Wawa

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Wawa (pop 3000) is a former mining town on a sparsely-populated section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Northern Ontario.

Understand[edit]

Wawa “Wild Goose” chase

Wawa, named for an Ojibway word meaning “Wild Goose”, served as a French fur trade post from 1725 and as a mining town since a gold rush in 1896. Iron ore (hematite) was found in 1897; the last of the mines closed a century later. Forestry was also once a major local industry, but is in decline in the Wawa, Dubreuilville and White River region as Weyerhauser closed its oriented strandboard mill in 2007. The local population, close to 6000 at its 1990s peak, has dropped by half in about twenty years; portions of the town and highway were damaged by a flood in 2012.

The last Ontario section of the Trans-Canada Highway, 250km (150 miles) from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa, was completed in 1960. As the new highway bypassed downtown Wawa by a mile, a 28-foot tall Canada Goose was constructed at the Highway 17 / 101 intersection, the entrance to the town, to make Wawa easily visible to visitors.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • From the north and south: Wawa straddles a sparsely-populated stretch of Trans-Canada Highway (17). Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) to the south and Thunder Bay to the northwest are the nearest cities of any size.
  • From the east: Highway 101 from Chapleau

By coach[edit]

  • Greyhound CanadaMac's convenience store. Daily bus service stop on Trans-Canada Highway.

By air[edit]

Wawa does not receive scheduled flights, but several chartering companies are based in the town.

By rail[edit]

Hitchhiking[edit]

Wawa is recognized as a notorious hitchhiker's trap - easy to get to, but impossible to leave. Enter at one's own risk.

If you're planning on hitchhiking your way out, good-luck. The best place to thumb a ride is near the Wawa Goose.

Get around[edit]

Wawa is a small town where everything is a short walk away. There is no municipal transit service.

See[edit]

  • The Wawa GooseHwys 17 and 101. Four-ton, 28-foot steel goose constructed 1963, replacing a plaster model placed at the highway crossroads when the last section of Trans-Canada Highway was completed in Ontario in 1960.

Do[edit]

  • Michipicoten Golf Club (on Magpie River),  +1 705-856-2590. May-October. Nine holes, practice green and driving range, cart and clubs rental, lessons, discounts for local motel clients. Club house +1 705-856-2590, pro shop +1 705-856-7409.
  • Voyageur hiking trail. Public hiking trail between Sudbury and Thunder Bay, through Scenic High Falls and Silver Falls, two parks overlooking the Magpie River gorge. Scenic High Falls offers a picnic pavilion, toilets and an interpretive trail from the bottom to the top of the Falls.

Events[edit]

  • Wawa Winter Carnival. February.

Buy[edit]

  • Young's General Store111 Mission Road. Store and fuel station rebuilt after a 1979 fire. Quirky tourist attraction with bait shop, souvenirs, an oversized Henrietta the Moose, big barrel of pickles, freshly packed fudge and summer sausage.

Eat[edit]

  • Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant150 Hwy 17 South +1 705-856-7226. Seafood, Chinese, Trinidadian, European. $25-60.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • Algoma Motel164 Mission Rd +1 705-856-7010fax: +1 705-856-8213. Motel in town centre, hunting and fishing cabins eight miles outside of town for outdoors enthusiasts, outfitter's packages.

Connect[edit]

  • Lion’s Waterfront ParkWawa Lake. Park with free WiFi and boardwalk along Wawa Lake.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Wawa
Thunder BayMarathon  W Ontario 17.svgnoframe E  Lake Superior Provincial ParkSault Ste Marie


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