Temagami is a municipality of 80 people (2016) in Northern Ontario, and a place of natural beauty. Old-growth pine stands provide a magnificent backdrop for a day's hike. Canoeing the calming waters can be just what you need to relax and get away from the pressures of city living.
The Temagami region is known as n'Daki Menan, the homeland of the Temagami First Nation, the area's Aboriginal community, most of whom are Anishnaabe (Ojibwe), living on Bear Island.
The Municipality of Temagami includes the communities of Lake Temagami, Marten River, and Temagami North.
The Anishnabai have been living in the area for at least 6,000 years after migrating from the east coast of North America. The land was divided into familial hunting and trapping territories.
Since the main east-west fur trade route bypassed Temagami to the south, settlement of this area by Europeans did not come until 1834. That year the Hudson's Bay Company built a store on Temagami Island, which was later relocated to Bear Island. The town was founded by Dan O'Connor, who in 1903 formed a steamship company on the lake and established its first store on the future townsite. By 1906, he had built three hotels on Lake Temagami: Hotel Ronnoco, Temagami Inn, and Lady Evelyn Hotel.
Discoveries of gold, copper, nickel, and particularly silver in 1903, brought mining to nearby Cobalt and accelerated development of the region. Several mines opened in Temagami, including Big Dan Mine, Little Dan Mine, Barton Mine, Hermiston-McCauley Mine, Temagami-Lorrain Mine, Priest Mine, Beanland Mine, Sherman Mine, Kanichee Mine, Northland Pyrite Mine and Copperfields Mine, which once mined the richest copper ore in Canada.
In 1898, the 15,000-km² Temagami Forest Reserve was established. Because of this reserve, the region was home to the last old growth forests in Ontario. Logging of the vast pine stands only began in the 1920s. Now just a few patches of old growth remain, including the White Bear Forest (12.42 km²) and the world's largest stand of old-growth red and white pine forest - the Wakimika Triangle Forest (25 km²). This has led to confrontation between loggers and environmentalists when new logging access roads are built or major logging operations are proposed. Access to many old-growth areas is provided on local hiking trails and canoe routes.
The North Bay to Kirkland Lake intercity bus run by Ontario Northland stops at the gas station.
The town is small enough that you can walk anywhere reasonably quickly.
- 1 Temagami Railway Station (Highway 11, between Railway Rd and Oconnor Drive), ☏ . No longer in use as a railway station, the building has been restored to its original appearance. The waiting area, washrooms and mezzanine are open to the public free of charge during business hours.
Some of the main tourist attractions within the community include old-growth red and white pine, Lake Temagami, Caribou Mountain, fishing, showings of Grey Owl from the 1930s, and over 4,000 km of canoe routes.
Temagami has plenty of summer activities for the family, including a great weekend of events to celebrate Canada Day, with volleyball at the waterfront, Soapbox Derby Races, flea markets, and many other fun games for the kids. The weekend is finished off with a fireworks display in the bay. Of course no trip to Temagami is done without a hike up the Fire Tower.
Fishing is another popular pastime on the lake, and the kids will love to swim in the clear, refreshing water.
Temagami is known as the staging point for cottage vacationing and wilderness canoeing trips on Lake Temagami, in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, and vast tracts of wilderness in the area. There are several outfitters here that cater to outdoor activity.
The community is home to the Finlayson Point Provincial Park, which offers access to Lake Temagami.
- 1 Temagami Fire Tower. This 100-foot-high tower is at the summit of Caribou Mountain, 400 feet above Temagami and 1300 feet above sea level. $3 (children 6 and under free).
- 2 Marten River Provincial Park, 2860 Highway 11, Marten River, ☏ . A replica 19th-century logging camp canoeing, boating, hiking and fishing. Remnant stands of massive pines include a 350-year-old White Pine along the Transition Trail. Three beaches. Campsites for tents up to large trailers, many with electrical hook-up. Water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities are close by.
Temagami Dry Ginger Ale. It is no longer made in Temagami, but it still uses the decades-old recipe.
Eat and drink
- 1 Orient Garden Restaurant, 6706 Highway 11, ☏ . M-Sa 11:30AM-7PM. Canadian "Chinese diaspora" food
- Rock Pine Restaurant, 2372 Highway 11 N, Marten River, ☏ . Jul Aug: daily; May Jun Sep Oct: Th-M; Jan-Mar: Sa Su only when the snowmobile trails are open; hours vary but generally breakfast and lunch until 2:30PM, and dinner from 5PM.
- Temagami Petro Canada & Restaurant, 6692 Highway 11 N, ☏ .
- There are chip stands at 6731 Highway 11 North, and at the Trapper Trading Post, Marten River, 2890 Highway 11 North.
For those that wish to relax and take in some of the best scenery nature can provide, there are houseboats and cottages available as well for your lodging, as well as a provincial park.
- 1 Finlayson Point Provincial Park, 24 Finlayson Park Road, ☏ . Camp here, or use the park as a base for canoeing in the area. The park is open Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day.
- 2 Temagami Shores Inn and Resort, 6612 Hwy #11 N., ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Motel units, suites, and cabins. Restaurant. $109-215/night, $715-1455/week.
- 3 Northland Paradise Lodge, 51 Stevens Road, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM (Sa 2PM for weekly bookings), check-out: 11AM (Sa 11AM for weekly bookings). Motel units, suites, and one cabin. The suites and cabin are available by weekly bookings only during the summer months.
- Rock Pine, 2372 Highway 11 N, Marten River, ☏ . Motels rooms double $89-209, quad $219; tent sites $29, trailer sites $39-49.
A word to the wise: that photo on the winter driving page asking "How many trucks do you see?" was taken near Temagami. Summer driving has the hazard of large wildlife; if your car hits a moose, you will probably need a new car, so stay alert while driving at any time of the year.
- 1 Temagami Public Library, 7 Lakeshore Drive (in the lower floor of the Welcome Centre). Wireless Internet service and 5 public-access Internet-connected computers.
Roughly 40 km south of Temagami, Marten River is the southern gateway to the Temagami and Temiskaming areas.
- 2 Marten River Provincial Park Logging Museum (2860 Hwy 11 North, Marten River, within Marten River Provincial Park), ☏ . The logging museum is a replica 19th-century logging camp. Open Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day.
|Routes through Temagami|
|Kapuskasing ← Temiskaming Shores ←||N S||→ North Bay → Barrie|