|— City —|
|Nickname(s): The Hub of the North
The Centennial City
|• City Mayor||Tim Johnston|
|• Governing Body||Thompson City Council|
|• (Thompson)||Steve Ashton (NDP)|
|• MP (Churchill)||Niki Ashton (NDP)|
|• Total||17.18 km2 (6.63 sq mi)|
|• Census Agglomeration||3,481.24 km2 (1,344.11 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 Census)|
|• Total||12,829 (5th)|
|• Density||782.8/km2 (2,027/sq mi)|
|• Census Agglomeration||12,839|
|• Census Agglomeration Density||3.7/km2 (10/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−5)|
|Website||City of Thompson|
Thompson is a city in northern Manitoba. As the "Hub of the North" it serves as the regional trade and service centre of northern Manitoba. Thompson is located 830 km (520 mi) north of the Canada – United States border, 739 km (459 mi) north of the provincial capital of Winnipeg, and is 396 km (246 mi) northeast of Flin Flon. It has a population of 12,829 residents, which also serves as a trade centre for an additional 36,000 - 65,000 Manitobans.
The Thompson area was first inhabited by nomadic Paleo-Indian hunters 6000 BC. Europeans conducted a federal geological survey in Thompson in 1896.
The modern history of Thompson began in 1956 when on February 4, a major ore body was discovered by use of an airborne electromagnetometer following ten years of mining exploration in the region. The community was founded in 1957 following an agreement with the Government of Manitoba and Inco Limited. Thompson is planned community and is named after Inco's chairman, John F. Thompson. The population has been estimated as high as 26,000 residents prior to the recession in the 1970s.1 The 1957 agreement required that Inco provide financial assistance towards the Kelsey Generating System, and a spur line to connect the community with CN's Bay Line near Thicket Portage. Thompson was incorporated as a town in 1967 on Canada's Centennial Anniversary, and in 1970 as a city in the royal presence of Queen Elizabeth II, having reached a population of 20,000.
Thompson came to be known as "The Hub of the North", as it functions as a centre for politics and commerce in the region. However a decline in population occurred during the following decades, levelling off around 13,000 people. At the same time Thompson became plagued by a host of serious social problems including a large vagrant population downtown noted for public antisocial behaviour including public urination. The severity of the problem led the current mayor to call an emergency meeting with the Province of Manitoba. Following the meeting with the Province's Justice Minister, Mayor Tim Johnston acknowledged that: "I know that perception of public safety is impacting people's decisions to stay in this community. It's impacting people's decisions to come to this community and again, it's just not acceptable. We have to do better. It's a big issue for us."2
For the past several years Thompson has ranked as Canada's most violent city as determined by Statistics Canada, a government agency which analyzes crime statistics on an annual basis.3
On July 24, 2012 Statistics Canada released its annual Juristat Crime Severity Index values for 239 police services policing communities over 10,000 population for 2011 and Thompson for the second year in a row topped the Violent Crime Severity Index in all of Canada and finished second in both the Overall Crime Severity Index column and Non-Violent Crime Severity Index column.3
Thompson had the worst crime rate in all of Canada in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The only year in which Thompson did not rank first was in 2009, when it ranked second overall and was classified as the second most violent city in Canada. 3 4 MoneySense magazine in its annual Best Places to Live 2011 survey also concluded Thompson had the worst crime problem of the 180 Canadian cities they ranked.5
Recently Vale announced its intention to close its surface operations, which will lead to the loss of 500 high paying jobs.6 As a consequence of the economic uncertainty in Thompson, many national chains including Staples have pulled out of the city. Recently the national grocery chain Extra Foods closed, leaving the community to be serviced only by a single Safeway store.7
Aside from Vale Inco Ltd; Manitoba Hydro, Calm Air, MTS and the provincial government employ the majority of the people in Thompson.
Many federal and provincial government agencies have offices in Thompson. Thompson has a large retail sector, providing such things as clothing for all ages, a pet store, jewelry stores, travel agencies, vehicle dealerships, and grocery stores. Calm Air Airlines and Perimeter Aviation provide direct service between Winnipeg and Thompson. There has been intermittent jet service to Thompson, with the runway at the Thompson Airport able to accommodate a Boeing 737. No carrier has been able to supply long term jet service with both West Jet and Kanata, Ontario's First Air being unsuccessful at long term operations.
The city is served by Thompson Airport.
Due to Thompson's subarctic climate, the city has earned a reputation for its cold weather testing conditions. Automobile and truck manufacturers such as Chrysler, Ford, Hummer, and Navistar have tested their vehicles in the winter months in Thompson. In April 2009, the National Research Council of Canada announced that they will be partnering with the newly created Environmental Test Research and Education Center (CanETREC) to create a year round research facility which will specialize in testing aerospace designs in cold conditions.9
On April 16, 2009 in Thompson by then Premier of Manitoba Gary Doer announced an estimated $44 million first phase and a future second phase estimated at $38M project by Rolls-Royce Canada and Pratt & Whitney Canada. On October 30, 2010, heldwho? the official opening of the project.1011
Operated and maintained MDS AeroTest http://www.mdsaerotest.ca/
A recent economic boom in the community has resulted in a shortage of affordable housing. Contributing to the economy are Vale Inco nickel mines and the Wuskwatim generating station project.12 Construction of the access road to Wuskwatim began in 2006, and construction of the hydro dam is ongoing with completion planned for 2012.
