Aerial view of Kirkland Lake
|Nickname(s): The Mile of Gold, Hub of the North, The Right Environment, Hockeytown, KL|
|Established||1919 (Township of Teck)|
|• Mayor||Bill Enouy|
|• Town Council|
|• MPs||Charlie Angus (NDP)|
|• MPPs||John Vanthof (ONDP)|
|• Total||262.54 km2 (101.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||243 m (797 ft)|
|• Density||32.3/km2 (84/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Postal Code FSA||P2N|
The community name was based on a nearby lake which in turn was named after Winnifred Kirkland, a secretary of the Ontario Department of Mines in Toronto. The lake was named by surveyor Louis Rorke in 1907. Ms Kirkland never visited the town, and the lake that bore her name no longer exists because of mine tailings. The community comprises Kirkland Lake, as well as Swastika, Chaput Hughes and Harvey Kirkland.
Kirkland Lake was built on gold, but it is equally as well known for producing world-famous hockey players. Indeed, legendary hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt called Kirkland Lake "the town that made the NHL famous", likely because in the early days of the NHL, it was not uncommon to find an NHLer from the town. The town celebrates this tradition at the Hockey Heritage North museum. Until January 1, 1972, the town was known as Township of Teck. A by-law was introduced, on July 20, 1971 to change the name of the municipality to Town of Kirkland Lake, effective January 1, 1972.
In order to maximize taxation revenue from existing and potential mines in the area, the six square mile Municipal Corporation of the Township of Teck was formed with Wellington J. McLeod as the first reeve in 1919. Their first task was the establishment of public utilities, including roads and water pipes, in the rapidly growing area. Kirkland Lake had numerous mines, in the early years, including the Teck-Hughes (1917–1968), Lake Shore (1918–1968), Kirkland Minerals (1919–1960), Wright-Hargreaves (1921–1965), Sylvanite (1927–1961), Tough-Oakes-Burnside (later Toburn) (1913–1953), and Macassa Mine (1933–1999).
Early in the Second World War gold production in the area decreased due to personnel being lost to more essential war industries. In 1942, gold mining was declared a non-essential industry to the war effort which resulted in gold mines across the country being at a lower priority for personnel and supplies relative to producers of base metals. After the war, local soldiers returned to the newly created Federal area in the northern section of the town. The Kirkland Lake Cemetery is a member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is the location of the graves of 12 soldiers, and 3 airmen of the Canadian forces who died during the Second World War.
Kirkland Lake's first fire hall was established in 1935 and the second fire hall in 1955.
The Kirkland Lake Community Complex, now the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex, opened in 1979. In the early eighties, LAC Minerals reopened the main shaft of the Lake Shore Mine and worked it from 1982 to 1987 to extract pockets of gold that had been left behind. Between 1987 and 1991 Vancouver based Eastmaque Gold Mines reprocessed tailings, or "slimes", from early inefficient mill operations, extracting 70,000 ounces of gold.
On the morning of Sunday, May 20, 2012, a forest fire was discovered about 3 kilometres north of Kirkland Lake, which grew to 2,757 hectares, by the afternoon of May 21, causing a state of emergency to be declared. Residential and cottage areas on Goodfish Lake and Nettie Lakes and one street in Chaput Hughes were evacuated that afternoon. Kirkland Lake Gold and AuRico Gold, have suspended operations due to fire damage to power lines and local schools were closed. On May 29, the state of emergency was lifted, as the fire was determined to be no longer a threat to Kirkland Lake, although it was not yet under control.
Geography and ecology
Kirkland Lake is located at Coordinates: at an altitude of 243 metres (797 ft) above sea level and has an area of 262.54 km2 (101.37 sq mi) including the townships of Teck, Bernhardt and Morrisette.
Kirkland Lake is nestled in the resource rich Precambrian Shield, the oldest geological formation on the planet. Nearby is the Arctic Watershed. Waters flowing south of this height of land (318 meters above sea level) flow into the Saint Lawrence River and on to the Atlantic Ocean. North of this point, all waters flow into Hudson Bay and on to the Arctic Ocean.
