Marathon, Ontario

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Marathon
Town
Marathon Pulp Mill, operated 1946-2009
Marathon Pulp Mill, operated 1946-2009
Motto: Built On Paper - Laced With Gold!
Marathon is located in Ontario
Marathon
Marathon
Coordinates: 48°45′N 86°22′W / 48.750°N 86.367°W / 48.750; -86.367Coordinates: 48°45′N 86°22′W / 48.750°N 86.367°W / 48.750; -86.367
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
District Thunder Bay
Government
 • Mayor Rick Dumas
 • CAO Brian Tocheri
 • Councillors
 • Federal riding Thunder Bay—Superior North
 • Prov. riding Thunder Bay—Superior North
Area[1]
 • Land 170.48 km2 (65.82 sq mi)
Elevation 220 m (720 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 3,353
 • Density 19.7/km2 (51/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code P0T 2E0
Area code(s) 807
Website www.marathon.ca

Marathon is a town in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in Thunder Bay District, on the north shore of Lake Superior north of Pukaskwa National Park, in the heart of the Canadian Shield.

History[edit]

As long ago as 500 BC the area was inhabited by Ojibway Natives who lived along the Pic River and there are still their descendants living in the area today.

Marathon of today was born as a railroad community named Peninsula, due to its location on a peninsula on Lake Superior. Constructing the railroad, between 1881 and 1883, over the region's terrain was a great engineering feat. At the time of the construction, some 12,000 men and 5,000 horses worked out of the town.

It has been said, but not verified, that certain sections of track would be laid one day, only to be devoured by the earth the next. Like most railroad communities, once the railroad had been completed Peninsula's population dwindled considerably, and by 1935, the census of the town was just 23.

It wasn't until a pulp mill was constructed in town, between 1944 and 1946, that the population rose back to 2,500, and the town's name was changed, first to Everest - after D.C. Everest, president of Marathon Corporation of Wisconsin, owners of the pulp mill in the town - then, later the same year, to Marathon, in honor of the paper company itself. The Everest name was discarded due to sounding too close to Everett, Ontario.

Marathon Corporation operated the mill for eleven years before the company was acquired by American Can Company in 1957. The Marathon mill operated under the name American Can of Canada Limited for over 25 years. Then James River Corporation, which had purchased American Can's US-based towel and tissue division in late 1981, entered into a joint venture with Buchanan Forest Products to create James River-Marathon Ltd. that purchased the mill in April 1983. In May 1997, James River Corporation merged with Fort Howard Corporation and the Marathon mill became Fort James-Marathon Ltd. Finally, in January 2000, Fort James sold Marathon to a 50/50 joint venture of Tembec and Kruger, creating Marathon Pulp Inc.

In the early 1980s, gold was discovered at Hemlo, an uninhabited area adjacent to the Trans Canada highway some 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Marathon. By the late 1980s, three mines were running at Hemlo, with two of the three mines locating their employees in Marathon, which effectively doubled its population making it the largest town along the North Shore between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay.

Geography[edit]

Personal residences encompass an area starting from Lake Superior, and stretch out to a new subdivision near Penn Lake, an in-town campsite and beach in the eastern portion of the town. The Pic River is located outside of the town's eastern limits.

The town is adjacent to Peninsula Harbour and has several coves including Carden Cove, Sturdee Cove and Craddock Cove, all three located west-northwest of Marathon. Penn Lake is a local lake within the town where tourists can enjoy camping and water sports.

Heron Bay is a town located to the south of Marathon, and shares the post office and phone prefix. The Pic River First Nation is located on the outskirts of Pukaskwa National Park.

Demographics[edit]

Population trend:[4]

  • Population in 2011: 3353
  • Population in 2006: 3863
  • Population in 2001: 4416
  • Population in 1996: 4791
  • Population in 1991: 5064

Economy and transportation[edit]

Marathon's resource economy was built on pulp, most recently managed by Marathon Pulp Inc. On February 12, 2009, Marathon Pulp Inc. announced an indefinite shutdown that eliminated hundreds of jobs from the region, and negatively impacted both to Marathon's tax base and its local economy.

Starting in the mid-1980s Marathon's economy expanded to include gold mining. The Hemlo Operations included three gold mining operations: Williams, David Bell and Golden Giant mines. In 2009, Vancouver-based Teck Cominco mining company sold its 50% share of Williams and David Bell to its investing partner, Barrick Gold Corporation, while Golden Giant was decommissioned in 2005. Golden Giant mine is now owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, and is now part of David Bell mine.

