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Flin Flon

Flin Flon
City of Flin Flon
Flag of Flin Flon
Flin Flon is located in Manitoba
Flin Flon
Location of Flin Flon in Manitoba
Country Canada
Province Manitoba, Saskatchewan
Founded 1927
Incorporated (city) January 1, 1933
 • Mayor Cal Huntley[1]
 • Council Flin Flon City Council
 • MP Niki Ashton (NDP)
Rob Clarke (CPC)
 • MLA Clarence Pettersen (NDP)
Doyle Vermette (NDP)
 • Land 11.55 km2 (4.46 sq mi)
Elevation 300 m (980 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 5,592
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code R8A
Area code(s) 204

Flin Flon (pop. 5,592 in 2011 census; 5,363 in Manitoba and 229 in Saskatchewan) is a Canadian mining city, located on the border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the majority of the city located within Manitoba.


  • History 1
    • Founding 1.1
    • Origin of the name 1.2
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Transportation 4
    • Road 4.1
    • Air 4.2
    • Rail 4.3
  • Economy 5
    • Main employers 5.1
    • Mining 5.2
    • Marijuana production 5.3
  • Culture 6
    • Arts 6.1
    • Sports 6.2
  • Media 7
  • Law and government 8
    • Municipal 8.1
    • Provincial 8.2
    • Federal 8.3
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11



Dog Sled Race (1954)

Flin Flon was founded in 1927 by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBM&S) to exploit the large copper and zinc ore resources in the region. In the 1920s, HBM&S invested in a railway, mine, smelter, and a hydroelectric power plant at Island Falls, Saskatchewan. By 1928 the rail line reached the mine.

The town grew considerably during the 1930s as farmers, who were impoverished by the Great Depression, abandoned their farms and came to work at the mines. The municipality was incorporated on January 1, 1933, and in 1970, the community reached city status. The city has continued to be a mining centre with the development of several mines adding to its industrial base, although its population has been in decline. With a scenic setting and a number of nearby lakes, Flin Flon has also become a moderately popular tourist destination.

The town is named after the fictional character Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin

Origin of the name

The town's name is taken from the lead character in a paperback novel, The Sunless City by J. E. Preston Muddock. Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin piloted a submarine through a bottomless lake where he passed into a strange underground world through a hole lined with gold. A copy of the book was allegedly found and read by prospector Tom Creighton.

When Tom Creighton discovered a high-grade exposure of copper, he thought of the book and called it Flin Flon's mine, and the town that developed around the mine adopted the name. Flin Flon shares with Tarzana, California, the distinction of being named after a character in a science fiction novel.

The character of "Flinty", as he is locally known, is of such importance to the identity of the city that the local Chamber of Commerce commissioned the minting of a $3.00 coin which was considered legal tender amongst locally participating retailers during the year following its issue. A statue representing Flinty was designed by cartoonist Al Capp and is one of the points of interest of the city. In 1978, the National Film Board of Canada produced the short documentary Canada Vignettes: Flin Flon about the origin of the city's name.[3]


Flin Flon in the fall
Lake Athapapuskow, near Bakers Narrows Provincial Park and the airport; the photo was taken in late May, demonstrating that snow is possible (though unlikely) even that late in the year.

Flin Flon straddles the provincial border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the majority of the city being located in Manitoba. The 2011 census reported 5,363 residents in the Manitoba portion and only 229 in the Saskatchewan section; the Manitoba portion has a land area of 13.88 km2, while the Saskatchewan portion has a land area of 2.37 km2. Due to the zig-zagging nature of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, the Saskatchewan section of town lies south of the Manitoba section, not west. The city's Main Street crosses the provincial boundary just south of its intersection with Church Street; Hudson Street crosses the provincial boundary between its intersections with 5 Ave E. and Harrison Street, adopting the new name South Hudson Street at the point of crossing; an undeveloped stretch of Channing Drive briefly crosses into Saskatchewan before reentering Manitoba just west of the city's rural Channing neighbourhood.

The town of Creighton, Saskatchewan, is immediately adjacent to Flin Flon. Nearby lakes include Kipahigan Lake.

The majority of Flin Flon's surface topology is exposed Canadian Shield bedrock, hence the nickname "the city built on rock". Due to this and climatic factors, agriculture is generally not possible, although grain farming is found 130 kilometres (80 mi) southeast in The Pas, Manitoba.