Black spruce, Jack pine, trembling aspen, white birch, white spruce, balsam poplar, and balsam fir are the dominant trees in the area. A prominent forest form in this part of the Black Spruce distribution is The Black Spruce/Feathermoss climax forest, which characteristically exhibits moderately dense canopy and features a forest floor of feathermosses. Moose, beaver, muskrat, snowshoe hare, as well as numerous predators roam this area, including marten, ermine, fisher, otter, black bear, wolf, and lynx. The many wetlands and lakes support a diversity of bird species, such as Great Blue Herons, ducks, geese, and that symbol of the north, the common loon. Ground and tree dwelling birds are also plentiful, including grouse, partridge, robins, blue jays, and gray jays as well as birds of prey such as hawks.
Kirkland Lake enjoys four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn offer a mix of warm sunny days and crisp, cool nights. Summers are comfortably warm, with dry air and temperatures reaching into the mid 20 degree Celsius range (mid 70s' Fahrenheit). Winter temperatures may seem brisk, but high winds and high humidity are rare, allowing residents to take full advantage of outside recreational activities.
|Climate data for Kirkland Lake|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−10.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−17.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−23.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−47
|Precipitation mm (inches)||66.8
|Rainfall mm (inches)||1.9
|Snowfall cm (inches)||64.9
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||14.8||10.3||10.1||8.6||11.4||13.3||13.8||13.2||14.9||14.2||13.8||15.8||154.2|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.28||0.36||1.8||5.5||11.0||13.3||13.8||13.2||14.8||12.3||3.6||0.76||90.7|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||14.6||10.1||8.9||4.0||0.81||0.08||0||0||0.17||2.5||10.5||15.1||66.8|
|Source: Environment Canada.|
|Note: 2011 census population
corrected by Statistics Canada
Kirkland Lake is the ninth largest community in Northern Ontario. Over the past 25 years, the population has declined by nearly 30%, from 12,000 in 1986. This decline, reflecting the closing of the mines that were historically the largest employers in the town, has slowed in recent times. However, between the 2001 census and 2006 census, the population fell by 4.3%, the 24th highest decline in Canada. The 2011 census revealed an increase of 3.0% to 8,493 residents after its originally published 2011 population of 8,133 was corrected by Statistics Canada.
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Non-white Latin American (Statistics Canada does not consider white Latin Americans to be visible minorities)||0||0|
|Other visible minority||0||0|
|Total visible minority population||90||1.1|
|Total Aboriginal population||460||5.7|
|Kirkland Lake Gold||Mining||>900 (2013)|
|District School Board Ontario North East||Education||180|
|Veterans Affairs Canada||Federal Government||180|
|Town of Kirkland Lake||Municipal Government||145|
|Kirkland and District Hospital||Healthcare||140|
|Association for Community Living||Healthcare||110|
|Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology||Education||75|
|MacIntyre and Associates||Mining Contractor||70|
|Northeastern Catholic District School Board||Education||53|
|Ontario Provincial Police||Law||51|
|Pettenuzzo's Your Independent Grocer||Grocer||50|
|Timiskaming Child and Family Services||Healthcare||45|
|Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources||Government||35|
The town went through a period of economic decline towards the end of the last century, with the closing of the original mines. That ended in 2001, when Foxpoint Resources (now Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. or KLG) bought five of the mining claims in the town and began intensive exploration work. KLG successfully resuscitated the local mining scene, finding new zones of mineralization that, combined with the steadily increasing price of gold, turned the town around. Today, Kirkland Lake is probably one of the most successful communities of its size in Northern Ontario. Some of the more recent developments include:
- Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. continues to expand its operations. Since December 2002, the company’s confirmed gold reserves have increased by 160% to 2,022,000 tons with an average grade of 0.46 ounces per ton containing a total of 927,000 ounces of gold. In 2003, the Company started a $21 million, 3 year exploration program targeted at adding an additional 15,000,000 tons of ore to reserves and resources. Currently, over 500 personnel are directly or indirectly employed at the mine site. Based on today’s resources, the mine has a 12-15 year life span. A recently[when?] announced $16 million expansion in its exploration activities is already paying dividends. The mine recently[when?] announced the discovery of the richest ore veins ever found in the history of the Kirkland Lake camp, a move which will significantly increase the mine’s life span.