Marathon is the center of commerce for the rural region in which it is situated. It boasts the largest indoor shopping mall between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, and one of only three Canadian Tire department stores in the region.

Marathon is located 2 km (1.2 mi) west of Trans Canada Highway 17, to which it is connected via Peninsula Road (formerly Highway 626). The town is served by the Canadian Pacific Railway and a geographically important airport (Marathon Aerodrome) just north of the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of the town.

Education[edit]

Marathon is served by five schools. Three of these are public schools: Margaret Twomey Public School, Marathon High School, and École Secondaire Cité-Supérieure. Two are Roman Catholic separate schools: Holy Saviour School and École Val-des-Bois.

Recreation and tourism[edit]

Marathon has a children's park named after Del Earle, one of the town's founders.

There are numerous hotels in the town, including Travelodge, Harbour Inn and the Zero 100 Motor Inn.

Marathon has a challenging 9 hole golf course, Cross-country skiing trails and down hill skiing, a 4-sheet curling venue, and the only indoor swimming pool between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.

Recent developments in the town include a new skatepark, basketball courts and the refinishing of the tennis courts.

Marathon has had two competitive hockey teams. The Marathon Renegades a Tier II Junior "A" team and the Superior Eagles a "AAA" Midget team. Marathon also supports minor hockey and an active figure-skating club.

Culture and the arts[edit]

Marathon's art and culture community has varied over time.

Within the last decade, Marathon has been home to a community entertainment series, a community choir, coffee houses & culture jams, a writer's group, an art gallery, house concerts, frequent dinner theatres, art and photography displays, quilting groups and shows, a ceramics club, annual craft shows, and numerous art classes.

A summer music series, known as "Concerts in the Parking Lot", was inaugurated in July 2006 and is held in the town centre on Wednesday evenings in summer. This casual series encompasses a variety of musical genres, and showcases talent both local and from "away".

In 2010, Marathon was one of the many Canadian communities that the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay passed through.

Community groups and services[edit]

Marathon is served by numerous organizations and services. These include, among many others, the Cub Scouts, Salvation Army, Girl Guides, Victim Services, and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Marathon, Ontario
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 3
(37)
7
(45)
13
(55)
20
(68)
25
(77)
30
(86)
30
(86)
33
(91)
27
(81)
18
(64)
15
(59)
9
(48)
33
(91)
Average high °C (°F) −9
(16)
−3
(27)
1
(34)
8
(46)
14
(57)
19
(66)
22
(72)
21
(70)
17
(63)
10
(50)
2
(36)
−6
(21)
8
(46.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −15.1
(4.8)
−8.5
(16.7)
−5.6
(21.9)
1.3
(34.3)
7.7
(45.9)
12.5
(54.5)
15.9
(60.6)
15.1
(59.2)
11.4
(52.5)
4.9
(40.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
−10.5
(13.1)
2.28
(36.1)
Average low °C (°F) −21
(−6)
−14
(7)
−12
(10)
−5
(23)
2
(36)
6
(43)
10
(50)
9
(48)
6
(43)
0
(32)
−5
(23)
−15
(5)
−3.2
(26.2)
Record low °C (°F) −38
(−36)
−34
(−29)
−30
(−22)
−22
(−8)
−8
(18)
−3
(27)
0
(32)
0
(32)
−6
(21)
−11
(12)
−23
(−9)
−36
(−33)
−38
(−36)
Precipitation mm (inches) 69
(2.72)
49
(1.93)
71
(2.8)
35
(1.38)
85
(3.35)
109
(4.29)
60
(2.36)
83
(3.27)
96
(3.78)
115
(4.53)
67
(2.64)
53
(2.09)
892
(35.12)
Rainfall mm (inches) 1
(0.04)
14
(0.55)
27
(1.06)
14
(0.55)
85
(3.35)
109
(4.29)
60
(2.36)
83
(3.27)
96
(3.78)
111
(4.37)
34
(1.34)
2
(0.08)
636
(25.04)
Snowfall cm (inches) 92
(36.2)
36
(14.2)
45
(17.7)
21
(8.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(1.2)
34
(13.4)
68
(26.8)
299
(117.7)
Source: The Weather Network[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Marathon census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  2. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  3. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  4. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  5. ^ The Weather Network: Statistics: Marathon, ON, accessed March 29, 2012

External links[edit]