Flin Flon has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) that is on the borderline between humid continental and subarctic (Köppen Dfc). Flin Flon experiences a wide range in seasonal temperatures, with warm summers and very cold winters. Temperatures in January have an average low of −25 °C (−13.0 °F) and an average high of −16 °C (3.2 °F). Temperatures in July have an average high of 24 °C (75.2 °F) and an average low of 13 °C (55.4 °F).[4]

Canadian Shield geography in the Flin Flon, Manitoba, region. Lake seen is Big Island Lake.


Canada 2006 Census Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian 15 0.3
Chinese 0 0
Black 10 0.2
Filipino 30 0.5
Latin American 0 0
Arab 0 0
Southeast Asian 0 0
West Asian 0 0
Korean 0 0
Japanese 10 0.2
Other visible minority 0 0
Mixed visible minority 0 0
Total visible minority population 65 1.1
Aboriginal group
First Nations 290 5
Métis 655 11.4
Inuit 0 0
Total Aboriginal population 950 16.5
European 4,755 82.4
Total population 5,770 100


A DC Electric Locomotive on display at the Flin Flon Museum.
A typical street in "uptown" Flin Flon


Flin Flon is accessed by Manitoba Provincial Trunk Highway 10, Saskatchewan Highway 106 and Saskatchewan Highway 167. The city has daily Greyhound and Grey Goose bus service. The city also runs a small public bus system.[10]


The city operates Flin Flon Airport, which is located southeast of the city. The airport has a single asphalt runway, and has regular flights to and from Winnipeg through Calm Air


The Hudson Bay Railway operates railway freight service on its railway line between The Pas and Flin Flon.


The Co-op grocery store, located on South Main Street.

Main employers

Prior to the smelter being closed, seen here with its 251 m chimney, pollution used to be a big concern as indicated in yellow, which were seeded by the aerosols from the copper smelter.
Flin Flon Manitoba Five Largest Employers
Company Service Number of Employees
Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Mining 1,440
Flin Flon School Division Education 137
Victoria Inn Hotel 57
Walmart Retail 32
Canadian Tire Automotive Supplies and Service 30



The economy of Flin Flon is primarily based on copper and zinc mining, chiefly Hudbay Minerals Co. Ltd/Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting's 777 Mine (including Callinan lenses) and Trout Lake Mine (slated for shutdown in 2012). Sphalerite concentrate is produced and then treated on-site to produce zinc, while chalcopyrite concentrate is produced and then sold for external copper production, a result of the HBM&S smelter closure in July 2010. [12] Although processing of any sulfide material (in this case zinc) usually emits large amounts of sulfur dioxide, the HBM&S plant uses a zinc pressure leaching process which greatly reduces emissions.[13]

Marijuana production

Flin Flon gained international notoriety in 2002 when the Government of Canada awarded a four-year contract to a Saskatoon-based company for the production of medicinal marijuana. Prairie Plant Systems, based in Saskatoon, used an inactive underground copper/zinc drift owned by the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company to produce approximately 400 kilograms of medicinal marijuana annually. The entire operation was situated several hundred metres under Flin Flon for security and climate control reasons.

In 2009, Prairie Plant Systems discontinued operation at the mine due to the ending of their lease and the uncertainty regarding the pending closure of the Trout Lake mine.[14]



Flin Flon has an active local arts & culture scene. The Flin Flon Arts Council has been instrumental in building the local arts scene of late, and has also brought high-quality performers, such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, into the community for special events. The R.H. Channing Auditorium in the Flin Flon Community Hall often hosts concerts and theatrical performances, including those produced by the local theatre troupe "Ham Sandwich".
In 2010, the Northern Visual Arts Centre (or NorVA) was established as a studio and gallery space for local visual artists. NorVA frequently hosts workshops, concerts and other community arts-based events.
Every two years, the Flin Flon Community Choir, directed by Crystal Kolt, performs a musical production for the community. In 2013, the Flin Flon Community Choir presented Chicago: The Musical, to great acclaim. Past performances have included Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, and Bombertown, among many others.
Culture Days, a national festival celebrating arts and culture, is a popular event in Flin Flon. Culture Days is held on the last weekend of September each year. In 2013, Flin Flon ranked seventh in the country for the number of free events (including concerts, workshops, artist talks and kids' activities) offered to community members and visitors.

