“Near Famine Point at the Porcupine!” was the lead headline from the Toronto Globe newspaper in May 1912. The paper got all hot and bothered because word went out that the trestle bridge at Boston Creek was out and train service, on which the North depended so readily, was cut off and everyone in the Porcupine was in dire straits.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth, and the editor of the Porcupine Advance took it upon himself to defend the honour of the North.
“The unkind and ungallant reference to our dependency on Southern Ontario is an impertinent insinuation especially so coming from a Canadian journal styling itself ‘Canada’s national newspaper…’ We are ready and willing to stand behind the Timmins group (reference to Noah) and others of their ilk who have spent and are spending millions to prove that Porcupine is and will be a greater gold camp that has ever been, and we are not likely to be discouraged by the loquacity of a journalistic despot which cannot curb its anger in the face of defeat and its only regret seems to be that the Great Porcupine is still in the possession of the Canadian people.” So there.
And that, in essence, is the problem for the North – and I dare say is still the problem of the North – perception versus reality.