Flin Flon

Flin Flon (pop. 5,185 in 2016 census; 4,982 in Manitoba and 203 in Saskatchewan) is a mining city in Canada. It is located on a correction line on the Manitoba and Saskatchewan border, with the majority of the city located within Manitoba. Residents thus travel southwest into Saskatchewan, and northeast into Manitoba.

Flin Flon
City of Flin Flon

Flin Flon
Location of Flin Flon in Manitoba, Canada
Coordinates: 54°46′0″N 101°52′40″W
ProvinceManitoba, Saskatchewan
IncorporatedJanuary 1, 1933
  MayorCal Huntley[1]
  CouncilFlin Flon City Council
  MPNiki Ashton (NDP)
Gary Vidal (CPC)
  MLATom Lindsey (NDP)
Doyle Vermette (NDP)
  Land11.55 km2 (4.46 sq mi)
300 m (980 ft)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)204


Flin Flon was founded in 1927 by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBM&S, now Hudbay) to exploit the large local copper and zinc ore resources. In the late 1920s, HBM&S invested in a railway, mine, smelter, and a hydroelectric power plant at Island Falls, Saskatchewan. By 1928, the rail line reached the mine.

The town grew considerably during the 1930s as those impoverished by the Great Depression came to work at the mines. A significant number of farmers abandoned their farms and were amongst those looking for work. The municipality was incorporated on January 1, 1933, and reached city status in 1970. The city has continued to be a mining centre with the development of several mines adding to its industrial base, although its population has been in decline since the 1960s. With a scenic setting and a number of nearby lakes, Flin Flon has also become a popular tourist destination.

Origin of the name

The town's name is taken from the lead character in a paperback novel, The Sunless City by J. E. Preston Muddock. Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin piloted a submarine through a bottomless lake where he passed into a strange underground world through a hole lined with gold. A copy of the book was allegedly found and read by prospector Tom Creighton.

When Tom Creighton discovered a high-grade exposure of copper, he thought of the book and called it Flin Flon's mine, and the town that developed around the mine adopted the name. Flin Flon shares the distinction of being named after a character in an adventure novel with Tarzana, California.

The character of "Flinty", as he is locally known, is of such importance to the identity of the city that the local Chamber of Commerce commissioned the minting of a $3.00 coin which was considered legal tender amongst locally participating retailers during the year following its issue. A statue representing Flinty was designed by cartoonist Al Capp and is one of the points of interest of the city. In 1978, the National Film Board of Canada produced the short documentary Canada Vignettes: Flin Flon about the origin of the city's name.[4]


Flin Flon straddles the provincial boundary of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the majority of the city located in Manitoba. The 2016 census reported 4,982 residents in the Manitoba portion and 203 in the Saskatchewan section; the Manitoba portion has a land area of 13.88 km2 (5.4 sq mi), while the Saskatchewan portion has a land area of 2.37 km2 (0.91 sq mi). Due to the zig-zag nature of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary, the Saskatchewan section of town lies south of the Manitoba section, not west. The city's Main Street crosses the provincial boundary just south of its intersection with Church Street; Hudson Street crosses the provincial boundary between its intersections with 5 Ave E. and Harrison Street, adopting the new name South Hudson Street at the point of crossing; an undeveloped stretch of Channing Drive briefly crosses into Saskatchewan before reentering Manitoba just west of the city's rural Channing neighbourhood.

For Canada Post purposes, residents in the Saskatchewan portion of the city retain the local Manitoba R8A postal code, and often use a Flin Flon, MB address.[5] For telephone service, however, they are located in Saskatchewan's area code 306 as part of the Creighton telephone exchange, rather than Manitoba's area code 204. For example, a resident in the Saskatchewan section of the city who calls 911 in an emergency will have services dispatched from Creighton rather than Flin Flon, and must instead call a regular phone number to receive immediate city-based service.[6] However, residents in Saskatchewan may use either Saskatchewan's SaskTel or Manitoba's Bell MTS systems for cellular services.[5] Electrical service is received from Manitoba Hydro for both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan parts of the city.[5]

The majority of Flin Flon's surface topology is exposed Canadian Shield bedrock, hence the nickname "the city built on rock". Due to this and climatic factors, agriculture is generally not possible, although grain farming is found 130km 130 kilometres (80 mi) southeast in The Pas, Manitoba, which is south of the Canadian Shield. The extensive bedrock exposure led to some interesting adaptations. In the northwestern areas of the city, there is often not enough overburden to bury water and sewer lines, so "sewer boxes" exist above surface to house the infrastructure. Many of these are used as ad-hoc sidewalks.