- While the forestry industry has been hard hit across Canada, the impact on Kirkland Lake has been mitigated by the conversion of the existing Tembec Forest Products Group's Kenogami sawmill into a value-added centre for the manufacturing of finger-jointed lumber. The new centre, located on the outskirts of KL, opened in July 2006. It will employ between 70 and 92 workers. Under an innovative Public-Private partnership, the municipality is working with Rosko Forestry Operations to establish a specialty sawmill in the Archer Drive Industrial Park that will sell into the Canadian market.
- The local tourism industry has provided a much needed depth to the local economy. Star attractions include the Museum of Northern History at the Sir Harry Oakes Chateau, the Miners' Memorial, and Hockey Heritage North (an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) interactive facility telling the story of hockey in the north). Upcoming attractions include a refurbishment of the historical Toburn Headframe. Event based tourism is also strong. Some of the most popular draws include a drag racing event in the summer and a national snow cross racing event in the winter.
- Prospects for an expansion of the Town’s white-collar workforce are excellent. Two new high schools as well as a long-term care facility, and a new medical centre promise to make the community more attractive to professionals in the fields of medicine and education. Veterans Affairs Canada is also growing its client service operations. The local office is now the primary service bureau for over 100,000 clients across central and eastern Canada.
These good news stories are supplemented by a number of developments occurring regionally that will have a positive impact because KL is the economic hub of the north Timiskaming District, and so the primary supplier of products, people and services to regional activities. For example:
- The steady increase in the price of gold has brought a number of other mining projects to the feasibility stage. Queenston Mining Inc. announced promising results at its Upper Beaver Properties. Northgate Minerals has poured over $20 million into exploration work and is moving ahead with mining operations at its Young-Davidson properties near Matachewan. According to the company, this site has the potential to produce 150,000 ounces of gold per year for a decade. In addition, more finds are coming online because of the Discover Abitibi mineral exploration program.
- St. Andrew Goldfields will commence production at the Holloway-Holt Gold Mine Complex near Matheson in the second quarter of 2007. The mine has a forecast production rate of 75,000-100,000 ounces of gold per annum for the next seven years, and will employ over 100 people.
- Tres-Or Resources Ltd. continues to return high quality results from its diamond exploration efforts southwest of Kirkland Lake. The richness of the finds, the large size of the host kimberlite pipes, plus expected low mine construction and operating costs in the area indicate a very positive future in this wholly new area of economic activity. Exploration continues. If more kimberlite structures are found, and the price of diamonds increases as expected, a mine could be in the making within 10 years.
Through the 1990s, one of the town's dominant political and economic controversies surrounded a proposal to ship Toronto's garbage to the Adams Mine, an abandoned open pit mine in Boston Township just outside of Kirkland Lake.
Kirkland Lake is also self-sufficient when it comes to power production with a generator that produces up to 117MW.
Kirkland Lake also has a shopping mall with stores including Ardene, Box Office Entertainment and The Source by Circuit City, Carlton Cards, Dollarama, easyhome, Hart Stores, North Shore Outfitters, ReMax and Warehouse One.
Kirkland Lake has two secondary schools, each catering to a different language group: the École Catholique Jean Vanier, a French Catholic school; and the Kirkland Lake District Composite School, an English secondary school also featuring French immersion instruction (opened in 2006; from 1923 - 2006 students attended Kirkland Lake Collegiate and Vocational Institute, also known as KLCVI).
Elementary schools in Kirkland Lake include Central Public School (French immersion, public), Federal Public School (English, public), Sacred Heart School, (French immersion and English, Catholic), St. Jerome School (French immersion and English, Catholic), and Ecole Assomption (French, Catholic).
The community is also home to a campus of the Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology.
Northern College offers one-, two- and three-year programs in the fields of technology, business, human services, health and emergency services and veterinary sciences. Northern also offers post-diploma, apprenticeship, skills and job re-entry programs funded by the federal and provincial governments. The College also provides job related training. This includes providing the facilities for the delivery of third party programs, or the development of courses to meet the needs of a company.
Kirkland Lake also includes the Teck Centennial Public Library.
The Kirkland and District Hospital serves the area.
