Christmas in the Timmins Mining Camp: A Special Time of the Year By Frank Giorno

As in other parts of Canada,Christmas in Timmins is a special time of the year. Past Christmas traditions are fondly held as shown by the theme of this year’s Santa Claus Parade – “Memories of Christmas Past.”

Christmas in Timmins, is a time to celebrate and share in the spirit of the season with family and friends. Among the traditions that find most delightful none can compare to the gift-giving traditions that have developed over the years.

Gifts for the Children of Schumacher
One of the treasured Christmas traditions was introduced by Fred Schumacher, a travelling pharmaceutical salesman who eventually built Schumacher mines. Fred made several donations to the town which now bears his name over the years. Among these donations, the one which may be the best known part of his legacy is the $1,000 donated for presents each Christmas since 1916 for the school children of the town of Schumacher, which now is part of Timmins

The tradition continues today 98 years later. Schumacher left a trust fund for the children of Schumacher. Volunteers meet prior to Christmas at the Schumacher Volunteer Fire Department to wrap fits will be given to Schumacher school children at an event just before leaving for the Christmas holidays.

Hollinger Mine Christmas
The Hollinger Mine in Timmins started to provide Christmas hampers for mining families in the 1920s. This is a story that still has to be fully told.

In addition, Timmins service organizations like the Shriners, the Lions Club and the Rotary Club also organized fund-raising to help bring Christmas cheer to the Timmins community or to help with other charities.

The Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count was started 114 years ago by the Audobon Society. The Timmins Naturalists introduced this Christmas event only 20 years ago but it has since become a cherished part of the festive season. Over the last 20 years there has been over 75 participants, over 400 volunteer hours spent and 45 species identified. For more information, visit .

A New Church
Christmas in 1926 was a particularly merry occasion for the parishioners of the Church of the Nativity as their new church opened on December 23, 1926. Today the Church is better known as the Father Costello Community Care Centre on Spruce St. N.

Bucovetsky’s Christmas
Bucovetsky’s was the place that Timmins shopped for Christmas gifts and ornaments. Every Christmas the store was festooned with Christmas goodies and gift ideas. Walking by and gazing at Bucovetsky’s Christmas window was a cherished Timmins tradition. Sadly, this year, Tweed and Hickory, the successor to Bucovetsky’s will close its door just before Christmas bring an end to a cherished institution and tradition.Santa2_ORIGINAL

The Santa Claus Parade
The Timmins Santa Claus Parade Committee annually draws between 12,000 to 15,000 people to the Santa Claus Parade an event held the first or second weekend in November. The parade traditionally attracts more than 50 or 60 entries each year.

Christmas from Around the World in Timmins
Being a mining town, Timmins attracted people from all over the world to work in the mines or to provide services for the communities. Many of these communities celebrated with their families in their traditional ways that they brought with them from England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Poland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and Croatia, Serbian, Germany and other locations. Often the celebrations included a service at the local church in their native language.

Here is how you say Merry Christmas in Timmins and in some cases Happy New Year too!

English – Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
French – “Joyeux Noël et Bonne Anneé”
Cree – Mino Makoshay Keyshegow and Mino Oh-ski Pay-boon
Ojibway – Minoganawaamdig Niibaanaamaang Miinwaa Nimkoodaading
Chinese – [Mandarin] – “Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan”
Chinese – [Cantonese] – “Saint Dan Fai Lok”
Croatian – “Sretan Bozic i Nova Godina”
Filipino “Maligayang Pasko, Manigong Bagong Taon”
German – “Froehliche Weihnachten”
Hindi – “Shub Naya Baras”
Irish – “Nollaig Shona Dhuit”
Italian – Buon Natale e Buon Anno
Lithuanian – “Linksmu Kaledu”
Polish – “Wesolych Swiat, Bozego Narodzenia”
Portuguese – “Feliz Natal” “Boas Festas”(Good Holidays.)
Serbian – “Hristos se rodi”
Scottish Gaelic “Nollaig chridheil huibh”
Spanish – “Feliz Navidad”, “Feliz Año Nuevo”
Ukrainian – “Z Rizdvom Khrystovym!” – “Z Novym Rokom !” –


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