The self-proclaimed "Moose Capital of Canada", Hearst is a town of 5,500 people (2016) in Northern Ontario. It is named after William Howard Hearst, the seventh Premier of Ontario.
Hearst has a long tradition of being a lumber town. The major employers include a Tembec hard and soft wood facility, and a plywood mill operated by Columbia Forest Products.
- Gilles Gagnon Visitor Information Centre, 523 Route 11 Hwy E, ☏ , toll-free: . Year-round 8AM-4:30PM; summer: M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-5PM, holidays 10AM-4PM. The centre’s grounds also feature a typical wildlife scene in the forests of northern Ontario, a playground for children and picnic tables.
The town was built because of the construction of the National Transcontinental Railway in 1913 (now the Canadian National Railway). Established as a divisional point, Hearst is 208 km west of Cochrane and 201 km east of the divisional point of Grant. There is some historical ambiguity with the name Grant as the original site of Hearst was also called Grant and was changed to Hearst in 1911.
Hearst was named to honour William Howard Hearst, then Ontario Minister of Forests and Mines and later Premier of Ontario. It was incorporated in 1922. Many settlers to the town came from the province of Quebec. Many also came from Europe and other regions in Canada and the USA.
Highway 11 runs northwest from North Bay as a northern alternate route in the Trans-Canada Highway system; this route was extended from Hearst through Geraldton to Nipigon in 1943, as a final gravel link which enabled the first complete trip across Canada by motorcar in 1946. This road is now a two-lane paved provincial highway.
- Ontario Northland (O), toll-free: . Operates bus routes in Northern Ontario. Operates a route several days per week between Hearst and Sudbury including stops in Kapuskasing, Cochrane and Timmins. Travel time to Hearst from Kapukasing is 1.75 hours, from Cochrane is 3.25 hours, from Timmins is 4.75 hours, and from Sudbury is 9.5 hours.
OFSC trails connect snowmobilers to various Northern Ontario communities. A trail permit is required to ride on the trails.
- 815 Gallery, 75, 9th St, ☏ . M W-F 11:30AM-4:30PM, Tu 11:30AM-7:30PM. Gallery showcasing local artists.
- La Maison Verte, 7 Girard Road, ☏ . non-profit association of women, whose mandate is to set up business projects to create jobs for women. Its greenhouses grow nine million seedlings per year for reforestation for three main customers: Hearst Forest Management, Nagagami SFL and Tembec. Its gifts corner and garden is open M-F 10AM-5:30PM and Sa 10AM-4PM.
- The Rock Museum.
- 1 Moose and Wolves statue.
- Hearst Heritage Sawmill (Place de la scierie patrimoniale), 830 Front Street, ☏ , toll-free: . Jul-Aug: Tu-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. Adults $5, seniors and students $3, family $10; free on W.
- Hearst Ecomuseum, 53 9th Street, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Exhibitions based on the day-to-day life of the people of Hearst and area, such as one dedicated to aprons.
Local outdoor activities include fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, camping, swimming, canoeing, and golf.
- Fushimi Lake Provincial Park, North of Highway 11. Mid-May to early Sep. Fishing, swimming, camping. RV, tent or trailer sites, or backcountry sites on your own island. Two hiking trails (1 km and 7 km).
- Downtown shops along Front Street
- 1 Boulangerie Pâtisserie chez Coco, 817 George St., ☏ . M-F 10AM-5:30PM.
- 2 Fresh Off the Block, 822 Front St., ☏ .
- 3 John's Restaurant, 826 George St., ☏ . 8AM-9PM. Greek, Canadian, & Italian cuisine.
- 4 King's Cafe, 824 George St., ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-8PM. Canadian and Canadian-Chinese cuisine.
- 5 Pizza Place, 1413 Front St., ☏ . M-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 2PM-10PM. Pizzeria bar & grill.
- Companion Restaurant, 930 Front Street, toll-free: . Daily: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
- 1 Waverley Bandstand, 931 Front St., ☏ .
- Rheault Distillery, 6 583 Hwy N, ☏ . Sa-Th 10AM-6PM, F 10AM-9PM. A home-based artisan distillery making Loon Vodka, brandy, whiskey, dessert wines. Owners Marcel and Mireille Rheault will explain their business to you.
- 1 Companion Hotel/Motel, 930 Front St., ☏ , toll-free: . Licensed dining room, lounge, sauna, and steam bath, hot tubs, high-speed Internet. Singke from $118, double from $124.
- 2 [dead link] Queen's Motel, 1004 Front St., ☏ , toll-free: . Indoor swimming pool
- 3 Villa Inn & Suites, 1605 Highway 11, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Kitchenettes
- 4 TravelInn Hearst, 915 George Street, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. Free WiFi, kitchenettes, steam bath $90-130 plus tax, double occupancy, 10% discount on advance bookings.
- Sous Mon Toit B&B, 1300 Edward Street, ☏ . Your hostess, Mme. Janine Bourdon. Two comfortable rooms, shared bathroom, continental breakfast, quiet atmosphere in a residential area, located near the hospital, schools, and the fitness trail.
NorthernTel [formerly dead link] offers 4G HSPA+ (max 21 Mbps) and 1xRTT coverage in Hearst. An analogue cellular service (AMPS, band B) had been provided by Ontera, but that company's GSM footprint now covers Moosonee and Moose Factory only.
The next gas station westbound on Highway 11 is in Longlac, 208 km away. Fill your tank before leaving town.
|Routes through Hearst|
|Thunder Bay ← Longlac ← Jct S ←||W E||→ Kapuskasing → Cochrane|