Timmins is a city in Northern Ontario with a population of nearly 43,000 (2006 census). The City stretches over approximately 2,961.52 km2 (1,840.20 sq mi) of land, making Timmins one of the largest cities in Canada land wise. Timmins was founded January 1, 1912 and is named after Noah Timmins, founder of the Hollinger Gold Mine. The gold rush of 1909 earned Timmins the nickname of the “City with the Heart of Gold”. The city is located in one of the richest mineral producing areas in the Western Hemisphere. It is a leader in the production of gold and base metals. Main attractions are mining tours and outdoor recreation.
Timmins is fairly easy to access. Ontario’s section of Highway 11 (one of the longest roads in the world) connects with Highway 101 about 1 hour east of the city. It is always best to check weather and road conditions before departure, since the winter months (December through to early April) in Northern Ontario can sometimes provoke difficult and unsafe driving conditions. Timmins is also accesible by snowmobile.
The easiest way into Timmins if coming from southeastern or southern Ontario is to make your way to North Bay and continue heading north on Highway 11. Timmins is approximately 350 kilometers north of North Bay. From Southwestern Ontario you could use Highway 400/69 through Perry Sound. Some people take the Ferry from Tobemory to Manitoulin Island. The city is also situated minutes away from the Trans-Canada Highway, thus providing easy access to major markets. Other highways servicing Timmins are #144, #101, #655 and #11.
Ontario Northland serves Timmins with regular scheduled departures to and from over 60 destinations around Ontario, such as Toronto, North Bay, and Sudbury.
Timmins Victor M. Power Airport (IATA: YTS) hosts 3 airlines. Air Canada Jazz serves the Pearson Airport in Toronto, Bearskin Airlines serves Kapuskasing and Sudbury, and Air Creebec serves the communities of Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Moosonee and Peawanuck. Porter Airlines will begin daily service from Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto in January, 2011.
If you are staying downtown, you can get around on foot for the most part. Otherwise, the city offers efficient bus service, and has many taxi and car rental companies.
Downtown Timmins is small enough to explore on foot and can make for an interesting afternoon. Most of the outlying areas will require transportation. See the Do section for information on walking trails.
Timmins Transit, . An efficient transit system serving the community through 9 routes. Bus fare is $2.50 for adults, $2.00 for seniors, students and children 6 and over, and free for children under 5 years of age (when accompanied by fare paying passenger). Please note that all prices are subject to change without notice.
With the help of a map, Timmins is simple to navigate. Most destinations can be found off of Highway 101 which turns into Riverside Drive and Algonquin Boulevard throughout the city.
Some car rental companies include:
- National Car Rental +1 705 268-3456
- Discount Car & Truck Rentals +1 705 264-4484
- Budget Rent A Car (located in the airport) +1 705 267-2393.
Taxi companies in the area include:
- A-1 Taxi +1 705 268-6868
- Veteran’s Victory Taxi +1 705 264-2333
- Beal Taxi +1 705 264-2201.
Timmins' main appeal is its outdoors atmosphere, seeing as how it is surrounded by beautiful forests. There are a multitude of outdoor activities offered in the region year-round. Timmins is also an important landmark in the history of mining, following its success in the 1909 gold rush.
- Timmins Museum - National Exhibition Centre, (Temporarily Located on the site of the Timmins Gold Mine Tour) +1 705 360-2617. The Timmins Museum is a multi-purpose facility that highlights the art, heritage and traditions of the Porcupine Mining Camp, Northeastern Ontario and Canada in a variety of exhibits. The Timmins Museum includes a resource library, local artist's gallery, as well as traveling exhibitions on a mixture of national themes.
- Timmins Underground Gold Mine Tour, +1 705 360-2619, . This tour explores the mining heritage of Timmins. This gold mine was one of the most prosperous in the area. Well educated tour guides and knowledgable miners are on hand to answer most of your questions. Make sure you dress warmly, as the average temperature underground is a chilly 3 degrees celsius year round and it can be wet underground. On this tour you can see a simulated rock blast, machinery being operated, a video on explosions, a period Hollinger House, a prospector's cabin and a gold pour! Also, try your hand at picking up a gold bar and at panning for gold!