Flin Flon experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). There is a wide range in seasonal temperatures, with warm summers and bitterly cold winters. Temperatures in January have an average low of −22.9 °C (−9.2 °F) and an average high of −14.7 °C (5.5 °F). Temperatures in July have an average high of 24.1 °C (75.4 °F) and an average low of 13.6 °C (56.5 °F).[7] The highest (reliable)[lower-alpha 1] temperature ever recorded in Flin Flon was 101 °F (38.3 °C) on 19 July 1941.[10] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −51 °F (−46.1 °C) on 15 January 1930.[7]

Climate data for Flin Flon, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1927–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 9.5
Average high °C (°F) −14.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −18.9
Average low °C (°F) −22.9
Record low °C (°F) −46.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 17.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
Average snowfall cm (inches) 17.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.6 5.6 4.6 4.6 8.6 9.9 12.2 10.4 10.6 7.4 6.4 6.6 93.5
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.11 2.1 8.4 10.0 12.2 10.4 10.5 5.4 0.36 0.0 59.3
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 7.0 5.6 4.6 2.5 0.38 0.04 0.0 0.0 0.20 2.3 6.0 6.7 35.3
Source: Environment Canada[7][10][11][12][13]
Canadian Shield geography in the Flin Flon, Manitoba, region.


Historical population
Population figures shown here are the totals of both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan parts of the city.
Canada 2006 CensusPopulation% of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian150.3
Latin American00
Southeast Asian00
West Asian00
Other visible minority00
Mixed visible minority00
Total visible minority population651.1
Aboriginal group
First Nations2905
Total Indigenous population95016.5
Total population5,770100



Flin Flon is accessed by Manitoba Provincial Trunk Highway 10, Saskatchewan Highway 106 and Saskatchewan Highway 167. The city also runs a small public bus system.[18]


The city operates Flin Flon Airport, which is located southeast of the city, immediately west of the Bakers Narrows Provincial Park.[19] The airport has a single asphalt runway, and has regular flights to and from Winnipeg through Calm Air. There is also an airport in nearby Channing, MB for small aircraft use.


The Hudson Bay Railway operates railway freight service on its railway line between The Pas and Flin Flon.

The rail line to Churchill was washed out in June 2017 and remained out of service for over a year when then-owner Omnitrax refused to repair it. The City of Flin Flon purchased shares in One North, one of the partners of purchasing consortium Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership. The rail line was subsequently repaired by Cando Rail Services and Paradox Access Solutions.[20]


Main employers

Flin Flon Manitoba Five Largest Employers[21]
Company Service Number of Employees
Hudbay Mining1,440
Flin Flon School Division Education137
Victoria Inn Hotel57
Walmart Retail32
Canadian Tire Automotive Supplies and Service30


The economy of Flin Flon is and has always been primarily reliant on base metal production (primarily copper and zinc with lesser gold and silver). Since the late 1910s, approximately 17 mines have operated in the Flin Flon vicinity, with the only remaining mine in operation being the 777 Mine, with a projected closure of 2022[22].

Sphalerite concentrate is produced and processed on-site to produce zinc, while chalcopyrite concentrate is produced and sold for external copper production, a result of the closure of the Hudbay smelter in July 2010. [23] Although processing of any sulphide material usually emits large amounts of sulfur dioxide, the Hudbay plant uses a zinc pressure leaching (ZPL) process which greatly reduces emissions.[24]

Marijuana production

Flin Flon gained international notoriety in 2002 when the Government of Canada awarded a four-year contract to Saskatoon-based Prairie Plant Systems for the production of medicinal marijuana. The company set up operations in a mined-out area of the then-active Trout Lake Mine, an underground copper/zinc mine located just over 5km northeast of Flin Flon city limits and owned by the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company (later Hudbay) to produce approximately 400 kilograms (882 lbs) of medicinal marijuana annually. The entire operation was situated approximately 120 metres underground for security and climate control reasons.

In 2009, Prairie Plant Systems discontinued operation at the mine due to the expiry of their lease and the uncertainty regarding the pending closure of the mine, which occurred in 2011.[25]



Flin Flon has an active local arts & culture scene. The Flin Flon Arts Council has been instrumental in building the local arts scene of late, and has also brought high-quality performers, such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, into the community for special events. The R.H. Channing Auditorium in the Flin Flon Community Hall often hosts concerts and theatrical performances, including those produced by the local theatre troupe "Ham Sandwich".

In 2010, the Northern Visual Arts Centre (or NorVA) was established as a studio and gallery space for local visual artists. NorVA frequently hosts workshops, concerts and other community arts-based events.

Every two years, the Flin Flon Community Choir performs a largely extravagant musical production for the community. In 2013, the Flin Flon Community Choir presented Chicago: The Musical, to great acclaim. In 2015, they presented Les Miserables, Grease in 2017, and Mama Mia in 2019. Past performances have included Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, and Bombertown, among many others.