Thompson is marked by a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), with long, bitterly cold winters, and short but warm summers. Monthly means range from −25 °C (−13.0 °F) in January to 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) in July, and the annual mean is −3.2 °C (26.2 °F).13 Though a majority of the annual precipitation of 517 millimetres (20.4 in) falls from June to September,13 winter is by no means devoid of precipitation. Snow falls mainly from October to May, with generally small accumulation in June and September, totaling 186 centimetres (73 in) per year.13
|Climate data for Thompson|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.1
|Average high °C (°F)||−19.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−24.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−30.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−48.9
|Precipitation mm (inches)||18.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||0.1
|Snowfall cm (inches)||21.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||11.3||10.3||9.1||7.9||10.6||12.3||14.2||13.8||14.2||12.4||13.2||13.5||142.8|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.2||0.3||0.7||2.8||8.5||12.1||14.2||13.8||13.3||6.3||1.1||0.5||73.8|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||11.7||10.4||9.0||6.2||3.6||0.6||0||0||1.5||7.9||13.4||13.4||77.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||96.1||127.1||179.7||227.1||259.8||262.4||279.4||247.6||140.4||91.7||66.6||69.0||2,046.9|
|Source: Environment Canada13|
The School District of Mystery Lake operates six Elementary Schools and one High School:
Deerwood School, Burntwood School, Westwood School, École Riverside School, Juniper School, Wapanohk Community School (formerly known as Eastwood) & R. D. Parker Collegiate (formerly known as Thompson High School). Both École Riverside School and R.D. Parker Collegiate celebrated their 50th anniversaries in September 2012.
The district offers a K-12 French immersion program. Grades K-8 at École Riverside School, and grades 9-12 at RD Parker Collegiate. The district also offers a K-8 language education program in the Cree language. The Cree immersion program begins at Wapanohk (formerly Eastwood) Community School. Students can continue the French program at the high school if they completed K-8 at Riverside, and there are basic Cree courses in grades 9-12 offered as well. R.D. Parker Collegiate also offers grade 10 and 11 courses in Native Studies and a grade 12 Native Law course. Full Cree-medium education does not, however, extend to the high school yet.
Since September 2009, the Franco-Manitoban School Division (DSFM) has expanded within Manitoba to include one K-8 elementary school in Thompson, École Communautaire La Voie du Nord. Located within Burntwood School, this district allows children receive instruction in French with peers in a Francophone culture.
Although there is some demand for a private school, Thompson is not home to any at this time.
Thompson is a major retail service centre for the Northern Manitoba region. The city has three fully enclosed shopping centres, Westwood Mall, Thompson Plaza and the City Centre Mall. However the Thompson Plaza recently lost one of its anchor tenant, Extra Foods and is largely vacant. In the 1980s, all three malls were fully rented and attracted well-known chains however, more recently they have had difficulty operating fully rented with many national chains pulling out of the troubled community.
In 2008, Thompson debuted the Spirit Way, a two-kilometre (1.25 mi) walking and biking pathway with 16 points of interest that highlight Thompson’s art, heritage, culture, industry, geology, and scenery; two more points are planned. The pathway includes a large wolf mural painted by Charles Johnston, and is a reproduction of Robert Bateman's painting "Wolf Sketch" (1990). The 86-foot (26 m) x 62-foot (19 m) image is the largest photo-real mural in Canada, and sits on 10 storey Highland Tower apartment block. The building was chosen as it is the most prominent building on Thompson's skyline.14 The project also includes the Spirit Way wolves, wolf statues painted by various sponsors and placed throughout the walk.
Located approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) south of Paint Lake is Pisew Falls Provincial Park. These are Manitoba’s second largest water falls. There is a 0.5-kilometre (0.31 mi) trail that leads to a viewing platform, perfect for taking pictures of the 13-metre (43 ft) high, year round falls. There is also a suspension bridge that spans the lower falls. This is the starting point of a seven-mile (11 km) hike that leads to the highest waterfalls in Manitoba- Kwasitchewan Falls. This trail is a difficult back-country trail, recommended for experienced hikers only.15
Located 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Thompson on Highway 6 is Paint Lake Provincial Park. The park spans over 56,000 acres (23,000 ha) of Precambrian boreal forest and the lake itself is 5 miles (8.0 km) wide and 25 miles (40 km) long.16 With its numerous islands, enticing waters and rugged forests, Paint Lake offers 76 campsites and has the largest marina in Manitoba. The marina offers fishing guides, cabin, boat and canoe rentals, a restaurant and convenience store. Some features of the park include boat launches, beaches, playgrounds, a volleyball court, baseball diamond and fitness trail. In the winter there are groomed snowmobile trails, ice skating, toboggan runs, ice fishing and ice fishing derbies.17
The King Miner statue was erected to honour the men and women who work in the mining industry. The statue is on the site of the annual Nickel Days Festival and King Miner contest.
