Flin Flon is a city North of 53 in Manitoba on the border with Saskatchewan. A small part of Flin Flon is located inside Saskatchewan, making it only one of two undivided border cities in Canada (alongside Lloydminster), although it is never enumerated as one of Saskatchewan's cities.
Flin Flon was founded in 1927 by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBM&S) to exploit the large copper and zinc ore resources in the region.
The town's name is taken from the lead character in a paperback novel, The Sunless City by J. E. Preston Muddock. Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin piloted a submarine through a bottomless lake where he passed into a strange underground world through a hole lined with gold. A copy of the book was allegedly found and read by prospector Tom Creighton.
When Tom Creighton discovered a high-grade exposure of copper, he thought of the book and called it Flin Flon's mine, and the town that developed around the mine adopted the name.
The character of "Flinty", as he is locally known, is of such importance to the identity of the city that the local Chamber of Commerce commissioned the minting of a $3 coin which was considered legal tender amongst locally participating retailers during the year following its issue. A statue representing Flinty was designed by cartoonist Al Capp and is one of the points of interest of the city.
Its main industry is mining, and the town is dominated by the mine's smokestack. The town is largely constructed on exposed rock face, giving it a surreal, almost lunar, atmosphere. It is adjacent to the Saskatchewan town of Creighton.
Flin Flon experiences a humid continental climate. There is a wide range in seasonal temperatures, with warm summers and bitterly cold winters. Temperatures in January have an average low of −22.9 °C (−9.2 °F) and an average high of −14.7 °C (5.5 °F). Temperatures in July have an average high of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F) and an average low of 13.6 °C (56.5 °F).
- Flin Flon is primarily accessed from within Manitoba via Highway 10. From Saskatchewan, Highway 167 connects through Creighton; Hwy 167, in turn, links to Highway 106 (aka the Hanson Lake Road), with follows a long a winding path towards Nipawin, Prince Albert and points west and south.
- Greyhound Canada, Coutts Convenience Centre, 347 Main Street, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Buses 6 times a week from Winnipeg, 12 hr. $60 - $160.
- A small airport provides regional flights. The Flin Flon Airport is 20 km southeast of the city. Calm Air - providing daily direct prop-jet service to Winnipeg (about $450 one-way), and one flight to Winnipeg that stops in The Pas. (Jan 2018)
- Flin Flon Transit. One bus runs M-F 5:25AM-6:15PM (Sa 11:30AM-6:15) in a loop from the Community Hall to Hapnot College, East Birchview, Willowvale, Queen and Pine, Dominion Boulevard and Spruce, the Flintoba Mall, and terminates at the Community Hall. Adults $2, seniors and children $1.50.
- Ty's Taxi, ☎ .
- Ace's Cab, ☎ .
- The Hundred Stairs/Bomb shelter: In 1935, these stairs were built for pedestrians as a short cut to get to downtown from Third Avenue (located by Rotary Park). These stairs were rebuilt in 1993. In 1947, a 140-meter tunnel was conceived to get pedestrians between Third Avenue and downtown (Main Street), Flin Flon, instead of walking up the Hundred Stairs. The price tag for this endeavor would be $32,000. The crew got within 4 meters of completing the tunnel when enthusiasm waned and the dimensions of the tunnel shrank to a point where it became a storm sewer outlet. During the Cold War, citizens figured that if worse came to worse, they could hide in the tunnel.
- Sewer Boxes: Flin Flon is the only city in the world to locate its sewage lines above the ground. This is necessary in some areas of the city because of the masses of near-impenetrable bedrock. Instead of burying the pipes, they are surrounded by a wooden casing and run above ground to create a unique snake-like appearance. Early settlers built these above-ground sewer and water lines, becoming the settlement's first "sidewalks". They are still used regularly today as fully usable sidewalks.
- The North Park: The flowers in this park are entirely made from metal, representing all provinces and territories of Canada.
- The Stack: The Flin Flon stack, at 250 m (825 ft.) tall, is the tallest free-standing structure in Western Canada.
- Flinty's Submarine: This statue of fictional character Flintabaty Flonaton is featured on the submarine from the book The Sunless City.
- Denare Beach, Saskatchewan Museum: On Moody Drive in Denare Beach, the museum is open daily early July - September. On display are birch bark bitings, Native crafts, pottery from the Old Fort Henry site and artifacts from the early exploration and settlement days of the area.
- Hapnot Lake Wildlife Sanctuary: On Ross Street near the downtown area. This duck pond home for hundreds of indigenous birds and ducks that return annually to nest in the town in the summer.
- Wahlenberg Look-Out Site: on the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Dion Street, this lookout offers a panoramic view of Ross Lake and is one of the highest points the city.
- Ross Lake: in the middle of the City of Flin Flon, it is surrounded by cliffs.
- Bakers Narrows Scenic Tower: Climb to the top of the tower for a view of the area lakes, including Lake Athapapuskow.
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre Handicraft Outlet, 57 Church St, ☎ . M-F 9AM-5PM. Aboriginal arts, crafts, paintings, caribou hair art, and birch bark bitings to moccasins, mukluks, jewellery fashions, beading and leather supplies for DIY projects.
- Flintoba Shopping Centre, Highway 10A. Two stores: Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire.
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre Restaurant, 57 Church St, ☎ . M-F 9AM-5PM. Family diner run as a social enterprise by the First Nations community centre.
- The Royal Rib Steakhouse, 93 Main St, ☎ . Daily noon-3PM, 6PM-11PM.
- Oreland Motel, 11 Island Drive R8A 0S8, ☎ , toll-free: . 18 rooms (8 with kitchenettes) on a Ross Lake island connected to the mainland by a causeway. TV, air conditioned, near KFC.
- Royal Hotel, 93 Main Street R8A 1J9, ☎ , toll-free: .
- Victoria Inn, 160 Highway 10A North R8A 1M9, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Hotel and convention centre with Miners Lounge, Kelsey Dining Room, banquet and catering services.
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre Hostel, 57 Church St, ☎ . Economical short-term accommodations: equipped with 10 basic rooms, common washroom/shower facilities, and a lounge area with sofas, TV, microwave, coffeepot, kettle, toaster, and wireless access!
|Routes through Flin Flon|
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