Temagami, Ontario

Temagami, Ontario

Temagami is a region and a municipality in northeastern Ontario, Canada, in the District of Nipissing with Lake Temagami at its heart.

According to the 2006 Statistics Canada Census for the Municipality of Temagami:
*Population: 934
*% Change (2001-2006): 4.6
*Dwellings: 1325
*Area (km²): 1,906.42
*Density (persons per km²): 0.5

The Temagami region is known as N'Daki Menan, the homeland of the area's Aboriginal community, most of whom are Anishnaabe (Ojibwe), living on Bear Island. The official name for this group is the Temagami First Nation. However, a group that includes these people, plus non-status residents and some non-residents is called the Teme-Augama Anishnabai.

Some of the main tourist attractions within the community include Lake Temagami, Caribou Mountain, Fishing, showings of Grey Owl from the 1930s, and the Temagami Public Library.

It is also known as the staging point for cottage vacationing and wilderness trips on Lake Temagami, in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, and all other vast tracks of wilderness in the area. There are several outfitters here that cater to outdoor activity. Temagami holds the highest points of land in Ontario, Maple Mountain and Ishpatina Ridge.

The community is home to the Finlayson Point Provincial Park, which itself offers access to Lake Temagami. An excellent view of the entire Temagami area is offered by the Temagami Fire Tower on Caribou Mountain, a renovated convert|100|ft|m|sing=on-tall fire lookout tower that visitors can climb for a small fee. The Temagami Fire Tower was last used in the 1970s to spot fires. The original fire tower built here was convert|45|ft|m high and made of square timber.


The Anishnabai have been living in the area for at least 6,000 years after migrating from the east coast of North America. The land was divided into familial hunting and trapping territories.

Since the main east-west fur trade route bypassed Temagami to the south, settlement of this area by Europeans did not come until 1834. That year the Hudson's Bay Company built a store on Temagami Island, Lake Temagami. The town itself was founded by Daniel O'Connor, who in 1903 formed a steamship company on the lake and established its first store on the future townsite. By 1906, he had built three hotels on Lake Temagami: Hotel Ronnoco, Temagami Inn and Lady Evelyn Hotel.

In the summer of 1905 the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, now renamed the Ontario Northland Railway, was completed from North Bay to New Liskeard and allowed easier access to the area and the "Great Clay Belt" around Lake Temiscaming.

Discoveries of gold, copper, nickel, and particularly silver in 1903 brought mining to nearby Cobalt and accelerated development of the region. Several mines opened around Temagami. Some of these mines were Sherman Mine, Kanichee Mine, Harris Mine and Copperfield's Mine, which once mined the richest copper ore in Canada.

The Forest Reserves Act of 1898 established the 15000 km² (5900 square miles) Temagami Forest Reserve. Because of this reserve, the region was home to the last old growth forests in Ontario. Logging of the vast pine stands only began in the 1920s. Now just a few patches of old growth remain, including the White Bear Forest (12.42 km²) and the world's largest stand of old-growth red and white pine forest - the Obabika Lake Forest (25 km²). This has led to confrontation in recent years between loggers and environmentalists when new logging access roads are built or major logging operations are proposed. Access to many old-growth areas is provided on local hiking and canoeing portage trails.

The inspiration and wonder of the area were brought to millions around the world, in 1907 when Grey Owl, arrived in Temagami. He was employed by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests as a ranger and the cabin he frequented still exists on the Mississagi River. His subsequent books and extensive lecturing in Britain and the United States brought tremendous attention to northeastern Ontario and the issues surrounding wildlife conservation.

In 1973, The Teme-Augama Anishnabai (TAA) exercised a land caution against development on the Crown land of 10,000 square kilometres-most of the Temagami area. The attorney-general of Ontario pursued legal action against the Band for this caution. The TAA lost this court case in 1984 and the Band proceeded with an Appeal to the Supreme Court. The Band lost this Appeal and eventually the Caution was lifted.

In 1988, the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, Vince Kerrio approved the expansion of the Red Squirrel Road, directly through Anishnabe territory. This prompted a series of roadblocks by the TAA and by environmentalists in 1988-1989. The Temagami First Nation's former chief Gary Potts was the leader of the blockades.

In 1991 the TAA and the Ontario government created the Wendaban Stewardship Authority to decide what to do with the four townships near the logging road. The committee eventually dissolved. An agreement is currently being negotiated and a decision to accept the agreement will be happening in 2007.