Thompson is home to the Norman Northstars hockey team. Thompson's minor hockey teams are known as the King Miners.
Jennifer Saunders, the current Canadian Women's Racquetball Champion, was born and grew up in Thompson, graduating from R.D. Parker Collegiate in 1994.
The high school teams are called the RD Parker Collegiate Trojans. The Trojans' rivals are the Hapnot Kopper Kings from Flin Flon and the MBCI Spartans from The Pas.
Every year in April, students from the six elementary schools in grades 4-8 compete in the Knights of Columbus Track Meet. Juniper School dominated KoC in the 1990s, and Westwood School has had a winning streak during the 2000s (decade).
Thompson has a large 6-sheet curling rink called the Burntwood Curling Club. The BCC has hosted several zone and provincial competitions.
Thompson is unique in being the judicial centre for a huge geographic area - ranging from Norway House in the South to Churchill in the North. The Thompson Judicial district covers 15 circuits and offers both Judicial Justice of the Peace Court as well as Provincial Court sittings. Judges, Judicial Justices of the Peace, Clerks, Crown Attorneys and defence lawyers based in Thompson and Winnipeg regularly travel by small plane on circuit court to various remote communities and First Nation Communities to hold Provincial court.
Thompson's status as Canada's most violent city as well as a high rate of property related offences and public nuisances such as drinking in public keep the local courts very busy.3 In its annual report The Provincial Court of Manitoba noted that "The Thompson Centre of the court and its circuit court points are regularly faced with large caseloads and it is growing more and more difficult to process these cases in a timely manner. Added to that is the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining people to work in the justice system in Northern Manitoba."18
There was a curfew bylaw (varying depending on age) for people under 18. . The bylaw was rescinded after The Public Interest Law Centre and Mr. Ron Dearman filed a challenge to the validity of the Curfew on the basis of sections 15, 7 and 2(d) of the Charter, division of powers and the Municipal Act.. In 2007 The City of Thompson contracted with Prairie Bylaw Enforcement to have its officers enforce The City of Thompson's bylaws.
|Source: CMHC - Manitoba Rental Market Reports|
The local newspaper, the Thompson Citizen, is published on Wednesdays. A free newspaper produced by the same company, the Nickel Belt News, is distributed on Fridays to a wider area than the Citizen, encompassing other communities such as Churchill, Snow Lake, Norway House, Nelson House, Cross Lake, Lynn Lake, and Split Lake. Recently, the Citizen has also become a free publication.
- The city was used in the Tragically Hip song "Thompson Girl". The song is set both in and north of Thompson, and is about the title character, a Thompson girl.
- Thompson was also mentioned in Paul Brandt's song "Small Towns and Big Dreams".
- "Thompson" is a song by Les Surveillantes, found on their album titled "La racine carrée du coeur".
- AM 610: CHTM (adult contemporary)
- FM 96.3: CINC-FM (NCI)
- FM 99.9: CKSB-5 (Première Chaîne; repeats CKSB Winnipeg)
- FM 100.9: CBWK (CBC Radio One)
- Browne, Ray Broadus (June 15, 1994). The cultures of celebrations. Michael T. Marsden. Popular Press. p. 159. ISBN 0-87972-652-0. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Graham, Ian (September 21, 2011). "Mayor’s meeting with justice minister productive". Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Barker, John (July 25, 2012). "http://www.thompsoncitizen.net/article/20120725/THOMPSON0101/120729998/-1/Thompson/thompson-remains-canada-8217-s-most-violent-crime-city-new". The Thompson Citizen. p. 1. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
- Brennan, Shannon (July 24, 2012). "http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11692-eng.pdf". Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011. p. 1. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "http://list.moneysense.ca/rankings/best-places-to-live/2011/Default.aspx?sp2=4&sc1=11&d1=a". Moneysense Rankings of the Best Cities to Live. March 3, 2011. p. 1. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Thompson refinery shutting down". CBC News. November 17, 2012. p. 1. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Labour Market Monitor". Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. May, 2012. p. 1. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- Home page. Calm Air. February 11, 2005. Retrieved on January 3, 2012. "90 Thompson Drive Thompson, Manitoba, Canada R8N 1Y8"
- Government Investment Supports Development of World Class Cold Weather Testing Centre in Northern Manitoba
- "Job boom is a housing bust for Manitoba city". Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- Environment Canada—Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 23 June 2012
- "Annual Report of the Provincial COurt of Manitoba". The Provincial Court of Manitoba. 2007-2008. p. 8. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
|Flin Flon||Pikwitonei, Split Lake, Gillam|