Culture Days, a national festival celebrating arts and culture, is a popular event in Flin Flon. Culture Days is held on the last weekend of September each year. In 2018, Flin Flon ranked second in the country, only following Winnipeg, for the number of free events (including concerts, workshops, artist talks and kids' activities) offered to community members and visitors. Toronto followed Flin Flon with the number of events, ranking third, down from second in 2017.[26]

Flin Flon is the fictional home of the comic book superhero Captain Canuck.[27]

Petting Zoo

The City operates the Joe Brain Petting Zoo. The zoo is open from June thru August (weather permitting). It also features a picnic area, playground, basketball hoops, and a wading pool.[28]


Flin Flon is the home of the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the birthplace of NHL great and Hall of Fame member Bobby Clarke. As captain of the team, he led the Philadelphia Flyers to two NHL Stanley Cup championships in the 1970s, and was a star on the 1972 Team Canada Summit Series roster. Other NHLers hailing from Flin Flon include Ken Baird, Ken Baumgartner, Matt Davidson, Kim Davis, Dean Evason, Al Hamilton, Ted Hampson (who was the second player to ever receive the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy), Gerry Hart, Ron Hutchinson, George Konik, Ray Maluta, Tom Gilmore, Dunc McCallum, Eric Nesterenko, Mel Pearson, Reid Simpson, David Struch, and Ernie Wakely.


Newspapers & magazines

  • The Reminder - published every Wednesday - Flin Flon's only newspaper.
  • Northroots Magazine - a bi-monthly glossy, regional publication, northroots.ca published February, April, June, August, October and December. In-flight reading on Calm Air.
  • Cottage North Magazine - local interest, local stories, and local people - ceased publication in September 2015


  • Tales From a Town With a Funny Name - by Doug Evans.



Television in Flin Flon began in June 1962 with the opening of CBC Television station CBWBT channel 10. The station broadcast kine recordings, sent to the transmitter from CBWT Winnipeg. On March 1, 1969, the province-wide microwave system replaced the kine recordings originating at CBWT, giving citizens of Flin Flon access to live television.[29] The repeater (along with Radio-Canada repeater CBWFT-2 channel 3) closed down July 31, 2012, due to the CBC's closure of its rebroadcasters.[30]

Law and government


The operations of the City of Flin Flon are administered by the city council, whose members set the policies. The city council consists of a mayor and six councillors who are elected and serve a term of four years. The current council was elected on October 24, 2018, and consists of the following members:

Flin Flon City Council[31]
Position Name
Mayor Cal Huntley
Councillor Colleen McKee
Councillor Ken Pawlachuk
Councillor Karen MacKinnon
Councillor Tim Babcock
Councillor Guy Rideout
Councillor Colleen Arnold


Flin Flon is in the southwest corner of the Manitoba provincial electoral district of the same name, and is the only urban centre within the district. The current Member of the Legislative Assembly is NDP Tom Lindsey, who was elected in the 2016 election.

The Saskatchewan portion of Flin Flon is in the electoral district of Cumberland. It is represented by Doyle Vermette of the NDP.


Flin Flon, Manitoba, is in the federal riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski. The current Member of Parliament is NDP member Niki Ashton.

The Saskatchewan portion of Flin Flon is in the electoral district of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, whose current Member of Parliament is NDP Georgina Jolibois.[32]

See also


  1. "Mayor & Council". Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  2. "Manitoba Community Profilies - Flin Flon (Community Overview)". Archived from the original on 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  3. Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2016 Census – Census subdivisions
  4. "Canada Vignettes: Flin Flon". Online film. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  5. "For Flin Flon SK residents, there are pros and cons". The Reminder, August 4, 2016.
  6. "Emergency Information & Contacts". City of Flin Flon.
  7. "Flin Flon, Manitoba". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. "Daily Data Report for June 1929". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  9. "Daily Data Report for July 1929". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  10. "Daily Data Report for July 1941". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  11. "Daily Data Report for March 2010". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  12. "Daily Data Report for June 1988". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  13. "Daily Data Report for September 2011". Canadian Climate Data (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  14. Flon&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=, Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  15. Flon&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=, Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  16. , Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  17. , Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  18. City of Flin Flon Transit
  19. "Bakers Narrows Provincial Park Management Plan" (PDF). Government of Manitoba. 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  20. Eric Westhaver (September 13, 2018). "Group reaches deal for Churchill rail purchase, repair". The Reminder. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  21. "Manitoba Community Profilies - Flin Flon". Archived from the original on 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  22. Westhaver, Eric. "777 mine life extended into second quarter of 2022". Flin Flon Reminder. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  23. "Manitoba Geological Survey Mines & Exploration Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
  24. 'Little change since Flin Flon's closure', Thompson Citizen November 24, 2010
  25. Globe and Mail article "Flin FLon's Pot Mine Goes Up in Smoke", July 22, 2009, retrieved July 22, 2009
  26. Westhaver, Eric. "Flin Flon second in Culture Days ranking, tops Toronto". Flin Flon Reminder. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  27. "Official Twitter timeline of @CaptainCanuck". 11 Dec 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  28. "The Joe Brain Children's Petting Zoo". City of Flin Flon. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  29. "Microwave Hook-Up Gives North Live TV". Winnipeg Free Press. April 29, 1969. p. 28.
  30. Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-384, July 17, 2012.
  31. "City of Flin Flon Website - Administration". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  32. Giles, David. "NDP's Georgina Jolibois wins in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River". Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  1. In June and July 1929, a maximum temperature of 98 °F (36.7 °C) and 104 °F (40.0 °C) respectively were recorded, however these all-time high monthly values appear to be incorrect when compared to other nearby climate stations such as The Pas[8][9] and other stations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
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