which helped newly arrived people connect and establish identities.
Politics in Timmins (02:39)
The Finnish community in Timmins started co-op stores to avoid ones owned by the mining company. Frontier towns, had a reputation for radical politics as miners tried to gain rights and improve their economic standing.
Northern vs. Southern Ontario (03:45)
Most of the wealth from mines in Northern Ontario is still sent to investment firms in Toronto. Many in the north believe there is a provincial divide stemming from a wealth and power disparity.
Timmins and Gold (07:32)
Timmins is heavily dependent on gold mines and many worry about the gold running out. If the town does not find a new way to boost the economy, its population could continue to decline.
Credits: Northern Gold: A Fortuner Found (00:41)
Credits: Northern Gold: A Fortuner Found
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