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Snow removal's been a hot topic since the first road into The Porcupine

In the early days, winter meant the highway closed until spring
A new bulldozer digging out a section of road following a snowstorm in the 1950s.

The railway was lifesaving to the Porcupine as it was the only link to the south for 16 years until a highway was built.

The Ferguson Highway opened in 1927 and served as a link between the Porcupine Goldfields to Toronto. Approximately 1,500 people participated in the launch of the highway that September by driving their cars from Cochrane to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto. 

By the time the highway was opened, Leo Mascioli’s Timmins Garage Co. Ltd. was advertising round-the-clock service and a storage garage that could accommodate 95 cars. Horses, however, were not phased out by the fire department until 1934.

This highway became a vital vein into the community — the only problem was winter. In the early days of the new highway, winter meant the highway was closed until the spring arrived. The snow simply made the road unusable and it was too much work to keep up with the snow removal. 

In the fall of 1936, the new board of trade for the Cochrane area held a public meeting with a new associated board of trade organization for the Cochrane area. A meeting was called so the public and the board members could discuss matters and set goals for the upcoming new year. One item on the list was winter and road conditions. Snow plows were newly introduced and there was hope that the plows would help keep the roads open until after Christmas that year.  They also hoped that they would be able to open the highway two to three weeks earlier in the spring. This was an exciting thing for the community!  

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.