Snowmobiling on the streets
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 9:35AM EST
As of February 5, many of the streets in Timmins are officially open to snowmobilers.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Timmins City Council approved a trial period of snowmobile road use for the remainder of the 2018-2019 snowmobile season.
The proposal was initially presented by members of the Timmins Snowmobile Club as a phased-in plan. Phase One will allow snow machines on many streets in Schumacher, Gold Centre, South Porcupine, Porcupine, Mountjoy, and Connaught, but not yet in downtown Timmins.
The snowmobile club says the intention of its proposal is for riders to better access trails, as well as restaurants, hotels, and other businesses, and should increase visitors to Timmins.
According to Tourism Timmins, $23.6 million is brought into Northern Ontario through snowmobile tourism each year.
There are some catches for riders who wish to use city streets.
The new amended by-law requires all rules of the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act to be followed, including:
- obeying a 20 kilometre per hour speed limit
- displaying valid proof of insurance and registration, and
- snowmobile drivers must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s or snowmobile license
Anyone using the roads will also need a valid OFSC trail permit and can only access the streets between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm.
“We discussed everything with the Timmins Police. A lot of time was spent figuring out which streets would make sense, which we should keep as blocked, and in the end, we came out with what I think is a good plan that will allow snowmobilers to get to the trails, but also visitors to get into the town.” said Patrick Dzijacky, of the Timmins Snowmobile Club.
Phase Two of the snowmobile club’s proposal would bring in a second trial period next winter that would allow access to streets in Timmins North and Timmins South.
The final phase would occur in 2020-2021, making the proposed access an official by-law.