Visiting the McIntyre Community Building, Schumacher, Timmins, Ontario: Art Deco north of the Arctic Watershed?
An architectural and historical landmark
The McIntyre Community Building in Schumacher, Timmins, was built in 1938, and in its time was an almost ultra-modern facility in a striking design.
Today, its features offer a cameo into architectural custom and thinking now over 70 years ago.
In 1938, the building would have been regarded as being fairly 'functional' in design. Given the developments and changes in architectural practice since the 1930s, however, the contemporary observer can see elements of the Art Deco which was in vogue in the 1930s. Although not overtly Art Deco, some of its elements are suggested: square and geometric shapes which particularly lend themselves to the use of brick, particularly multicolored brick. Apart from the building's size, the multi-coloured brickwork in the McIntyre Community Building is probably among the most striking of its features.
The edifice was built by J P Bickell (1884-1951)(1). The building has often been a venue for hockey matches and has a seating capacity for 1300, with a further standing capacity for several hundred more people.
Various other prominent individuals are remembered for their associations with the McIntyre Community Building. These include Frederick W. Schumacher, responsible for the first gold mine in the area, and known also for his local philanthropic work. In recent years, a large billboard depicting Schumacher has hung from the building.
Olympic skating gold medalist Barbara Ann Scott taught skating at the McIntyre Community Building in the 1950s.
Distinguished Hockey player Senator Frank Mahovlich played at the building in his youth.
The McIntyre Community Building is situated at 85 McIntyre Road in the Schumacher suburb of Timmins, Northern Ontario.
September 4, 2012
(1) John Paris ('Jack') Bickell was a business entrepreneur who led the McIntyre Pocupine Mines Ltd. locally, Keenly interested in hockey, he was also involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs; and assisted in the construction of the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, in 1931. During World War Two he participated in aircraft production as part of the war effort, heading Crown Corporation Victory Aircraft. He also participated in many philanthropic causes.
Also worth seeing
In Schumacher itself, Croatian Hall has been the hub of the Croatian community for many decades. The former McIntyre Mine has an interesting — even poignant — commemorative display area. The Timmins - Porcupine Chamber of Commerce building opposite the McIntyre Community Building has an interesting ore display.
In Timmins , the Timmins Gold Mine Tour base, (distance: 2.5 kilometres), is located at the former Hollinger gold mine and depicts local mining life.
How to get there: Airlines flying to Timmins Victor M Power Airport include Air Canada, from Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections. Car rental is available at Timmins Airport. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please contact appropriate consular sources regarding any border crossing visa requirements which may apply to the citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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