Temiskaming Shores, Ontario

March 4, 2024

Temiskaming Shores, Ontario

Thriving in Splendid Isolation


With a stark and stunning backdrop, Temiskaming Shores is experiencing growth as we embark on 2024

In an area that is as remote as it is stunning, Temiskaming Shores stands out as a community that puts its residents first and welcomes continued growth.

Located in Northern Ontario and Stretching 68.77 square miles (178.11 square kilometers) along Wabi Bay near the Quebec border, the city is blessed to have access to natural resources that strategically ensure its importance among its neighboring communities larger in size.

Enjoying a fascinating history, the city’s formation in 2004 resulted from amalgamating New Liskeard and Haileybury, incorporating North Cobalt and the township of Dymond. However, the region’s roots trace back to 1695 when French settlers established Fort Temiscamingue.

In 1794, the Hudson Bay Company constructed Abitibi House, transforming the Ottawa River into a crucial access point by steamboat. William Ogilvie’s 1890 survey of the Quebec-Ontario boundary shaped the developmental trajectory.

The historical tapestry of Temiskaming Shores unfolds against the backdrop of these explorations and survey endeavors, marking a pivotal period in the territory’s development.

By 1891, William Murray and Irvin Heard, the first European settlers, had established a prosperous agricultural center in Dymond. Concurrently, Haileybury, founded by Charles Cobbold Farr in 1889, was a key player during the Cobalt Silver Rush in the early 1900s.

The Haileybury Hockey Club played its first and only season in the NHA in 1909. Montreal’s Club Antique-Canadien took over the team and moved it for the following season, renaming it the Montreal Canadiens. In 1912, the region designated Haileybury as its judicial seat. However, a decade later, the Great Fire of 1922 destroyed 90% of the town. A 1935 earthquake also affected the area.

Despite these challenges, Temiskaming thrived, morphing into a bustling retail center connecting Ontario and Quebec. The Ottawa River and Lake Timiskaming, once integral for exploration, now symbolize the region’s rich history and prosperity.


An Economic Nucleus and Retail Hub

Temiskaming offers services to locales within an hour’s drive. Despite a population of almost 10,000, Economic Development Officer James Franks notes, “We act much larger because of the access to resources we offer.”

The municipality thrives with vibrant neighborhoods, extensive retail options, a robust agricultural economy, and resilient mining and forestry industries.

This haven flaunts a carefree lake life, recreation and adventure trails, and breathtaking vistas. Tourism flourishes, with initiatives like Lake Temiskaming Tours drawing active participation. Temiskaming Shores Mayor Jeff Laferriere remarks on the town’s appeal. “We are a destination for snowmobilers, and we attract hunters and fishermen.” The region’s full transit service connects Cobalt to Dymond, enhancing accessibility.

Temiskaming’s enduring connection to agriculture shields it from cyclical fluctuations. Beyond economic stability, the city has evolved into a retirement and recreational destination. Small retirement communities like Bayport Village have emerged, adding to this northern gem’s desirability.

The absence of a major employer, such as mining or forestry, contributes to a stable economy. Temiskaming’s tranquility and beauty make the district alluring.

The Northern Ontario Mining Showcase and Other Partnerships

With no large, central industry, Temiskaming Shores relies on volunteerism and dedicated vendors. Patterson Construction and engineering firm EXP are crucial in spearheading initiatives. Smaller businesses, such as 3H Manufacturing, impact markets while assisting in public endeavors.

The city supports the mining supply industry, nurturing alliances with the federally supported Northern Ontario Mining Showcase. This decade-long partnership helps local suppliers attend international mining trade expos. Franks explains, “We go to the two largest Canadian international trade shows, and we bring 110 businesses with us.” Many of those companies create jobs and experience financial gains. “We see the Showcase as one of the successful partnerships we have been able to build,” adds Franks.

In 2023, Temiskaming Shores’ target achievement was reconstructing Albert St., including water, sewer, storm infrastructure, and above-ground paving. Amy Vickery, City Manager, explains, “This project was identified some time ago. The design work, completed in 2018, has sat as a shovel-ready project. Funding never came to fruition.”

This prompted the decision to go ahead without allocated dollars. Unfortunately, the tender price surged 50% by 2023 compared to the 2018 estimate. The Northern Ontario climate, construction costs, and the complexities of managing core assets and underground infrastructure caused this escalation.

Partnerships, creative approaches, public involvement, and private donations have been pivotal in navigating these challenges, as exemplified in various capital works projects.

