Digital History - Histoire Numérique

Company Towns

Company towns are towns that were started by and propped up by companies, usually associated with a trade or material. As creations of capital, these companies make the town structure and control development and influence the growth of material culture.(1) The town lives and dies on the success of their respective industry. Many of these company towns at their base are work camps where a whole family can live, and often it was the women of the town who turn the space into one for community.(2) 

Mining companies have held a strong influence in Northern Ontario, deciding the fates and growth of many towns. Even towns that did not start off as mining company towns sometimes became mining company towns because of their immense influence. Towns like Timmins, Ontario was created by the mining companies of the area, particularly with mines like the Hollinger Gold Mine and the Dome Mine. In contrast some towns, particularly those along fur trading routes, were pre-established, but they would not have reached their size without the impact of mining.


  1. White, Neil. Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community. University of Toronto Press, 2012. 
  2. High, Steven C. One Job Town: Work, Belonging, and Betrayal in Northern Ontario. University of Toronto Press, 2018.; Aubé, Benjamin. “Hollinger House to Be Saved.” The Timmins Daily Press, January 16, 2013.

Company Towns