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The French presence in Hearst

French Canadians began to settle in Hearst in 1912 during the construction of the National Transcontinental Railway. Most came to farm but soon turned to the more lucrative forest industry. Sawmills established by French Canadians prospered as family enterprises for decades, before being amalgamated into large forest-product companies by the end of the 20th century.

  • Visit the plaque – In front of Grotto Park, located on Ninth Street opposite the intersection of Kitchener Street in Hearst.

Learn more

Read “Our francophone heritage,” by Karen Bachmann, to learn more about French settlement in northern Ontario – an article from Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2008 of Heritage Matters