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Dog races in the early days of The Porcupine earned a reputation

The very first one took off in 1916
Martin's prize dog team in Timmins.

This weekend South Porcupine is hosting its annual winter carnival. This year makes it a strange one because we’ve experienced over zero-degree temperatures all month — not to mention the amount of rain, not snow, we’ve received.

Carnivals from the past are remembered fondly by many. Many events were held every year and became sacred traditions to locals. There was the crowning of the carnival queen and king, skating, kettle boiling competitions, bed races, dog races, ice sculpture contests, broomball tournaments, fireworks, fishing derby, a parade and much more. 

One event that really stuck around through and through was the dog races. The dog race was the oldest established event of its kind on the continent to run each year without a break. The very first one took off in 1916, growing bigger every year that followed. It earned a famous reputation, which even attracted Hollywood film makers. 

In 1918, 400 to 500 people gathered to watch the annual race. Mr. W. Martin, a famous dog racer here in Timmins, won first place on the 14-mile course. It took him and his team one hour and 31 minutes to complete. Eight starter teams began at the Imperial Bank, raced down Pine Street to Moneta, and finished back at the Imperial. Mr. Martin that year was awarded first place on the Globe Shield, $25 monetary prize, credit for goods at certain local stores, as well as snow-shoes from Northern Canada Supply Co. He also won a secondary award for best time which was awarded with a sweater from D. Ostrosser. 

The Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre regularly provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins museum has to offer here and read more Remember This columns here.