Discover Hearst, Ontario: A Blend of History, Culture, and Outdoor Adventure

A Brief Overview of Hearst, Ontario

Hearst is a charming town nestled in the district of Cochrane, Ontario, Canada. It is situated on the Mattawishkwia River in Northern Ontario, approximately 92 kilometres west of Kapuskasing and 520 kilometres east of Thunder Bay along Highway 11. Hearst is also connected to Lac-Sainte-Thérèse and Jogues, Coppell, and Mead via Highway 583. The town is renowned for its French-speaking population, with over 96% of the residents speaking French as their mother language, the highest proportion in Ontario.

The Historical Roots of Hearst, Ontario

Hearst was established as a divisional point of the National Transcontinental Railway in 1913. The town was initially known as Grant, but the name was changed to Hearst in 1911 to honour William Howard Hearst, then Ontario Minister of Forests and Mines and later Premier of Ontario. Hearst was officially incorporated in 1922. The town's early settlers primarily hailed from the province of Quebec, Europe, and other regions in Canada and the USA.

Demographics of Hearst, Ontario

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Hearst had a population of 4,794 living in 2,254 of its 2,373 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -5.4% from its 2016 population of 5,070. With a land area of 98.06 km2, Hearst had a population density of 48.9/km2 in 2021.

The Rich Arts and Culture Scene in Hearst, Ontario

Hearst is a vibrant cultural hub, with 93.7% of its population being francophone. The town is a melting pot of different cultures, including Finn, Slovak, Bulgarian, Chinese, Portuguese, Greek, Ukrainian, First Nations, and Black Canadians. Hearst is home to the Université de Hearst, formerly a federated school of Laurentian University in Sudbury. The Hearst Public Library, founded on December 17, 1974, is another cultural landmark. Initially located in the basement of the Hearst High School, the library moved to its present location at 801 George Street in 1984.

Outdoor Activities and Attractions in Hearst, Ontario

Hearst is a four-season destination, proudly proclaiming itself the Moose Capital of Canada. The town offers a plethora of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, camping, swimming, canoeing, and golf.

Transportation in Hearst, Ontario

Hearst is served by the Hearst (René Fontaine) Municipal Airport. The town was the northern terminus for a Canadian National Railways-operated passenger train service from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, running over the tracks of the former Algoma Central Railway. Hearst is also the northern terminus for Ontario Northland's coach service.