- Cedar Meadows Wildlife Park, 1000 Norman Street, +1 705 268-5800 . Overlooking the great Mattagami River, the 175 acre park is ideal for exploring the wilderness or just simply relaxing. Visitors can enjoy a wagon ride or (sleigh ride in the winter) where elk, moose, deer and bison can be observed in their natural surroundings.
- Summer Industrial Tours, +1 705 360-1900. During the summer months, RioTinto Minerals-Luzenac and Porcupine Gold Mines-Goldcorp offer free tours to individuals interested in learning about the many natural resources Timmins has to offer. When touring the RioTinto-Luzenac site, visitors will learn how talc is produced and about its many purposes. The Porcupine Gold Mine-Goldcorp tour takes a slightly different approach by allowing individuals to visit the Pamour Open Pit Mine, Coniaurum reclamation site and the Hollinger Information Centre. Long pants and closed toe shoes are recommended for these industrial tours. Must be 12 years of age or older to take part, and those aged 12 to 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
As legend has it, in the spring of 1909, Harry Preston, a member of the Jack Wilson camp slipped on a rock and uncovered a mound of gold. His discovery created the gold rush of the Porcupine Camp and brought in miners and their families from all around the world. Today, Timmins is a thriving community rich in cultural diversity and mining heritage. Discover the city’s legacy and learn more about the people who made it all possible.
- Downtown Timmins, At the corner of Spruce Street South and Third Avenue, you can see the former train station built in 1912. It is currently used as the ONR Terminal and leased commercial space. Turning left on Third Avenue brings you right into Timmins’ busiest street in the downtown core. On the right side is the city’s Walk of Fame. Prominent citizens have been commemorated here with plaques set in the sidewalk. Along Third Avenue, you will see many local shops, retail services, and restaurants reflecting our vibrant northern Ontario community. Look for the parkette (beside the C.I.B.C. Bank on the corner of Third Avenue and Pine Street) that houses a site commemorating Shania Twain; Timmins’ country singing sensation. Her hand prints are embedded in cement below a plaque in her honour. Across the street is Bucovetsky’s department store. Established in 1909, it is the oldest business in the city. Third Avenue itself was first laid out in 1911 and some of the buildings here date back to 1912.
- Saint Anthony of Padoua Cathedral, 274 Fifth Avenue, Timmins. This French baroque architectural gem was built in 1936-37. The first church (built in 1922) burnt January 29, 1936. The cross to the left was erected in 1934 in memory of Jacques Cartier’s 4th centenary.
- McIntyre Community Centre, 85 McIntyre Road, Schumacher. The facility was built in 1938 for the employees of the McIntyre Mine. It is a scale model of the Maple Leaf Gardens, complete with the famous red, green and blue seats and end balconies. The Center is still very active and features an arena, curling rink, ballroom, auditorium and a diner style coffee shop.
- McIntyre Headframe, Behind the Community Center, towering majestically over Pearl Lake is the McIntyre Mine #11 headframe. The 3rd largest producer of gold in Canada is closed today, but the city plans to redevelop the headframe and its immediate surroundings as a heritage monument to gold mining in the Porcupine Camp.
- Schumacher Park, McIntyre Road, Schumacher. Home to three monuments honouring the mining history of Schumacher. The iron statue overlooking the highway is a representation of Mr. Sandy McIntyre discovering gold, while the other one depicts a wealthy American investor named Frederick W. Schumacher, for whom the town takes its name. The headframe is a replica of the McIntyre Mine.
- St. Alphonsus Church, Father Costello Drive, Schumacher. The church is covered with many murals painted by local artist, Mr. Ed Spehar. Father Les Costello was rector of this church for over 23 years. This beloved priest, co-founder of the world famous Flying Fathers hockey team, was a prominent figure in our community known for his sense of humor and his generosity.
- International Flags, Father Costello Drive, Schumacher. At the end of the street, you will notice a collection of flags representing the community’s rich ethnic diversity and heritage. Please note that the flags are taken down for the winter.
- Whitney Cemetery/Deadman’s Point, Haileybury Crescent, Porcupine. Over 70 people lost their lives in the great Porcupine fire of July 11, 1911. Due to the close proximity of Porcupine Lake, many lives were saved. However, one unusual tragedy occurred when a mine manager by the name of Robert A. Weiss thought he could save his family by taking them down a mine shaft. Sadly, the fire used up all the oxygen in the shaft and the whole family perished. Most bodies of the fire victims were sent home, but 17 were buried here. A monument was erected in their honour by the Toronto Board of Trade.
