In light of our daily trivia contest, this week’s article looks back on the opening of the Ferguson Highway and the celebration of passage to the south.
Leading from the Porcupine Goldfields to Toronto, a highway was finally completed. The Ferguson Highway officially opened in September 1927 — although some did travel earlier before it was officially inaugurated.
Approximately 1,500 people participated in the launch of the new passageway by driving their cars from Cochrane to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto. The Ferguson Highway was the first road to link the Porcupine with southern Ontario.
By the time the highway was semi-passable, 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. Because of the rough roads, automobiles made a slow appearance in Timmins, but as the city thrived the roads became better and better and cars became more visible.
People became so “motor-minded” that the car population rose to first place for the most cars per capita in Canada after the opening of the Ferguson Highway.
Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.