Since the end of the Second World War, the town of Hearst and its surroundings have gradually become a leader in the lumber industry, both in Ontario and in Canada.

Unlike many northern communities, which owe their development to the establishment of large, often American paper mills or mining companies, the Hearst regionís industry was driven by small, mostly French-Canadian entrepreneurs. These lumbermen established their sawmills and factories and watched them grow over the years, while at the same time ensuring the communityís growth and prosperity.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)
The three economic engines of Hearst's region today 
On the left, aerial view of the Lecours Lumber Company Ltd. sawmill (picture donated by the Lecours family);  At centre, aerial view of the Tembec Industries' Hearst sawmill (picture donated by Tembec Industries Inc.);  On the right, aerial view of the Columbia Forest Products plywood factory (picture donated by Columbia Forest Products)
Backed up by personal accounts and photographs, this web site presents the evolution of the lumber industry in what is commonly known today as the Hearst Forest. It begins with the breaching of the land in the 1920s and extends to the 1990s when many local enterprises were bought out by large outside corporations.

Even though considerable efforts were made to ensure that the information provided is as complete and accurate as possible, certain facts may be missing or inaccurate. We regret these occurrences and we invite you to send us your comments on the matter. 

Spearheaded by the Hearst Public Library, this project has been made possible thanks to financial support on the part of the Government of Ontario. Responsibility for research and composition was given to Francis Bouchard and Jean-Michel Corbeil. Supervised by the Canada Research Chair on the History of the Development of the Great Clay Belt of Northern Ontario, the projectís committee members are Danielle Coulombe (holder of the chair and professor of history at Université de Hearst), Johanne Morin-Corbeil (Université de Hearst librarian) and Daniel Lemaire (municipal representative).


«This project is sponsored by the Ontario Government, through the Heritage and Libraries Branch of the Ministry of Culture
We wish to thank the Ministry of Culture's Library Strategic Development Fund (LSDF)
for helping us realize this project.
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