Flin Flon is the fictional home of the comic book superhero Captain Canuck[15]


Retired jerseys that include some NHL greats
Flin Flon Bombers home game at the Whitney Forum

Flin Flon is the home of the Ray Maluta, Tom Gilmore, Dunc McCallum, Eric Nesterenko, Mel Pearson, Reid Simpson, David Struch and Ernie Wakely.


Newspapers & Magazines
  • The Reminder - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - Flin Flon's only newspaper.
  • Northroots Magazine - a bi-monthly glossy, regional publication, published February, April, June, August, October and December. In-flight reading on Calm Air.
  • Cottage North Magazine - local interest, local stories, and local people - published by the Reminder newspaper January, March, May, July, September, and November.
  • Tales From a Town With a Funny Name - by Doug Evans.

Television in Flin Flon began in June 1962 with the opening of CBC Television station CBWBT channel 10. The station broadcast kine recordings, sent to the transmitter from CBWT Winnipeg. On March 1, 1969, the province-wide microwave system replaced the kine recordings originating at CBWT, giving citizens of Flin Flon access to live television.[16] The repeater (along with Radio-Canada repeater CBWFT-2 channel 3) closed down July 31, 2012, due to the CBC's closure of its rebroadcasters.[17]

Law and government


Flin Flon City Hall

The operations of the City of Flin Flon are administered by the city council, whose members set the policies. The city council consists of a mayor and six councillors who are elected and serve a term of four years. The current council was elected on October 22, 2014, and consists of the following members:

Flin Flon City Council[18]
Position Name
Mayor Cal Huntley
Councillor Tim Babcock
Councillor Colleen McKee
Councillor Leslie Beck
Councillor Ken Pawlachuk
Councillor Bill Hanson
Councillor Karen MacKinnon


Flin Flon is in the southwest corner of the Manitoba provincial electoral district of the same name, and is the only urban centre within the district. The current Member of the Legislative Assembly is NDP Clarence Pettersen, who was elected in the 2011 election.

The Saskatchewan portion of Flin Flon is in the electoral district of Cumberland. It is represented by Doyle Vermette of the NDP.


Flin Flon, Manitoba, is in the federal riding of Churchill. The current Member of Parliament is NDP member Niki Ashton, who with 10,236 votes defeated Conservative Wally Daudrich (5253 votes) and Liberal Sydney Garrioch (4071 votes) in the 2011 general election.

The Saskatchewan portion of Flin Flon is in the electoral district of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, whose current Member of Parliament is Conservative Rob Clarke. [19]

See also


  1. ^ "Mayor's Message". Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Manitoba Community Profilies - Flin Flon (Community Overview)". Archived from the original on 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. ^ "Canada Vignettes: Flin Flon". Online film.  
  4. ^ a b "Flin Flon, Manitoba". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Flin Flon Airport, Manitoba". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ Flon&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=, Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  7. ^ Flon&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=, Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Staistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  8. ^ [3], Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  9. ^ [4], Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  10. ^ City of Flin Flon Transit
  11. ^ "Manitoba Community Profilies - Flin Flon". Archived from the original on 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  12. ^ "Manitoba Geological Survey Mines & Exploration Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  13. ^ 'Little change since Flin Flon's closure', Thompson Citizen November 24, 2010
  14. ^ Globe and Mail article "Flin FLon's Pot Mine Goes Up in Smoke", July 22, 2009, retrieved July 22, 2009
  15. ^ "Official Twitter timeline of @CaptainCanuck". 11 Dec 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Microwave Hook-Up Gives North Live TV". Winnipeg Free Press. April 29, 1969. p. 28. 
  17. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-384, July 17, 2012.
  18. ^ "City of Flin Flon Website - Administration". Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  19. ^ "Canada Votes 2011".  
  • Community Profile: Flin Flon (part), Manitoba; Statistics Canada
  • Community Profile: Flin Flon (part), Saskatchewan; Statistics Canada

External links

  • Map of Flin Flon (Part), Manitoba at Statcan
  • Map of Flin Flon (Part), Saskatchewan at Statcan
  • Flin Flon Reminder newspaper
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