Chances are if you live in the City of Timmins, you or someone you know owns a snowmobile. After all, Timmins is considered to be one of the most snowmobile-friendly cities in Ontario. With over 440 km of trails in the area, Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines recognized the value of ensuring that the Hollinger Haul Road did not disrupt existing trail connections in the City.
Patrick Dzijacky, Environmental Technologist for Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM) explained that since the initial proposal for the Hollinger Project, PGM has been working with the Timmins Snowmobile Club to ensure that existing snowmobile trails could be re-established in the area of the new haul road. Careful planning allowed the new snowmobile trail to follow the base of the haul road and the construction of an underpass, specifically for snowmobiles, provided a safe way to cross the road and connect with established trails. Goldcorp’s pit crews, with their heavy equipment, did an excellent job grubbing, removing trees and bringing in material to make the trail base more than suitable for the Timmins Snowmobile Club.
The efforts by PGM did not go unnoticed. Marc Lepalme, Vice-President of the Timmins Snowmobile Club said that the club is very grateful to have a world class company like Goldcorp who is willing to work with local organizations to ensure that mining activities are able to co-exist with outdoor recreational activities such as snowmobiling.
Lapalme commented, “The work Goldcorp put into ensuring a connection could be made to our existing trail network exceeded our expectations. The new snowmobile tunnel adds another distinctive feature to our trail system and is often the topic of conversation amongst snowmobilers that are travelling from outside our region. On behalf of the Timmins Snowmobile Club and all its permit holders, we thank you for making this trail a reality.”
This unique part of the Timmins trail system also caught the eye of the Temiskaming Abitibi Trail Association. In 2014, Northern Ontario Travel began promoting Ontario Snowmobile Tour Loops and as a result, the Temiskaming Abitibi Trail Association (OFSC District 14) developed the Gold Rush Tour, a 710 km circle route that takes snowmobilers through many historic and operating gold mines. According to Crystal Girard, Manager of the Temiskaming Abitibi Trail Association, the new section of the A111C snowmobile trail that PGM has developed is an excellent addition to this tour. It follows the haul road into the City of Timmins and provides snowmobilers the opportunity to see heavy mining equipment at work. It also passes around the historic Hollinger Mine property, home to PGM’s newest operation the Hollinger Open Pit. This new trail will no doubt bring riders into our District to experience these unique aspects of the Gold Rush Tour.
Brendan Zuidema, Mine General Manger for PGM, firmly believes in Goldcorp’s tenant that building partnerships and giving back to the communities where we operate is essential to being a good corporate citizen. “This trail system is important to the City of Timmins and the region. The construction of the underpass was a small investment compared to the returns for the Timmins economy and the enjoyment of thousands of snowmobile enthusiast.”
Goldcorp is committed to building a legacy of social and economic benefit in the communities it operates.