- Gold Mine Road, This road is known to the locals as the “Backroad”. A number of mines were located on this road. Since 1960, most of them have been torn down. The first mine on your left is Porcupine Gold Mines - Goldcorp (formerly Dome Mine and Porcupine Joint Venture); the only gold mine which has been in operation since 1910. The story of the discovery of the Dome reports the accidental finding of a vein of gold by a prospector who slipped on some moss while climbing the side of a mound (or dome), exposing the vein of gold. Hence, the name “Dome Mine”. Further on to your right, is the Paymaster Headframe. The Paymaster Mine was closed in 1934.
- La Galeruche, 32 Mountjoy Street North (Centre Culturel La Ronde), +1 705 264-8353. This gallery highlights the work of the region's Francophone population. Expositions are changed monthly and are free of admission. The gallery is open Monday to Wednesday from 9AM to 5PM, Thursday and Friday from 9AM to 7PM and Saturday from 10AM to 2PM.
- Porcupine Art Club, Roy Nicholson Park, corner of Pine Street North and Eighth Avenue, +1 705 264-5438. Various art projects are on display in the clubhouse and can be viewed at occasional public showings or by appointment.
- Joanne's Art Centre, 42 Pine Street South, +1 705 268-9585. This downtown treasure offers custom framing, art supplies, antiques, and giftware from all over the world. A second floor studio displays and sells prints from various artists. The store and gallery are open Monday to Wednesday from 9:30AM to 5:30PM, Thursday to Friday from 9:30AM to 5PM and Saturday from 9:30AM to 5PM.
- Michael Davidson Studios, 657 Pine Street North, +1 705 237-2890. Michael is one of Northern Ontario's most noteworthy freelance artists preserving a part of our remarkable heritage. In his studio, you will find original artwork by himself and Dale Pessah, limited edition prints, and decorator prints. After years of drawing portraits, Michael is now traveling across Ontario capturing the richness of historical sites and landmarks in each community. His sketches are carefully crafted to ensure the highest quality possible in every piece of work. Custom framing of photos, canvas, and needlework is also available. The studio is open Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM and Saturday from 9AM to 12PM.
- Timmins Native Friendship Centre Moccasin Gallery and Gifts, 316 Spruce Street South, +1 705 268-6262. The Centre's newest venture! Assisting local aboriginal artists in selling their art and craftwork. You will find authentic moccasins, dream-catchers, paintings, books, etc. This cultural centre is open to all of the public. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.
- Aboveground Art Gallery, Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre, (Temporarily located on the site of the Timmins Gold Mine Tour), +1 705 360-2600 ext. 6607. The largest commercial art gallery in the area. Features original work of local and regional artists in a variety of medium including soapstone, gypsum and James Bay river-rock sculptures by Cree carver, John Ivan Etherington (Moose River, ON). The gallery is open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free.
The atmosphere in Timmins is generally relaxed and slow-paced. Most activities revolve around the outdoors. The summers are great for camping, golfing and more. There are plenty of winter activities such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling and more. The Timmins Outdoors website offers more information on outdoor activities. (http://www.timminsoutdoors.ca/)
- Many campsites offer equipment rental for fishing (check before-hand).
- Mountjoy Independent Farmers' Market, +705-268-6571. Open mid-July to mid-October Saturday mornings only from 8:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
- Uncle Buck’s Trout Farm, +1 705 268-6286. Open May to September from 9AM to 9PM for fly and bait fishing.
- There are over 10 well-groomed walking trails in and around Timmins. For maps and more information visit the Timmins Outdoors website.
- There is a skatepark open daily which is free of admission. +1 705 360-1361
- Gillies Lake and Hersey Lake are the areas most popular family swimming beaches.
Timmins is home to three golf courses.
- The Hollinger Golf Club, +1 705 264-8450, Shania Twain Way. This is a 18-hole course open 7 days a week. It has a club house, power cart/equipment rentals and a driving range.
- Spruce Needles Golf Club, +1 705 267-1332, Dalton Road. This is an 18-hole course open 7 days a week. It features a licensed club house, power cart/equipment rentals and a driving range.
