McGarry, Ontario

Last updated

Township of McGarry
Canton de McGarry
Virginiatown ON.JPG
Canada Ontario location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 48°08′47″N79°34′14″W / 48.14639°N 79.57056°W / 48.14639; -79.57056 Coordinates: 48°08′47″N79°34′14″W / 48.14639°N 79.57056°W / 48.14639; -79.57056 [1]
Country Canada
Province Ontario
District Timiskaming
  ReeveMatt Reimer
  Federal riding Timmins—James Bay
  Prov. riding Timiskaming—Cochrane
  Land86.67 km2 (33.46 sq mi)
327 m (1,073 ft)
 (2016) [2]
  Density7.0/km2 (18/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Postal code
P0K 1X0
Area code(s) 705, 249
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

McGarry is an incorporated township in Timiskaming District in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. [1]


The township includes the communities of Virginiatown, North Virginiatown, and Kearns. It is on the border with Quebec to the east, along Highway 66 between Kirkland Lake and Rouyn-Noranda. The northern border of the township forms part of the border between Timiskaming District and Cochrane District. Highway 66 was rerouted in 2017 because of concerns that aging mine shafts under the road could cause it to collapse. [4]

J.T. Kearns (for whom the village was named) staked a claim in 1907, which became the Chesterville Gold Mines (1938–1952). An 854-metre (2,802 ft) shaft connected 20 levels, and its 500-ton stamp mill produced a total of 458,880 ounces of gold. Virginiatown and North Virginiatown were built to house the Kerr Addison workers. Kerr Addison Gold mines started in 1936, and employed 1,456 people by 1959. Annual production was 500,000 ounces of gold from 1957 to 1961, and, in 1960, it produced the most gold in the Western Hemisphere. The 10,000,000th ounce of gold was produced in 1982. However, production reduced to 47,211 ounces in 1984 from a workforce of 329. The renamed Kerr Mine produced 15,350 ounces in 1993, and 22,000 ounces in 1994. [5]


Gold in the area was originally reported in the late 1800’s by Chief Ignace Tonené of the Temagami First Nation. He staked a claim near the north arm of Larder Lake but claimed it was stolen. [6] He reported it, but Indian Affairs was unable to help. [7] Chief Tonenè Lake [8] was named in his honour.

On December 21, 1972, masked thieves successfully robbed the Virginiatown Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on the Kerr Addison miners' payday. The robbers were never captured. [9]

Land claim

In 2018, Beaverhouse First Nation submitted a claim to the Government of Ontario, asserting the community is a distinct First Nation and did not sign Treaty 9, or any other treaty. In April of 2019, the government advised Beaverhouse First Nation Community that it will complete an assessment of the claim submission within three years. [10]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, McGarry had a population of 579 living in 289 of its 333 total private dwellings, a change of -4.9% from its 2016 population of 609. With a land area of 85.62 km2 (33.06 sq mi), it had a population density of 6.8/km2 (17.5/sq mi) in 2021. [11]

Canada census – McGarry, Ontario community profile
2016 2011
Population609 (2.4% from 2011)595 (-11.7% from 2006)
Land area86.67 km2 (33.46 sq mi)86.72 km2 (33.48 sq mi)
Population density7.0/km2 (18/sq mi)6.9/km2 (18/sq mi)
Median age54.7 (M: 55.5, F: 53.9)51.7 (M: 52.9, F: 50.6)
Total private dwellings345360
Median household income$47,232$29,360
References: 2016 [12] 2011 [13] earlier [14] [15]
Historical population
Source: [16] [17] [2]
Mother tongue languages from 2006 census [18]
Language% spoken
English as first language30.5%
French as first language63%
English and French as first language1.5%
Other as first language5%


Kearns and Highway 66 Kearns ON.JPG
Kearns and Highway 66

The McGarry economy has historically been supported by the mining industry, and struggled when the mines were not producing.

The Armistice Gold mine was purchased by Bonterra Resources from Kerr Resources in 2016, [19] and gold exploration and modelling was done to update the resource to a National Instrument 43-101 Compliant Resource. [20]

Gold Candle Ltd. and investors purchased the historic Chesterville Gold Mines and Kerr Addison Gold Mines property in 2016, [21] and conducted a feasibility study and gold exploration with Canadian Exploration Services Limited (CXS Ltd.) [22] on the old Chesterville Gold Mines and Kerr Addison Gold Mines property.

The mining company executed exploratory work in the town limits, afterwards left an abandoned drill casing uncapped and overflowing, causing significant shoreline damage and flooding. The neglected drill casing was eventually capped, but not before the traditional walking trail (now on private property) along the shoreline was lost to the damage of the abandoned drill casing left uncapped and overflowing.


McGarry hosts several events, including an annual fish derby at Larder Lake, and a Labour Day weekend music event at the McGarry community centre. [23] Gem Lake Maple Bedrock Provincial Park is located in McGarry Township. Sport fishing is permitted within Gem Lake Maple Bedrock Provincial Park. [24] McGarry Township Forest Conservation Reserve, shared with McFadden Township, is located in McGarry Township. [25]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "McGarry". Geographical Names Data Base . Natural Resources Canada . Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  2. 1 2 3 "Census Profile, 2016 Census: McGarry, Township". Statistics Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  3. Elevation taken from Google Earth at geographical coordinates, accessed 2014-05-20.
  4. "Ontario investing in Highway 66 at Virginiatown". Northern News. October 2, 2015. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015.
  5. Barnes, Michael (1995). Gold in Ontario. Erin: The Boston Mills Press. pp. 33–37. ISBN   155046146X.
  6. Angus, C. (2022). Cobalt: The Making of a Mining Superpower. Canada: House of Anansi Press Incorporated. p23-24
  7. Hodgins, Bruce; Morrison, James. "TONENÉ, IGNACE". Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 14. University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  8. "Chief Tonene Lake". Google Maps. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  9. "The Virginiatown Bank Robbery – Michael Barnes". Republic of Mining. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  10. "Current land claims". Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  11. "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  12. "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. August 12, 2021. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  13. "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. March 21, 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  14. "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. August 20, 2019.
  15. "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. July 18, 2021.
  16. Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  17. 2011 Census Profile
  18. "2006 Community Profile".
  19. "Bonterra Resources Acquires Larder Project from Kerr Mines Consisting of Two Gold Deposits and 9 km of Cadillac-Larder Break". Kerr Mines, Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  20. "Larder Project". Bonterra Resources. Archived from the original on June 1, 2018.
  21. "Supplementary Application Record between Gold Candle Ltd. and GSR Mining Corp. and AJ Perron Gold Corp" (PDF). Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  22. "Canadian Exploration Services Limited" . Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  23. "Events and Attractions". 2021-07-06. Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  24. "Gem Lake Maple Bedrock Provincial Park Management Statement". Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  25. "McGarry Township Forest Conservation Reserve Management Statement". Retrieved 2022-01-09.