Transcript: Ep 1 - A Fortune Found | Mar 06, 2019

Logo: TVO Original.

A caption reads "TVO presents."

An aerial view shows images of a snow covered pine forest.

A man says THE FURTHER
NORTH I WENT,
THE MORE BUSH I SAW.
THEN I SAW SNOW,
AND WILDERNESS...
AND NOTHING.
HE KNEW NOTHING
ABOUT CANADA.
HE JUST KNEW THAT THAT'S
WHERE THE JOB WOULD BE.
AND THAT'S WHERE HE HAD TO GO.
AND THAT'S WHERE
HE BEGAN HIS WORK CAREER...
AS A MINER.

Old clips and pictures shows images of of miners at work.

Another man says THE STORY OF
THE NORTH WAS NEVER TOLD.
MEN LITERALLY WORKED THEMSELVES
TO DEATH IN THESE MINES.

The first man says YOU KNOW,
THERE'S A COMMON SAYING
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO,
AND THAT IS
THAT GOLD BUILT WALL STREET.

The second man says THERE WERE
MASSIVE GOLD DISCOVERIES
THAT THEY KNEW MIGHT LAST
UPWARDS OF A CENTURY.

A woman says I THINK WE'RE
IN THAT KIND OF PERIOD
WHERE PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
"WELL, WE MIGHT BE DONE NOW."

A third man says HUMAN NATURE
IS CORRUPTIBLE.
AND TIMMINS WAS
NOT IMMUNE TO THAT.
[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS]

The title of the show appears against an image of a gold melting equipment.

John ists in a car in front of an apartment building.
John is in his fifties, with short curly brown hair and a stubble. He wears glasses and a deep purple jacket.

John says SO THIS IS A BLOCK
OF APARTMENTS, HERE.
EVERYONE HERE IS ON RENTAL.
THIS IS WHERE
I FIRST WAS, UM...
I FORGET HOW LONG
I WAS HERE, THOUGH.
WELL, IT WAS NICE.
QUIET.
FOND MEMORIES.
[CHUCKLES]

A caption reads "John Okonmah. Executive Director, Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corp."

John says SOME TRACKS I HEAR ON THE RADIO
REMINDS ME OF WHEN I WAS HERE.
[LAUGHS]
I DON'T KNOW
WHAT THE TITLE WAS.
I JUST KNOW
IT WAS TAYLOR SWIFT!
[LAUGHS]
I GREW UP
IN LAGOS, NIGERIA.
THAT'S WHERE I WAS RAISED,
AND I IMMIGRATED TO CANADA
IN 2009.
UM...
YEAH, AND I'VE BEEN
IN TIMMINS EVER SINCE.
TO BE HONEST,
A LOT OF MY COLLEAGUES
WERE APPLYING TO IMMIGRATE
TO CANADA OR AUSTRALIA.
AT THE TIME, IT DIDN'T REALLY
MEAN ANYTHING TO ME, YOU KNOW?
SO I JUST SAID,
"YOU KNOW WHAT, WHY NOT?"
AND THEN
EIGHT YEARS LATER,
MY APPLICATION WAS OKAYED.
SO I TOLD MY WIFE,
"WHAT DO WE DO NOW?" [LAUGHS]
THERE'S ALWAYS
APPREHENSION, YOU KNOW?
YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT'S
ON THE OTHER SIDE.
THE THING WITH OPPORTUNITY
IS THAT THE WINDOW OPENS
AT A CERTAIN TIME,
AND THEN CLOSES.
SO IT KIND OF OPENED
THEN FOR ME, SO...
AND... AND I TOOK IT.

The caption changes to "Karen Bachmann. Director and curator, Timmins Museum."

Karen is in her late forties, with straight fair hair in a bob cut and wears glasses, jeans, a white shirt and a long, short-sleeved pink sweater.

Karen says THE EARLY NEWSPAPERS
ARE ACTUALLY TALKING
A LOT ABOUT NORTHERN ONTARIO,
AND OPPORTUNITIES
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
SO 1907, 1908,
SOME PEOPLE DECIDE THAT,
"YEAH, YOU KNOW WHAT,
I'M GONNA TAKE A CHANCE
"AND I'M GOING UP THERE
AND I WANT TO SEE."
SO YOU'RE PORTAGING,
AND YOU'RE BRINGING ALL
OF YOUR GEAR WITH YOU,
AND YOU FOLLOW TRAILS.

An animated map shows the locations of Sudbury and Toronto, and the extension of the Porcupine Trail in Northern Ontario in 1907.