- Sandy Falls Golf Course, +1 705 267-7014, 1777 Mahoney Road. This is a 9-hole course.
- Rapid Fire Paintball Park, +1 705 268-1825, 200 Feldman Road, Timmins. This park features a driving range, Two 18 hole Mini-putt course, Go-karts, Paintball and more.
- Rapid Fire Paintball Park, +1 705 268-1825, access from Mattagami Blvd. Open daily from 10AM to 10PM.
- Hollinger Park, +1 705 360-1377, corner of Algonquin Boulevard and Brunette Road. This park is a beautiful town landmark (historic mining site) that has a small children’s water park (open during the summer), a playground and picnic tables. There is a mini-putt range as well as batting cages on-site.
- The White Waterfront Park, +1 705 360-1377, near Porcupine Lake. Features a similar set-up to Hollinger Park, with picnic tables, a children’s playground and a small water park.
- The Timmins Snowmobile Club, +1 705 264-7066. Timmins is the centre of Ontario's vast network of snowmobile trails. With over 2,000 members, the club maintains hundreds of kilometers of groomed trails and a clubhouse where visitors are welcome. You will require a permit to snowmobile. These are available from several local vendors and prices range depending on the length of the permit.
- Kamiskotia Snow Resort, +1 705 268-9057, 5050 Kamiskotia Road. A fully equipped winter destination offering snow boarding, downhill skiing, tubing, clinics and lessons. The Base Lodge includes a cafeteria, lounge, locker rooms and a rental retail shop.
- Porcupine Ski Runners, +1 705 360-1444, Highway 101. This facility has well-groomed trails for cross-country skiers. The cost for one day is $3 for a student or senior, $7 for an adult, or $15 for a family. The chalet is open from 8AM to 9PM daily, however the trails are accessible at all hours (there are 4 km of lights for night skiing). It is also possible to go snowshoeing at this facility. It only costs $1 for a student or a senior, $3 for an adult, or $7 for a family. Please note that prices are subject to change without notice.
There are several arenas in the city that offer public skating at reasonable rates. Call the Timmins Leisure Services hotline at +1 705 360-2655 for more information.
- Archie Dillon Sportsplex, 396 Theriault Boulevard, Timmins.
- McIntyre Community Centre, 85 McIntyre Road, Schumacher.
- Mountjoy Arena, 814 Park Avenue, Timmins.
- Whitney Arena, Highway 101 East, South Porcupine.
- Confederation Sports Facility, 303 Cameron Street South, Timmins.
Each winter season the City of Timmins maintains outdoor ice rinks for public use. The following is a list of outdoor skating facilities available to the public. Unless specified, these facilities are unsupervised. Call the Timmins Leisure Services hotline at +1 705 360-2655 for more information.
- Mountjoy Arena
- Roy Nicholson Park (2 rinks, 1 supervised)
- Railway Street Porcupine
- Park Avenue
- Porcupine Lake Skating Oval
- Gillies Lake Skating Oval
- The Archie Dillon Sportsplex, +1 705 360-2655, 396 Theriault Boulevard. This handicap-accessible facility has 3 pools (hot, deep and a 37 metre/6 lane) with 2 diving boards and a rock-climbing wall. Supervised public and family swims are offered at various times throughout the week for a small admission. Home of the Timmins Marlins Swim Club (TMSC) www.timminsmarlins.ca
- The Timmins Cinema 6, +1 705 268-7070, 215 Cedar Street South. Daily matinee and evening shows in digital theatre sound. Regular admission for evening shows is $9.25 for adults (14+) and $6 for children and seniors. Matinees are $7 for adults and $5.75 for children and seniors. Discount Tuesdays are $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for children and seniors. Please note that all prices are subject to change without notice.
- The Midtown Bowl, +1 705 267-3500, 70 Algonquin Boulevard. A 5 pin bowling alley that offers Rock’n’Bowl on weekends.
- Summerfest This is a family oriented weekend of fun. It offers a wide variety of activities for all, designed to bring the community together and celebrate summer. Summerfest events are intended to promote pride in our community while getting residents physically active and generally having a great time.
- Ribfest Usually held at the end of June, the Ribfest is a festival held at Gillies Lake. It is a day of award winning ribs and chicken, prepared by some of the best Ribbers in North America. There are also live performances by local bands, a beverage tent and tons of children's activities!