Investment in Infrastructure and Amenity Upgrades

Merging three towns requires the reworking of the municipalities’ assets and liabilities. For Temiskaming Shores, this began with a re-evaluation of existing fire halls, which led to the construction of a modern fire station in Haileybury. The original century-old building could not store modern firefighting equipment.

To meet the need for affordable housing, the district renovated closed schools. Recent similar efforts have resulted in new senior accommodations. The city prioritizes maintaining its amenities, like its aging hockey arenas. Laferriere notes, “Huge accessibility upgrades were done to the New Liskeard Arena.”

Alongside infrastructure considerations, Temiskaming addresses cultural and educational amenities through public consultation. Laferriere adds, “We renovated an existing medical building and increased the size of the library.” This forward-thinking initiative ensures continued library services for residents without transportation access.


 Growth in Industrial Parks

Attempting to attract new businesses and investors, the district pumped $8 million into Dymond Industrial Park. This expansion added 75 acres, incorporating three-phase hydro, natural gas, and water and sewer systems.

The venture created 22 lots, ranging from 1.5 to 20 acres, valued between $24,000 and $97,000. Franks notes, “In 2023, we sold another four lots, totaling 43 acres. We are eager about companies choosing here for growth.” This uptick signals favorable movement, positioning Temiskaming Shores as an appealing environment for businesses.

Near the town and rail line, Haileybury Industrial Park hosts a bus depot and an automotive repair shop and caters to industrial activities. Two parcels exist on Niven Street South – one spanning 18.2 hectares with municipal services, and another covering 15 unserviced hectares. The New Liskeard Industrial Park, or Craven Crescent Industrial Park, is south of the rail line and Highway 11. With 11 parcels of 0.4 hectares each, extensions to road, water, and sewer services are needed. Existing tenants include a tire shop and two processing plants.

The New Liskeard zone must consider its visual impact. A lookout point south of the site provides a direct sight-line to New Liskeard. Properties in the eastbound area include the Temiskaming Hospital, Hydro One, Scott Canoes, and Three-H Furniture Systems. The broader landscape features large land parcels for future development, privately owned tracts of 25 and 14 hectares, and 35 city-owned hectares between the hospital and recycling depot.

Success in the commercial front is noteworthy – a direct result of shrewdly investing in priority projects. Temiskaming Shores’ foresight in earmarking resources to expand property is yielding tangible results and attracting fresh enterprise.

Investment in industrial markets and public spaces underscores the community’s vision and determination. As companies thrive, residents enjoy improved amenities, creating a mutually beneficial relationship for the city’s future.

 Targeting an Affordable Future

Because of the city’s aging infrastructure, developers are considering repurposing the unused waterfront in New Liskeard. The challenge lies in prioritizing limited funds to support the essentials while encouraging development.

Temiskaming Shores’ moderate industrial land costs stand out compared to other regions. “I’m working with a company outside Toronto, and they bought a parcel from us for $20,000 an acre,” Franks explains. This same corporation is buying property next to their building in Burlington, but the price is $2.6 million per acre.

The stark contrast prompts venture capitalists to research locations that offer more lucrative solutions. While growth nourishes the economy, Temiskaming’s labor market is strained by the influx of investors. With an aging demographic, the municipality has an array of possibilities for job seekers looking to move. Franks states, “My role has changed over the last decade – from chasing businesses to move here to chasing people to move here.” Temiskaming Shores allocates ample time and resources designed to draw skilled workers. “We offer a different way of life”, says Franks.

Real estate is accessible, with a three-bedroom dwelling priced at $300,000, one-quarter of the cost for a similar house in Toronto. This enables home ownership, a prospect often unattainable among average earners in larger urban centers. The reasonable housing market contributes to a lifestyle where families own property and indulge in recreational activities. The financial feasibility of boating, snowmobiling, or ATVing adds to the region’s appeal.

Temiskaming’s focus on assembling a workforce underscores a shift in priorities, with the emphasis now on inspiring employable persons to relocate. The city remains focused on providing a distinctive living experience marked by accessible real estate, recreational opportunities, and a vibrant spirit. Affordable industrial park land positions the astute community as a viable prospect for businesses seeking economic setups.

Temiskaming Shores champions preserving its historical legacy while embracing future scenarios.

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Temiskaming Shores, Northern Ontario, Canada

WHAT: A tranquil haven blending history with future promise.

WHERE: Temiskaming Shores, Northern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec border.

WEBSITE: temiskamingshores.ca


CGV Group – www.cgvgroup.ca

The Miller Group – www.millergroup.ca


February 2024

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