Karen says A LOT OF PEOPLE SAID
THERE WASN'T THAT MUCH GOLD
IN THE NORTH.
WELL, THERE IS,
ONCE YOU'VE FOUND THE SEAMS.
IN THIS AREA, THERE WAS.
SO THEN THE RUSH WAS ON.
THINGS GOT ORGANIZED
VERY VERY QUICKLY.
PEOPLE WERE FLOODING
INTO THE AREA.
THERE WERE TWO AND THREE HUNDRED
MEN A DAY SHOWING UP
INTO THE CAMPS.
BY 1910, NOAH TIMMINS MAKES
THE DECISION TO COME ON UP,
AND THAT'S WHERE THINGS
REALLY GET STARTED.

Newspaper article read "Much free gold on the Lohner claims."

An old picture of the town appears with the caption "Timmins. Northern Ontario, 1912."

Karen says THE TIMMINS TOWN SITE.
ALL OF A SUDDEN,
GROCERS AND DRUGGISTS
AND THE NEWSPAPER
THAT COMES OUT IN 1912...
SO, ALL THOSE LITTLE
BUSINESSES START.
IT BECOMES AN AREA WHERE
PEOPLE REALIZE THAT, YEAH,
THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY
FOR ME TO ACTUALLY
MAKE MY FORTUNE
IN THE NORTH.
[WIND HOWLING]
[WIND HOWLING]

The caption changes to "Doctor David Robinson. Economist, Laurentian University."

David is in his fifties, with short receding gray hair and wears glasses and a black T-shirt under a black shirt.

David says THERE'S A LONG HISTORY IN
ECONOMICS OF TRYING TO EXPLAIN
WHY ONE REGION DEVELOPS,
AND WHY THE OTHER ONE DOESN'T.
THE REGIONS WHERE PEOPLE
CONTROLLED THEIR OWN RESOURCES
AND MADE DECISIONS
FOR THEMSELVES
WERE THE REASONS
THAT DEVELOPED.
ALL OF THE WEALTH,
ALL OF THE GOLD AND SILVER
THAT CAME OUT OF
NORTHERN ONTARIO
WAS CHANNELLED DOWN
TO LAW OFFICES IN TORONTO.
YOU THINK I'M KIDDING,
BUT THERE ARE STILL LAW OFFICES
THAT HAVE GREAT BIG PLAQUES
CELEBRATING THEIR PARTICIPATION
IN THE GOLD RUSH
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO,
WHICH WAS MUCH BIGGER THAN
THE KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH.
AND IN THE 20'S, I BELIEVE,
SOMETHING LIKE 27-28 percent
OF PROVINCIAL REVENUES
WERE COMING FROM FORESTRY
AND MINING PERMITS
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
THAT'S A HUGE
CHUNK OF THE BUDGET!
A GOOD DEAL OF THAT WAS ALSO
FLOWING UP TO THE GOVERNMENT,
BUT TO THE RICH FAMILIES,
THE DEVELOPERS AND SO ON
IN THE SOUTH.
YOU COULD SEE WHY
THAT WOULD CONTINUE.
SO, THE FEATURE OF
THE WAY IT WAS HELD,
IS THAT IT DIDN'T DEVELOP
AND SOUTHERN ONTARIO
GOT ALL OF THIS WEALTH.
OKAY, THAT'S COLONIALISM.
[CHATTER]

3 men chatter at a local bar.

The first man says YOU REALIZE THERE ARE
STILL SOME PEOPLE AROUND THAT
WHEN YOU FIRST GOT ELECTED
THIS IS WHERE YOU WERE, RIGHT?

The second man says YEAH.

The third man says OH, YEAH!
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BUY
A ROUND THAT NIGHT, TOO!

Charlie says I BOUGHT A ROUND!
[LAUGHTER]

Charlie is in his fifties, with short wavy white hair and wears glasses, black trousers, a pale pink shirt, a navy blue V-neck sweater, a printed gray tie and a maroon blazer.

Charlie says OKAY,
BUY THEM A ROUND!
NO ONE CAN SAY CHARLIE ANGUS
WELCHED ON A PROMISE.

The third man says I REMEMBER THAT!
YEAH! [LAUGHTER]

Charlie says I THINK
HE WANTS POP, THOUGH.

Charlie walks to his car in a blizzard and says OH, MAN!
[SIGHS]
[CAR STARTS]

Charlie says OH, FUCK...
[WINDSHIELD WIPERS
SCRAPE AGAINST ICE]
The caption changes to "Charlie Angus. Member of Parliament and author."

