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Lots of History in Ear Falls

The Patrica at the Ear Falls Waterfront • Credit: Erin Rody
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Lots of History in Ear Falls

From Tugboats to Lumber

Ear Falls is known for its beautiful location along Lac Seul. However, did you know anything about its history? Read on and discover and learn how this community got to where it is today.

Pioneer Spirit Noticeable in Ear Falls, Ontario

Ear Falls on the west end of massive Lac Seul is a great example of Canada's many resource towns that has turned itself into a tourist mecca! Deeply rooted in this small town's history are lumberjacks and miners, resource extraction industries that had their beginnings in the early 1900s and which continue, to a lesser degree, today.

Rapids at Ear Falls

Ear Falls gets its name from the shape of the rapids that existed prior to the development of the large English River hydroelectric dam. This dam created Lac Seul in its current state. Before the hydro dam was built, the rapids were in the shape of a human ear - thus the town's name. The Ear Falls hydroelectric dam has been supplying power to the industrial and residential users of the region for decades and has recently undergone a major upgrade and expansion by Ontario's Hydro One.

lumber and forestry in Ear Falls

Forestry and lumber activities are also rooted in the development of Ear Falls. In 1955, Ted Scott and Hugh McCullam established the Chukini Lumber Company (formerly located in nearby Snake Falls, Ontario) and the town of Ear Falls had its beginning. For many years local sawmills and logging companies worked non-stop to supply a burgeoning market for lumber and pulp chips. Generations of families who live in the community have worked in the forest industry. Over the past 5 years, forestry has undergone significant changes and is no longer the economic staple it once was. However, its mark on the town's development is deep and visible everywhere.

The Griffith Mine was the town's experience as a mining town. Stelco Mining Co. decided to develop the large iron ore deposits at Bruce Lake. This mine commenced production in 1967 and closed for good in 1986. This brief but profitable mine made Ear Falls a true Canadian resource town, with developments in all major resource sectors except agriculture. 


The building of the dam created a lasting tourism benefit along with the development of Highway 105. The highway was a major benefit to those who love to fish Lac Seul, arguably one of Ontario's top walleye fisheries.  While tourism has always been a part of the economic equation in this town, it has gained increasing importance over the past two decades. Lac Seul, Wabaskang, Aerobus, Wenasaga, Confederation, Perrault, Cliff, Pakwash, Cedar and Woman lakes along with the English River, Woman River and Trout River are famous for their spectacular fishing opportunities.

ear falls waterfront

The decline of the traditional resource industries like lumber and mining means tourism, is now the mainstay of the local economy. Today Ear Falls is a paradise for fisherman, hunters and those folks who love the lake country and Canadian Shield landscape that defines Northwestern Ontario. Stay at one of the many local resorts or lodges, go on a canoe trip or just revel in a beach chair beside the lake and relax. Ear Falls is in the heart of Sunset Country and is an outdoor vacation lover's dream come true.

A big highlight every summer is the Trout Forest Music Festival. This musical gathering features folk and contemporary artists from across North America. Enjoy great music and camp in the woods at the same time.

For more information on this vacation destination, contact the Township of Ear Falls.

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