Northern Corridor Du Nord Snowmobile Association

Northern Corridor Communities

While riding through the Northern Corridor you will pass through many communities with interesting and storied pasts.  It's not just the trails that are beautiful the communities who support them are quite exceptional as well.  



The Town of Cochrane can attribute its existence to the planned rail transportation throughout Canada.  It shares its birth with other communities that were built because of the need for places for refuelling, water and food. The history of Cochrane is atypical of communities developed at the turn of the 20th century.  

Located on the junction of the Canadian National and the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railways, and the division point of both railways, the town was opened in November 1908.  The town site was laid out on the Old Overland Packet Trail to Moosonee.  It is the center point between the Abitibi River and the Frederickhouse on the Commando Indians Little Lakes Campgrounds.old photo of francis cochrane

Incorporated in 1910, the Town was named after the Honourable Frank Cochrane, then Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines.  

The first recorded church service was held on the banks of Lake Commando by the Moosonee Diocese Anglican Minister in 1907 with a congregation of railroaders.

Hundreds of railroad workers were housed in tents and boarding houses.  The community started to build the necessary stores to make available dried goods, supplies and clothing.

The first house was built in Drury Park in 1907 by August Anderson.  The house was demolished in 1958, after serving as a Rover Den for the local boy scouts, because it was declared a hazard and unsafe area.

The Town of Cochrane has faced its share of traumatic events.  The first of these was in July of 1911 when fire swept through the community.  When the flames subsided most of the community was gone, with only a few buildings remaining.  Although there were no reported loss of life, the economic impact to the community was devastating.  This tragedy, however, manifested into a new beginning for Cochrane.  It provided the motivation to rebuild the community bigger and better.  

In August 1916, the community experienced another fire.  The Matheson fire spread across the Porcupine and northward wiping out homesteads, leaving over 200 people dead or missing.  Cochrane reportedly lost 16 people who could not out-run the fire.  

Once again the town rose and for a few more years it prospered, until 1919 when one of the deadliest epidemics since the bubonic plague hit every country of the world and Cochrane was not spared.  This flu epidemic would eventually kill over 25 million people across the world.  In Cochrane a school and tavern were converted into emergency hospitals to quarantine the sick.  It was never determined how many residents lost their lives to this epidemic.

The town was prospering in the early 20's, the flu behind them, the fires a fading memory until early March 1923 when typhoid began to crop up.  The cold weather and a sewage backup into Spring Lake resulted in over 57 residents losing their lives and 13 visitors traveling through Cochrane.  Over 930 people were treated at an emergency hospital set up at the Knights of Columbus hall.  Besides the loss of so many
  community members, the devastating result also marked the ended of the transcontinental rail line any further than Longlac.

Over the years many industries have come and gone.  In the 60's, the plywood plant and sawmill began operation employing many local people.  Fortier's, the beverage plant that has been running for many years, has also played an important role in the community's economy.  M.J. Labelle Co. Limited has been a leading workforce in the town as well.

As each day, month, year passes we can add another page to the history of a community that grew up amongst the trees and lakes as vision of what could be.



Smooth Rock Falls 


 Established in 1929, Smooth Rock Falls is a safe, friendly, bilingual community to live and raise a family, as well as retire.  Our community is always looking for new ways to flourish and is openly accommodating to entrepreneurs and new businesses.


The municipality invites you take part in a variety of recreational activities and sporting events for outdoor lovers and indoor sportsmen.  Furthermore, on behalf of the municipality, we invite you to contact one of our many associations and charitable organizations who would most certainly welcome you as a new member. 





The Municipality of Moonbeam owes its origins to the courageous settlers and the forestry industry.  Today, in addition to forest operations, our community also benefits from the advantages of developing into a tourist town.

 In Moonbeam, two worlds live side by side: the rural life and the northern forest with its lakes and rivers. This reality gives a particular quality to life which is envied by many. I hope you will enjoy discovering the precious details of our web site and will be attracted to take the road to the "The Flying Saucer" toward Moonbeam.

 Situated on Highway 11 near the Town of Kapuskasing, we are recognized by our famous Remi Lake, our Provincial Park and our 34 km of Nature Trails.

 Recreational activities change with the seasons. Summer calls for swimming, fishing, wild berry picking. Autumn leads families into the woods for small and large game hunting. Winter week-ends are spent ice-fishing, snowmobile riding, cross country skiing and downhill skiing.

 You are a developer, a future employee of a private or public organisation, a tourist, each one of you personally will be warmly welcomed by our town hall staff and municipal council who will make sure you get all the advantages that are available in Moonbeam.

 You will be thrilled by our municipality and will in understand why people wish to reside in Moonbeam even after spending only a weekend.





Kapuskasing is the largest community located directly along Highway 11 between Thunder Bay and Temiskaming Shores. Kapuskasing, like most northern communities, began with the development of the National Transcontinental Railway. The camp, established on the banks of the Kapuskasing River by the railroad company, grew into a settlement known as MacPherson. In 1917, the name of MacPherson changed to Kapuskasing, as it remains today.  

Kapuskasing means "Bend in the river" in Cree. During World War I, the Canadian government looked to build an internment camp for enemy aliens residing within the country. Kapuskasing's remoteness provided an ideal solution. Eventually enemy soldiers, captured in battle, were also sent to Kapuskasing for imprisonment. A small cemetery about 2 kilometres west of the town marks the original location of the internment camp. After the war, the Canadian government needed to maintain the development of Northern Ontario by increasing its population. In order to do so, the government offered 100 acres of land to any family willing to settle in the north. It is during this period that people began realizing the value of the abundant stands of black spruce in the area. In 1920, the Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company Ltd. opened its doors in Kapuskasing. Spruce Falls brought much wealth and comfort to the inhabitants, who gradually abandoned farming and took up work at the mill or in the many logging camps.  

In 1991, the newsprint manufacturing mill became an employee owned company. Tembec Inc. acquired all of the company shares in 1997. Since its establishment, the pulp and paper mill has played a major role in the development of the community. 




Situated at the junction of TransCanada Highway 11, of the Ontario Northland railway and the Missinaïbi River, half-way between Toronto and Winnipeg, Mattice – Val Côté is an Ontario French community with a residential vocation where it is good to live.


If you would like to know specifics about our community, you can also browse the Nordaski web site.


vertical-align:baseline'>When you enter Mattice from the east, you’ll be greeted by a dinosaur.  T-Rex has no cultural significance to the town.  There isn’t a museum around.  He’s not the town mascot.. It’s just decoration on someone’s front lawn.  Think of it as an especially eccentric garden gnome. 

vertical-align:baseline'>A francophone town in the heart of French-speaking Ontario, Mattice is one of these small northern towns (population approximately 500) on Highway 11 that has a little bar, an a full-blown LCBO, and a skidoo repair shop.  Set on the Missinaibi River, Mattice used to be a starting point for Voyageurs heading downstream for the fur trade.  There’s a historical plaque and a statue to commemorate its history.  About two kilometres upstream, there’s a traditional Aboriginal burial ground.