- Timmins Multi-Cultural Festival On the first Sunday of June, Timmins holds a multi-cultural festival celebrating its unique cultural diversity. Italian, Croatian, Polish, German, Scottish, Austrian, Finnish, Chinese, Filipino, and Native Cultures as well as many others join together to celebrate the diversity of the community.
- Saint-Jean Baptiste French canadian celebration every June. Day filled with activities for the whole family. Local and national francophone artists perform (www.larondetimmins.ca).
- Mountjoy Independent Farmers Market, +1 705 268-6571 (email: email@example.com). The Mountjoy Independent Farmers' Market is open EVERY Saturday morning from mid-July until mid-October from 8 A.M. until noon. This takes place at the Centennial Hall on Park Avenue, next door to the Mountjoy Arena. The Market features fresh, locally grown produce, seasonal berries, herbs and flowers. Delicious jams, jellies, preserves, home-baked fresh breads, pies and desserts are available. The Mountjoy Farmers' Market also has a varied selection of craftspeople and artists with unique quality items for sale.
- Downtown Timmins,  +1 705 264-8733. A vibrant shopping area in the centre of the community, boasting a mix of some 250 businesses. Major banks include: ScotiaBank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and TD Canada Trust. Popular locally-owned shops include Joanne’s Art Centre , Aged to Perfection Antiques , Branded Spaces (Includes unique gift shops, a vintage shop, a jewellery shop, a hair salon and more) and 3 Small Rooms.
- Timmins Square,  +1 705 267-6433. The Timmins Square is the largest regional shopping centre in Northeastern Ontario. There are approximately 70 shops and services, including fashion stores, home furnishings stores, electronics stores, sporting stores, department stores, and a full service food court with 6 tenants. There are also 2 fully-licensed restaurants on-site (Montana’s and Siva’s). The mall has recently undergone renovations and is constantly attracting new businesses.
- Timmins Chamber of Commerce,  +1 705 360-1900. Located at 77 McIntyre Road, this is the destination for information on tourism in Timmins, in Ontario and in Canada, as well as for souvenirs of the City with the Heart of Gold.
- Miner's Pick Gift Shop, +1 705 360-8500. Located at the Shania Twain Centre off of Park Road. The gift shop has a large selection of clothing, Timmins souvenirs, books, native crafts, jewellery, and gold filled paperweights.
- There is also an area of Riverside that has experienced a boost in commercial expansion. Some of the new businesses include: Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Michaels, Mark’s Work Warehouse, Dollarama and Home Depot.
While in Timmins, be sure to dine at some of the fantastic locally-owned restaurants. Since a 2003 by-law, all restaurants, bars and bingo halls in the city are smoke-free.
- Chez Nous Take Out, +1 705 267-7297. Offers delicious poutine, known as Shania’s (and just about everyone’s) favorite.
- Don’s Pizzeria, +1 705 264-1361. A fully licensed Italian restaurant.
- The McIntyre Coffee Shop, +1 705 360-5225. Offers all day breakfast and home-cooked meals. It is located at the site of the one of the city’s oldest gold mines, near the city’s landmark headframe, and features a wall of fame for Timmins’ NHL hockey players.
- Broadway Restaurant, 71 Third Avenue, +1 705 264-3434. Offers breakfast all day and a variety of home-cooked meals.
- Choy Se Kam's, 246 Algonquin Blvd W, +1 705 264-6200. This is a fully licensed authentic Cantonese cuisine restaurant, specializing in Hong Kong style seafood.
- The Golden Dragon Buffet Restaurant, 128 Third Avenue, +1 705 268-8898. Offers the largest Chinese/Canadian buffet in town.
- La Chaumière, 32 Mountjoy Street North, +1 705 267-1101. Offers delicious home-cooked meals.
- Mickey J’s Big House Bar & Grill, +1 705 267-3333. A fully licensed restaurant and pub with a vibrant night-life. They have karaoke Wednesday’s, as well as live entertainment on weekends.
- Restaurant Nadeau, 293 Wilson Ave, +1 705 238-2664. Delicious home-cooked meals.
- Siva’s Family Restaurant, +1 705 268-8882. Fully licensed, offers all day breakfast, a buffet and a pasta bar.
