Cochrane, Ontario Canada

Discover Cochrane, Ontario: A Blend of History and Adventure

A Brief History of Cochrane, Ontario

Before its establishment, Cochrane, Ontario served as a summer camping ground for indigenous people and a stopover for fur traders journeying to Moose Factory. The early 20th century saw the construction of the National Transcontinental Railway through the area, leading to the selection of Cochrane as the junction point with the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway in 1907.

The town was incorporated on January 1, 1910, and named after Frank Cochrane, a politician, merchant, and former mayor of Sudbury. Despite being ravaged by fire in 1910, 1911, and 1916, Cochrane was rebuilt each time, evolving into a transportation hub for northern Ontario. In 2000, the town amalgamated with the surrounding townships of Glackmeyer and Lamarche, forming the expanded Town of Cochrane.

The Climate of Cochrane, Ontario

Cochrane experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by extremely cold winters and warm summers. The town receives heavy annual snowfall, averaging 117 inches (297 cm), with precipitation peaking during early fall. Winter typically lasts from the end of October to well into April. Since December 1977, Cochrane's temperature readings have been taken from downtown, although Timmins' readings are used as a backup due to the similar climate.

Demographics of Cochrane, Ontario

As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Cochrane had a population of 5,390, a slight increase from its 2016 population of 5,321. The town's population is almost evenly split between anglophone and francophone residents, with English as the first language for 50.6% of the population and French for 43.8%.

Attractions in Cochrane, Ontario

Polar Bears in Cochrane, Ontario

Cochrane is renowned for its polar bear attractions. The town's mascot, a large polar bear statue named Chimo, was erected in the early 1970s. The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat, opened in 2004, houses live polar bears and has been a temporary home for bears from the Toronto Zoo.

Cochrane Heritage Village

The Cochrane Heritage Village, located on the grounds of the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat, features replica buildings reflecting life in Cochrane in the early 1900s. Visitors can enjoy train rides, view historical artifacts, and explore a variety of shops and buildings, including a butcher shop, doctor’s office, blacksmith shop, and a one-room schoolhouse.

Cochrane Classic Vintage Riders Snowmobile Museum

The Cochrane Classic Vintage Riders Snowmobile Museum, also located on the grounds of the Polar Bear Habitat, is the second largest snowmobile museum in Canada and the largest open to the public. The museum is open year-round and attracts sledders from across the province and beyond.

Cochrane Public Library

Established in 1917, the Cochrane Public Library offers a large collection of books, DVDs, puzzles, video games, and other materials. The library also houses the town's archives, providing a wealth of local history.

Transportation in Cochrane, Ontario

Cochrane, Ontario is conveniently located east of Kapuskasing, northeast of Timmins, south of Moosonee, and north of Iroquois Falls, making it a one-hour drive from Timmins, the major city of the region. As the seat of Cochrane District, the town serves as a transportation hub for northern Ontario.