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The iconic green and red houses of our past

In this edition of Remember This, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center looks back at the Hollinger Houses
Hollinger Houses on Mountjoy Street North in 1958. Timmins Musuem: National Exhibition Center photo

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center:

The Hollinger Houses were once some of the most iconic buildings in our community and continue to inspire visitors to the museum to reminisce about life back in the “good ol’ days”.

The houses were built after the First World War to solve a housing shortage which was preventing much-needed labourers from settling in the community. The Hollinger Mine, after which the houses were named, wanted to attract families to Timmins and built a large cluster of single-family dwellings on the west end of town.

Up until the 1930s, the houses were a single story with flat roofs. One newcomer to town remembers seeing the odd buildings for the first time. “At first we did not know what this was and we just stopped and looked. None of us had seen this type of living houses before. Then somebody said, 'this must be packing boxes for pianos.’”

Each house was covered in either red or green tarpaper. With so many identical houses, it’s no wonder that they were frequently mixed up. One visitor to the museum recalled his father coming home one evening to find his wife bent over the stove. He walked up and gave her a tap on the bum only to discover he’d walked into the wrong house!   

What are some of your memories of the Hollinger Houses?

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at and look for more Remember This? columns here.