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Timmins man spreading positivity through photography

If you're on local social media groups, you've likely seen the city through Mitch Bolduc's eyes

A local photographer is using his passion to show off Timmins in its most beautiful light.

Mitch Bolduc, who moved to Timmins in his 20s, has always loved the outdoors. Now retired, he is combining his passion for nature and his hobby in photography to spread positivity about the city. 

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time and when I got my leg amputated about four years ago, I decided to buy myself a Canon camera and different lenses and started taking pictures,” Bolduc says.

“It ended up being too bulky for me to carry around so I got myself a good phone and started taking pictures on that. I started getting comments on Facebook and that encouraged me, so it’s become a part of my passion, promoting Timmins in a positive way,” he says.

“I’m just a single person. It’s basically me and my cell phone taking pictures and posting them. I’m very basic, it’s nonchalant, but I enjoy it. I get no money out of this. I love the positive comments I get and that’s my gratification. My pictures are always free. I’m not doing it to get rich.”

Bolduc’s photography mostly consists of the outdoors, as well as local landmarks and landscapes. He says his pictures have sometimes turned people’s attention to places they never knew about or have never visited before, including a series of photos he took in the Hersey Lake Conservation Area last summer. 

“A lot of people have lived in Timmins for 30 to 40 years or all their lives and they’ve never experienced that atmosphere of being out on the trails,” he says. 

Another goal of Bolduc’s photography is to promote Timmins. He names Guy Lamarche, former manager of tourism and events with the City of Timmins, as an inspiration for his role in bolstering the city’s tourism economy with events like the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge and Festival and the Summer Concert Series.

“He’s an idol of mine. He really promoted Timmins and got lots of stuff going on here,” he says. 

Bolduc has been encouraged by the response to his photos, particularly from people who may no longer live in Timmins but who really enjoy seeing pictures of the local landmarks they recognize. However, not all the feedback has been positive. 

“I found that on the Facebook pages there was so much negativity, but I think there is so much beauty still to be found here in Timmins,” Bolduc says.

“I get some really good feedback but I get some negative feedback sometimes too. There’s always trolls online trying to put you down, asking what’s beautiful about Timmins. I could go around to all the back alleys and do a whole documentary on the bad stuff, but I choose to look at the positive side and I think we’re losing that. A lot of people are losing that, so I’m trying to give hope and keep things positive. Timmins is still a beautiful, beautiful city and there’s still lots of potential here,” he says.

“I think it’s up to the individual to choose whether you want to be negative or positive. I think that’s a personal thing. If you want to be negative you can be negative and if you want to be positive you can be positive, because there’s lots of beauty. Blueberries are going to come out soon, lots of beautiful flowers will be blooming, and I’ll be taking pictures of them.”

The positive responses to his photos are what keep him sharing them online. 

“Those little comments are my payback. People wonder why I keep doing it, but I keep doing it. It’s almost like an addiction to me.”