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Making Manitouwadge your new home

Manitouwadge is a town of 2,000 people nestled in the bush on the north end of Highway 614.

Mayor Jim Moffat says it's the town's tagline -- 'play in the extreme' -- that makes Manitouwadge so endearing.

"We're looking forward to a year of a lot of upgraded improvements and hopefully it's going to be a vibrant summer," Moffat said.

"A lot of people love the tranquility, you know, just being in the outdoors and the fresh air. To me, I've been here so long that's what it is. Every time I go to the big cities, I just shake my head and wonder why people (would) want to live there. Here we got lakes, forest, wildlife and it's just beautiful."

One of Moffat’s big concerns is finding skilled labour.

The long-time Manitouwadge resident says there are a lot of great jobs there for the taking. They want northern Ontario's best-kept secret to be a little less secret.

"That's definitely something we need, like tradespeople,” he said.

“We have to pull from the other surrounding communities -- for example electrician, plumber, that type of thing and also mechanics, millwrights. There's always a shortage of that in the area. But there's not much we can do short of enhance them to try and come here.”

Moffat says you can't beat the cost of living. He says the community continues to be one of the cheapest in the province when it comes to real estate.

"We're steadily growing actually," he said.

"I'm going to say we're up to 10 to 20 per cent over the last three years, which brings us to a total of about 3,000 people right so we're definitely steadily growing.”

The community has plans to upgrade its infrastructure, Moffat says, and highway improvements are also on the way.

"It's a great place to live but never leave," he laughed, adding they also welcome all new Canadians.


"We welcome anyone that wants to do that 50 kilometres off the highway to paradise."

Melanie Armstrong has Sudbury roots and relocated to Manitouwadge a few years ago with her partner, Jason Yurko.

Together they run Melanie's Your Independent Grocer, an employer in the community.

"The community is wonderful here, it's very welcoming to us,” Armstrong says.

“Running a business here feels more on the easy side than a hard job and that's because the people make it so wonderful … People in the community, our staff, we have a great team of people. We feel right at home and you wouldn't know that we always haven't been here."

Especially if you love the outdoors and activities like hunting and fishing, she said the community has a lot to offer.

"The nice part is when you drive in here – it feels really much different than going into other communities. It's a really warm feeling driving in here," said Armstrong.

Manitouwadge is a town of 2,000 people nestled in the bush on the north end of Highway 614. Mayor Jim Moffat says it's the town's tagline -- 'play in the extreme' -- that makes Manitouwadge so endearing. (Photo from video)

"There's absolutely nothing past us, we're at the end of the road so you're coming off the beaten path and you're driving half an hour down into the bush just to get to us, there's nothing on the other side. We're at the other end of the rainbow," added Yurko.

Barrick Gold is a major employer in the community.

Another employer is Sante Manitouwadge Health, formerly known as Manitouwadge General Hospital.

Chief nursing officer Annie Janveau relocated to the community 25 years ago with her husband and never left.

"We've stayed through a lot of changes in the community,” Janveau said.

“When we moved here there was three operating mines, now we have one but we still have a lot of employers in the community including the logging industry.”

Janveau says there's something for everyone in the town and you don't have to just have a love of the outdoors to live there, although it admittedly helps.

"We have a lot of young families that are choosing to stay there now, I think there's a misconception from the city folk that there's nothing to do in small towns but really there's as much to do as you want to do," said Janveau.

She says living so close to the office has been a bonus for her, giving her more time to enjoy her life rather than having to carpool.

The long-time employee says she even knew of one of her co-workers who used to take their ATV in to work.

Janveau says they not only need experienced people but they always like to get people starting their careers, as well, and work to invest in them, making sure they are in the field they want to be in and build a career at doing.

It makes Manitouwadge not only a great place to put the feet up, but thanks to what is being done at the hospital, also maybe get a leg up at the same time. Top Stories

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