The story of Northern Ontario’s people has changed since the early days of the railway. At the turn of the last century, workers from many countries joined their friends when they learned of employment building the rails north – particularly from North Bay, the terminus for the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway.
As the work reached Cobalt, many men decided to settle there, bring their families and work in the newly-discovered silver mines or to open businesses. Others ventured further north to Kirkland Lake and the Porcupine when gold was discovered further north. Soon clubs were established to serve the cultural needs of their people. With the culture, came the foods that reminded them of home.
When one family moved further north to other towns, their friends soon joined them. Some continued mining or began farming; others became a part of the commercial enterprises in each town.
Besides mining, in the early 1930s, the lumber and timber industries were also employing large numbers of immigrants and nearly all the communities had attracted workers and their families from Italy, Russia, Yugoslavia, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland as well as from the British Isles and most established cultural halls in their respective towns.
For the rest of this column: https://www.timminspress.com/opinion/columnists/the-new-faces-of-the-north