Discover Marathon, Ontario: A Blend of History, Nature, and Culture
Marathon, Ontario, a charming town nestled in the Thunder Bay District, is a must-visit destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts. Located on the north shore of Lake Superior, just north of Pukaskwa National Park, Marathon offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.
The Geography of Marathon, Ontario
Marathon's geography is as diverse as it is beautiful. Personal residences stretch from the shores of Lake Superior to a new subdivision near Penn Lake, an in-town campsite, and beach in the eastern part of the town. The town is adjacent to Peninsula Harbour and boasts several picturesque coves, including Carden Cove, Sturdee Cove, and Craddock Cove, all located west-northwest of Marathon. Penn Lake, a local favorite, offers tourists a chance to enjoy camping and water sports. The town of Heron Bay, located to the south of Marathon, shares the post office and phone prefix. The Pic River First Nation is on the outskirts of Pukaskwa National Park.
Demographics of Marathon, Ontario
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Marathon had a population of 3,138 living in 1,412 of its 1,602 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -4.1% from its 2016 population of 3,273. With a land area of 167.03 km2 (64.49 sq mi), Marathon had a population density of 18.8/km2 (48.7/sq mi) in 2021.
Economy and Transportation in Marathon, Ontario
Marathon's economy was initially built on pulp, managed by Marathon Pulp Inc. However, the company's indefinite shutdown in 2009 led to the loss of hundreds of jobs and negatively impacted Marathon's tax base and local economy. Since the mid-1980s, Marathon's economy expanded to include gold mining. The Hemlo Operations included three gold mining operations: Williams, David Bell, and Golden Giant mines. Today, Marathon serves as the centre of commerce for the rural region in which it is situated. It boasts the largest indoor shopping mall between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, and one of only three Canadian Tire department stores in the region. Marathon is well-connected via the Trans Canada Highway 17, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Marathon Aerodrome.
Recreation and Tourism in Marathon, Ontario
Marathon offers a plethora of recreational activities and tourist attractions. The town features a children's park named after Del Earle, one of the town's founders, and several hotels, including Travelodge, Harbour Inn, and the Zero 100 Motor Inn. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a challenging 9-hole golf course, cross-country skiing trails, and the only indoor swimming pool between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Recent developments in the town include a new skatepark, basketball courts, and the refinishing of the tennis courts.
Culture and the Arts in Marathon, Ontario
Marathon's art and culture community is vibrant and diverse. The town has been home to a community entertainment series, a community choir, coffee houses & culture jams, a writer's group, an art gallery, house concerts, frequent dinner theatres, art and photography displays, quilting groups and shows, a ceramics club, annual craft shows, and numerous art classes. A summer music series, known as "Concerts in the Parking Lot", was inaugurated in July 2006 and is held in the town centre on Wednesday evenings in summer. In 2010, Marathon was one of the many Canadian communities that the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay passed through.
Community Groups and Services in Marathon, Ontario
Marathon is served by numerous organizations and services, including the Cub Scouts, Salvation Army, Girl Guides, Victim Services, and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
Climate of Marathon, Ontario
Marathon has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb). Its position north of Lake Superior attenuates the climate, mainly the southern heatwaves, due to the hot air masses already having crossed the entire lake. A weather station was run in the town from 1950 to 1983, with data from a short-lived station at nearby Terrace Bay providing additional information.