Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario

Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Town of Smooth Rock Falls
native_name =
nickname =
motto =

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_type2 = District
subdivision_name = Canada
subdivision_name1 = Ontario
subdivision_name2 = Cochrane
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ken Somer
leader_title1 = Governing Body
leader_name1 =
leader_title2 = MPs
leader_name2 = Brent St. Denis
leader_title3 = MPPs
leader_name3 = Gilles Bisson
established_title = Incorporated
established_date =
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population_as_of = 2006
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population_total = 1473
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timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
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postal_code_type = Postal code span
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website = [ Town of Smooth Rock Falls]
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Smooth Rock Falls is an incorporated town in the Cochrane District in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. Part of the James Bay Frontier, it calls itself "The North's Biggest Little Town."

Geography and transportation

The town lies on the Mattagami River and on Highway 11; on Highway 11, the next full-service towns in each direction are Cochrane, about 59 km (37 mi) to the east and slightly south by road, and Kapuskasing, about 65 km (40 mi) to the west and slightly north. Highway 634 connects Smooth Rock Falls northward with the tiny community of Fraserdale, and Highway 655, starting in Driftwood east of Smooth Rock Falls, provides easier access to Timmins, the dominant regional centre, about 102 km (63 mi) south by that route.

The town is served by the Ontario Northland Railway for freight service, and by Ontario Northland passenger buses.


As of the Canada 2006 Census, the current population is 1,473 [ [ 2006 Community Profiles - Census Subdivision ] ] , which is a drop of 19.5% from the Canada 2001 Census. [ [ Smooth Rock Falls Community Profile] , Statistics Canada, 2001 Census] The population reached its census peak of 2,208 in the 1986 census.

In 2001, approximately 45 were aboriginal, and approximately ten had been born outside of Canada. 1,530 residents identified their religion as Roman Catholic. Over 500 used French or some combination of English and French most often at work. Unemployment was substantially higher and workforce participation lower, but among all persons with income and among workers, annual incomes were higher than Ontario averages.

Residents constituted 535 families and 730 private households. 640 out of 730 occupied private dwellings were owner-occupied. Counting unoccupied homes, the town consisted of 862 private dwellings.


The Smooth Rock Falls economy was dominated by the Tembec Malette pulp mill, which was closed on November 5, 2006. Prior to that, the mill had been in a state of indefinite shutdown since July 31, 2006. The closure of the mill meant the loss of about 210 jobs.

The town of Smooth Rock Falls has made a series of announcements regarding community investments since Tembec's departure and the closure of the pulp mill. On July 13, 2007 a joint news conference between the town and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources revealed the former Tembec pulp mill would be converted into a value-added cedar plant. [ [] ] Quebec-based Hardy Cedar Lumber is expected to take control of the mill and will be provided with 50,000 cubic metres of cedar from the province. Operations could begin as early as March 2008. The cedar project could provide the community with as many as 44 full-time jobs. [ [ Timmins Daily Press - Ontario, CA ] ]

One month prior to the cedar announcement, the town made public an investor's plan to build a new seniors retirement home, 80-100 room hotel and establish a new Indian restaurant. Nightingale Premier, an investment company based in Great Britain, first met with town officials in November 2006. The British company made its plans for a new seniors home, hotel and restaurant known on June 13, 2007.

NorthernTel, Ontera, and Persona Communications provide telecommunications services.


Smooth Rock Falls is part of the provincial electoral district of Timmins—James Bay and the federal electoral district of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing. Its Member of Provincial Parliament is Gilles Bisson, a New Democrat, and its Member of Parliament is Brent St. Denis, a Liberal. Bisson's constituency office serves Smooth Rock Falls locally with weekly hours at Town Hall, while St. Denis' represents the area out of its office in Kapuskasing.

Health care

The Smooth Rock Falls Hospital includes 14 acute care and 23 long-term care beds, and its Cochrane District Detoxification Centre serves the larger region.


District School Board Ontario North East operates
*Smooth Rock Falls Public School (JK-8)
*Smooth Rock Falls Secondary School
Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes-Rivières operates
*L'École catholique Georges-Vanier.

For postsecondary education, a Contact North distance education access centre serves the town. The Smooth Rock Falls Resource Centre offers Adult Education for those who want to upgrade or finish their grade 12 secondary school diploma.


CKGN-1, a repeater of CKGN-FM Kapuskasing, provides community radio service for the Franco-Ontarian population.


Town attractions include the Reg Lamy Cultural Centre, which includes a hockey arena and Smooth Rock Falls Curling Club; the Smooth Rock Falls Golf Course, a public library, movie theatre and a public swimming pool. Almost all recreational facilities in the town are volunteer-run.

Each year the town hosts the Smooth Truck Fest [ [ Smooth Truck Fest] ] , a popular festival that features truck pulls and other motorized pull contests alongside children's activities, concerts, canoe races and much more.

Notable people from Smooth Rock Falls

Notable people born in Smooth Rock Falls include:
*Jeffrey Buttle, figure skater
*Louise Pitre, singer and actress
*J.P. Parise, NHL/ Team Canada 1972 hockey left winger (and father of NHL hockey forward Zach Parise)
*Charlotte L'Écuyer, Quebec politician and current Member of National Assembly of Pontiac.
* Singer Patricia O'Callaghan was raised in part in Smooth Rock Falls.


External links

* [ Town of Smooth Rock Falls]
* [ Community Adjustment Committee final report] , September 2005

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