Kirkland Lake is served by Ontario Northland bus and railway services (with the train station located in Swastika) and the Kirkland Lake Airport as well as local transportation for people with disabilities and local taxi services as well as connections to the Timmins/Victor M. Power Airport and Rouyn-Noranda Airports. Transportation is also provided to senior citizens and persons with disabilities, through Timiskaming Home Support, which is funded by the North East Local Health Integration Network.
Tourism and festivals
The Kirkland Lake area continues to support a strong tourist industry throughout the year. The summers are met with a number of anglers, hunters, and campers looking for adventure. Winters are especially popular as a result of the well maintained snow mobile trails in the area. There are also a number of tourist destinations in the area, including the recently developed Hockey Heritage North. It also has a strong community built on music. Local attractions include:
- Hockey Heritage North.
- Kirkland Lake Miners' Memorial.
- Blueberry Festival - an annual summer event at Esker Lakes Provincial Park.
- Toburn Mine - This mine was the first producing mine in Kirkland Lake and the old headframe is a recognized cultural asset.
- Wright-Hargreaves Park - Site of the former Wright-Hargreaves mine that used to be one of the most productive and deepest gold mines in the world.
- Homecoming Week - during the week of Canada Day (July 1st).
- Winter Carnival - beginning in mid-February.
The Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee hosts an annual homecoming week during the week of Canada Day. The event is currently ranked as a Top 100 Festival by Festivals & Events Ontario. Many former residents return home for the celebrations. The 2014 Homecoming Week ran from June 25-July 1 and included two nights of live concerts featuring Simple Plan & Faber Drive plus Colin James & Downchild Blues Band.
Other events included free Canada Day celebrations, free kids events, a BMX, skateboard & scooter extreme park competition, a local food fair, free kids matinees, splash park events, an extreme frisbee competition, golf tournaments, A day in the park at the Toburn Mine site, an ATV-UTV poker rally, fireworks and more.
Past Homecoming Week concerts have included:
2006: Jeff Healey
The Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee hosts an annual winter carnival beginning in mid-February. With 18 days of events each year, Kirkland Lake's Winter Carnival is one of Canada's longest winter carnivals. In 2013 & 2014, Festivals and Events Ontario honoured the event with a Top 100 Festival award.
The 2014 Kirkland Lake Winter Carnival ran from February 13 to March 2. Performers included Classified, Bruce Cockburn and David Wilcox at the Winterfest Pub following the $50,000 Winter Carnival Ice Fishing Derby.
Other carnival events include the Rotary Hockey Tournament, the Stars of Pop kids concert, the CJKL Carnival Queen Fashion Show & Crowning, 3 nights of Kabaret, the Kirkland Lake Skating Club's Ice Show, fireworks, free sleigh rides, a comedy night, free skating parties, a magic show, free kids matinees and the NorthernTel Kids Carnival on the Family Day holiday.
Several prominent Canadian music stars have performed during Kirkland Lake's Winter Carnival including:
2010: Chantal Kreviazuk
2009: Lunch At Allen's & The Fab Four
2008: Colin James
2007: The Stampeders
2006: Jim Cuddy
2005: Amy Sky
2004: Tom Cochrane
The city's primary newspaper is Northern News. Formerly a daily paper, Northern News now publishes three times per week.
- FM 90.3 - CBCR-FM, CBC Radio One
- FM 93.7 - CBON-FM-1, Première Chaîne
- FM 101.5 - CJKL-FM, Hot Adult Contemporary
- Ralph Backstrom - hockey player
- Michael Barnes - former Principal of Queen Elizabeth and Central Schools, author regional interest books.
