The Towns and Cities
of Northern Ontario
Atikokan, Ontario - Sunset Country
Atikokan is located halfway between
Thunder Bay and Fort Frances on scenic Hwy 11, the TransCanada
In 1980, broadcaster Peter Mansbridge
came to Atikokan to do a newscast on the town that died. The piece
turned into a 20-minute feature called The Town that Wouldn’t Die. When
Atikokan’s two major employers Steep Rock Iron Mines, and Caland Ore
ceased operation in the late 1970's, many believed it would become a
ghost town. But defying all odds, the people of Atikokan pulled together
to rebuild their community The economy has diversified and recreation
facilities have multiplied.
Atikokan, called the Canoeing Capital of
Canada is a jumping off spot for Quetico Provincial Park Quetico
Provincial Park is an internationally renowned canoe area of over 4655
square kilometers. Among its tangled network of jewelled lakes and
rivers lies a land of dazzling cliffs, spectacular waterfalls in this
great northern forest, you will find immense solitude, rare wildlife,
few people and excellent fishing. Quetico is the perfect location for an
overnight getaway or a month long sojourn. Canoes can be rented by day
or by week from a variety of reputable outfitters.
Atikokan has lots of other things for the
outdoor enthusiast to see and do. Play a round of golf at the Little
Falls Golf Club, one of the prettiest around. Visit scenic Little Falls
on the Atikokan River and see a working walleye hatchery. Take a hike on
the adjacent Waterfront Walking Trail.
Explore the area for easy-to-see
wildlife. Bunnell Park campground offers a viewing station. If you are a
rockhound head to the old Steep Rock Mine north west of town and spend
an afternoon looking for and banging on rocks. There are lots of neat
specimens still found right off the roads. Late afternoon views of the
open pit mine are exceptional in the spring and fall.
In town be sure to walk around and explore. You will see wall murals
depicting the mining history of Atikokan. Check out the Pictograph
Gallery for local arts and crafts. Atikokan's community heritage may be
explored at the Atikokan Centennial Museum , the Atikokan Mining
Attraction and the Atikokan Canoe Heritage Centre. On Highway 622 north
of Atikokan you can find the old Caland Pit Mine and Ontario Hydro's
coal powered thermal generating station.
The annual Sports Days festival draws
people from across the region to participate in 10 days of energetic
activities and tournaments, with events for all ages. In August, you can
participate in the Atikokan Bass Classic. And of course, mid February
comes alive with the town’s Winter Carnival.
Hunting and fishing can be enjoyed all
year round. In the winter, the Atikokan Ski Hill is popular as well as
the many well maintained cross-country trails. There is a very active
snowmobiling club that maintains hundreds of trails and organizes
rallies and special tours throughout the season.
Atikokan – the town that still lives.