- Desserts Please!, 81 Balsam St. South, +1 705 268-2253, . A fully licensed restaurant specializing in desserts (home made ice cream, waffles, crepes, specialty coffees…).
- Fishbowl Restaurant, 336 Bayfield St., +1 705 267-3940, . Fully licensed restaurant that serves seafood, pasta and chicken. It is snowmobile accessible.
- Le Voyageur Dining Room, 100 Rue Norman St., +1 705 268-5800, . Fully licensed restaurant situated at the beautiful Cedar Meadows Resort. Offers fine-dining, specializing in steak and seafood, particularly Black Angus and wild meats.
- The Airport Hotel, +1 705 235-3332. Fully-licensed, offers fine-dining and is accessible by snowmobile, float plane and boat.
- The Gallery Dining Room, situated in the Days Inn Hotel, +1 705 267-6211, . Fully licensed and offers fine-dining, specializing in pastas, steaks and seafood.
- A&W, +1 705 268-8558.
- Casey's Bar and Grill, +1 705 267-5467.
- East Side Mario’s, +1 705 268-9555.
- McDonald’s, +1 705 267-4411.
- Mike’s Restaurant, +1 705 264-3000.
- Montana’s Cookhouse & Bar, +1 705 360-5999.
- Pizza Hut, +1 705 360-1111.
- Subway, +1 705 268-6404.
- Tim Horton’s, +1 705 267-5250. (Several locations throughout the city.)
- Wendy’s Restaurant, +1 705 267-4100.
And plenty more…
Please note that all prices are subject to change without notice.
- Airport Hotel, 151 Bruce Ave., +1 705 235-3332. 1 single: $22.00; 2 twin: $44.00; 1 king suite: N/A.
- Bon Air Motel, 355 Algonquin Blvd. E., +1 705 264-1275, . 1 queen: $85.00, 2 double: $99.00, 1 king suite: $185.00.
- Carabelle Inn, 4427 hwy 101 E., +1 705 235-8101, . 1 queen: $60.00; 2 double: $65.00; 1 king suite: N/A.
- Pine Ridge Motel, 4133 hwy 101 W., +1 705 268-9508. 1 double: $55.00; 2 double: $71.50; 1 king suite: N/A
- Regal Motel, Hwy 101 Sth. Porcupine, +1 705 235-3393. 1 queen: N/A; 2 double: $75.00; 1 king suite: N/A
- Days Inn Timmins, 14 Mountjoy St. S., +1 705 267-6211, . 1 king: $69.70; 2 double: $69.70; 1 king suite: $120.00
- Comfort Inn, 939 Algonquin Blvd. E., +1 705 264-9474. 1 queen: $107.17 to $127.27; 2 double: $107.17; 1 king suite: N/A
- Howard Johnson Inn, 1800 Riverside Dr., +1 705 267-6241,  Smoke-free hotel. 1 king: $99.00; 2 double: $99.00; 1 king suite: $139.00
- McIntyre Bed & Breakfast, 150 hwy 655 +1 705 268-5242, . 1 queen: $119.00; 2 double: $129.00; Guest Cottage: $199.00 to $250.00
- Travelodge, 1136 Riverside Dr. +1 705 360-1122, . 1 queen: $93.99; 2 double: $93.99; 1 king suite: $135.00
- Cedar Meadows Resort, 100 Norman St., +1 705 268-5800, . 1 king: $130.00 to $140.00; 2 double: $105.00 to $115.00; 1 queen suite: $206.00
- Université de Hearst à Timmins, 20 rue Wilcox, +1 800 887-1781, . French Language University.
- College Boréal, 11 rue Elm Nord, +1 705 267-5850 . French Language College.
- Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology, Porcupine Campus, Hwy 101 E, +1 705 235-3211 . English Language College.
If you're driving in to the area, be warned that the roads can be snow-covered and icy in the winter and early spring. Your best bet is winter tires (chains aren't allowed), however taking a bag of sand or kitty litter in your trunk can help you if you're stuck and spinning your tires. Most locals are happy to help push if you get stuck. In case of a breakdown, make sure that you take along a standard road safety kit with flares, gloves, and a warm blanket.
Timmins can be a good place to make your way to if you're looking to explore non-road access towns in Northern Ontario. Airline carriers such as Air Creebec and Thunder Airlines can take you to regions that you can't drive to, such as Moosonee and Attawapiskat