- Mario Bernardi - conductor, pianist
- Buddy Boone - hockey player
- Toller Cranston - figure skater, painter
- Narcisse Danis - Kirkland Lake police chief (~1920-2010)
- Dan Daoust - hockey player
- Jack Delcourt - Kirkland Lake and Barrie police chief (~1943-2010)
- Dick Duff - hockey player
- Bill Durnan - goalie
- Bill Enouy - mayor (2000–present)
- Murray Hall - hockey player
- Ed Havrot - reeve (1970)
- Michael Hogan - actor
- Daryl Kramp - politician (elected as the Prince Edward—Hastings MP in 2004)
- [(John LaPointe)] - humanitarian worker
- Megan Leslie - politician (elected as the Halifax MP in 2008)
- Michael Mahonen - actor
- Diane Marleau - politician
- Joe Mavrinac - mayor (1981–1997)
- Sara Mayhew - manga artist, writer, illustrator
- Robert McChesney - past national President of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Chartered Life Underwriters Association of Canada, awarded the Order of Canada, Legion godfather to Prince Floris of the Netherlands
- Kurtis McLean - hockey player
- Bob Murdoch - hockey player, coach
- Claude Noël - hockey player, current coach of the Winnipeg Jets NHL franchise
- Gerald D. O'Meara - reeve, Teck Township
- Sir Harry Oakes - mining millionaire
- Barclay Plager - hockey player, coach
- Bill Plager - hockey player
- Bob Plager - hockey player
- Daren Puppa - hockey player
- Mickey Redmond - hockey player, sports broadcaster
- Ann Shipley - reeve, Teck Township (1943–1952)
- Alan Thicke - actor from Growing Pains and composer of t.v theme songs Facts of Life and Different Strokes
- Floyd "Bud" Hillman - AHL and NHL hockey player
- Larry Hillman - NHL and WHA - hockey player and Winnipeg Jets first coach.
- Wayne Hillman - NHL and WHA - hockey player
- Tommy Webster - NHL - hockey player and coach
- Jim Eady - Emmy Award winner
- "KL mines shine at mining competition". Northern News. Tim Creswell.
- "Census Profile: Kirkland Lake, Ontario (Code 3554068) and Timiskaming, Ontario (Code 3554)". 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- "Corrections and updates: Population and dwelling count amendments, 2011 Census". Statistics Canada. February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Barnes, Michael (1995). Gold in Ontario. Erin, Ontario: The Boston Mills Press. p. 49. ISBN 1-55046-146-X.
- "Bylaws". Kirkland Lake Town Council. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Pain, S.A. (1960). Three Miles of Gold: The Story of Kirkland Lake. Toronto: The Ryerson Press. p. 63.
- "Kirkland Lake A historical perspective". Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- Barnes, Michael. "Life in Kirkland Lake during World War II". Gold in Kirkland Lake. General Store Publishing House. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- "KIRKLAND LAKE (KIRKLAND) CEMETERY". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- Barnes, Michael (1995). Gold in Ontario. Erin, Ontario: The Boston Mills Press. pp. 55, 56. ISBN 1-55046-146-X.
- "Termini Station". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- "300 evacuate forest fire in Kirkland Lake". Toronto Sun. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "Kirkland Lake no longer under state of emergency". CBC.ca. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
- "Kirkland Lake flushes fluoride from drinking water". CBC.ca. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "Municipal Government Structure". Discoverkl.ca. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- C. Michael Hogan PhD (2008-11-24). "Black Spruce: Picea mariana". GlobalTwitcher. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- "Pickering, Ontario (City) Census Subdivision". Community Profiles, Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada.
- "History of Kirkland Lake". Town of Kirkland Lake. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- "Hockey Heritage North". Hockey Heritage North. Retrieved 2008-12-25.[dead link]
- "KL Mall directory". Kirkland Lake Mall. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Getting Around". Town of Kirkland Lake. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Local Government". Town of Kirkland Lake. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Community Services". Town of Kirkland Lake. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Community Profile". Town of Kirkland Lake. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Accessible Transportation". Timiskaming Home Support. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- Economic Development Division, Town of Kirkland Lake, Kirkland Lake Visitor's Guide, 2009
- "Kirkland Lake Homecoming Week". Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee. Retrieved July 2014.
- "Winter Carnival". Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee. Retrieved July 2014.
- "Ottawa Citizen". Google News Archives. 1946-05-08. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kirkland Lake, Ontario.|
- Town of Kirkland Lake website
- Images of Kirkland Lake on Panoramio
- Kirkland Lake local community groups
||Unorg. South East Cochrane||Black River-Matheson, Unorg. North Cochrane|
|Unorg. West Timiskaming||Unorg. East Timiskaming|
|Unorg. West Timiskaming||Gauthier|