The Temagami land is part of the Canadian Shield, one of the largest single exposure of Precambrian rocks in the world which were formed after the earth's crust cooled. Temagami land has striking similarities to the Sudbury Structure, which is one of the richest mining camps in the world. The hills in the Temagami area are remnants of the oldest mountain ranges in North America that date back during the Precambrian era. These enormous mountains were taller than any that exist today. The uplifting was accomplished as enormous pressure caused the earth to buckle in a process called folding. Other processes, such as volcanic activity and geologic faulting in which the earth cracks open also contributed to the formation of these mountains. Over millions of years, these enormous mountains were gradually eroded to the land we know today in Temagami.

The rocks that form Temagami to this day are igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock. The Temagami area has good potential to host diamondiferous kimberlites and more diamond bearing kimberlites may continue to be discovered in the area. The Temagami area also contains some pillow lava about 2 billion years old, indicating that great submarine volcanoes existed during the early stages of the formation of the Earth's crust.

There are a number of northwest trending faults in the Temagami East claim block area and are associated with the Saint Lawrence Rift System and remains seismically active. The most recent felt earthquake in the Temagami area occurred in the year 2000.

Minerals in the Temagami area include Aragonite, Brochantite, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Jasper, Magnetite, Molybdenite, Pentlandite, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Serpentine, and Talc. A bright white palladium mercury telluride mineral was discovered on Temagami Island in 1973 called temagamite, named after its discovery locality in Copperfield's Mine, originally known as Temagami Mine.

The Temagami area provides rugged topography, which is excellent for hiking. There are numerous viewpoints in the Temagami area, including Maple Mountain, High Rock, Caribou Mountain and Ishpatina Ridge, which is the highest point in Ontario, dot the rugged landscape.


Significant lakes located within Temagami's municipal boundaries include:
*Angus Lake
*Anima Nipissing Lake
*Brophy Lake
*Cassels Lake
*Chambers Lake
*Cross Lake
*Duncan Lake
*Gull Lake
*Herridge Lake
*Ingall Lake
*James Lake
*Jumping Caribou Lake
*Lady Evelyn Lake
*Lake Temagami
*Lowell Lake
*Martin Lake
*Net Lake
*Obabika Lake
*Obashkong Lake
*Rabbit Lake
*Rib Lake
*Red Squirrel Lake
*Smoothwater Lake
*Snake Island Lake
*Sunnywater Lake
*Tent Lake
*Twin Lake
*Wasaksina Lake
*Wilson Lake
*Red Cedar Lake
*Blueberry Lake


Communities located within Temagami's municipal boundaries are:
*Bear Island
*Lake Temagami
*Marten River
*Temagami North

Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Temagami"' (surrounds Bear Island 1)
North = Unorganized West Timiskaming
Northeast = Latchford
East = Unorganized West Timiskaming
Unorganized North Nipissing District
Southeast =
South = Unorganized North Nipissing District
Southwest =
West = Unorganized North Sudbury District
Northwest =


*Brian Back, "The Keewaydin Way: The story of the world's oldest canoe-trip camp", 2nd edition, 2004.
*Matt Bray and Ashley Thomson, "Temagami: A Debate on Wilderness"
*Bruce Hodgins and Jamie Benidickson, "The Temagami Experience: Recreation, Resources, and Aboriginal Rights in the Northern Ontario Wilderness", 1989.
*Bruce Hodgins, Ute Lischke and David T. McNab, "Blockades and Resistance: Studies in Actions of Peace and the Temagami Blockades of 1988-1989"
*Hap Wilson, "Temagami Canoe Routes", 7th edition 1992, ISBN 0-9693258-1-9
* [http://www.ottertooth.com/tem_index.htm Ottertooth.com: Temagami's online magazine]
*"Temagami Integrated Planning Background Information", 2005, ISBN 0-7794-7060-5, [http://www.ontarioparks.com/English/planning_pdf/tema_background.pdf Online version]

External links

* [http://www.mytemagami.ca/ My Temagami]
* [http://www.temagamifirstnation.ca/ Temagami First Nation Web Site]
* [http://www.temagami.ca/ Town of Temagami Web Site]
* [http://www.ottertooth.com/tem_index.htm Ottertooth.com: Temagami's online magazine]
* [http://www.temagamifoundation.ca/ Temagami Community Foundation]
* [http://lucid.dreaming.org/temagami/ A collection of resources about Temagami First Nation]
* [http://www.tla-temagami.org/ Temagami Lakes Association]
* [http://www.embargo.ca/highway11/Timiskaming/TM-05-Temagami.htm Temagami - Ontario Highway 11 Homepage]
* [http://www.eugenechekanov.com/ collection of pictures from Temagami, Ontario]

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