Charlie says YEAH, IT'S
JUST A NORMAL
SUNDAY MORNING IN TIMMINS...
[LAUGHS]

He says WITH AN ICE STORM
IN FEBRUARY.
WE'RE GONNA DRIVE TO
THE MONETA NEIGHBOURHOOD FROM,
WE'RE JUST LEAVING
SCHUMACHER RIGHT NOW.
AND, UH, WE CAN'T SEE ANYTHING,
IT'S A WHITE-OUT.
SO THE COMMUNITY WAS
REALLY DEFINED BY, UH,
THE THREE BIG MINES.
DOME IN SOUTH PORCUPINE,
MCINTYRE FOR SCHUMACHER,
AND HOLLINGER.
AND TO GIVE YOU A SENSE
OF HOW BIG THOSE MINES WERE,
BETWEEN THE HOLLINGER
MINE AND THE MCINTYRE,
WHICH IS NOT VERY FAR,
THERE'S 1,500 MILES
OF UNDERGROUND TUNNELS HERE.
THE HOLLINGER HEAD-FRAME, WHICH
IT'S HARD TO SEE IN THE SNOW,
IT REALLY LOOKED OVER
THE TOWN OF TIMMINS.
A LOT OF THE STRUCTURE
IS GONE NOW,
SO YOU JUST SORT OF SEE
SOME OF THE OLD BUILDINGS,
BUT IT REALLY SENT
A STRONG MESSAGE OF,
ALMOST LIKE A FEUDAL
OWNERSHIP OVER THE COMMUNITY
BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH
A BIG INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.
MY GRANDFATHER DIED
AT THE MINE BEFORE I WAS BORN.
MY OTHER GRANDFATHER BROKE HIS
BACK UNDERGROUND, AND I WAS...
SPENT A LOT OF TIME
WITH MY GRANDMOTHERS.
AND ALL THE OLD WOMEN
WOULD SIT AT THE...
WHAT WAS THE THE KRESGE'S LUNCH
COUNTER, AND TELL STORIES.
AND EVERY NOW AND THEN
THEY'D START TALKING ABOUT
SOMETHING SERIOUS.
LIKE THEY'D TALK ABOUT
THE NIGHT IN THE MONETA,
OR THEY'D TALK ABOUT
THE PAYMASTER DISASTER.
AND I'D START TO ASK A QUESTION,
THEY'D ALL GO SILENT.

A black and white picture of a couple appears with the caption "Charlie and Jenny Angus. Paternal grandparents."

Another picture of a group of miners appears with a caption pointing at one of the men that reads "Joe Macneil. Maternal grandfather."

Charlie says MY FAMILY
CAME FROM SCOTLAND,
AND THEY CAME FROM CAPE BRETON
TO WORK IN THE MINES.
THEY WENT
TO THE FRONTIER.
SO FROM THE BEGINNING,
TIMMINS WAS A VERY
MULTI-ETHNIC COMMUNITY.

Charlie says ONE OF THE STANDARD
OPERATING PROCEDURES
OF THE MINE OWNERS,
WAS THEY DIDN'T LIKE TO HIRE
ENGLISH OR CANADIAN
MINERS UNDERGROUND.
THEY PREFERRED
IMMIGRANT MINERS.
AND THE REASON THEY PREFERRED
IMMIGRANT MINERS WAS BECAUSE
THEY COULD DEPORT THEM IF
THEY STARTED CAUSING TROUBLE.
THERE WAS A HUGE,
LITERALLY MELTING POT,
OF IMMIGRANT MINERS.
A NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES BECAME
VERY STRONGLY ESTABLISHED HERE.
A YUGOSLAVIAN COMMUNITY,
PARTICULARLY
THE CROATIAN COMMUNITY,
ROMANIAN, BULGARIAN, ITALIAN...
IN THE MINES,
YOUR ETHNIC BACKGROUND
DECIDED WHERE YOU WORKED.
CATHOLICS ALWAYS
WORKED UNDERGROUND.
YOU HAD TO BE PROTESTANT, HAD TO
BE A MEMBER OF THE ORANGE LODGE
TO WORK ON SURFACE,
UP TO ABOUT THE 1960'S.
THE REALLY
DANGEROUS UNDERGROUND WORK
WAS OFTEN DONE BY UKRAINIANS,
EASTERN EUROPEANS...
ITALIAN MINERS WERE GIVEN SOME
OF THE MOST DANGEROUS JOBS.
EVERYTHING IN THE MINE WAS
BASED ON YOUR ETHNICITY,
AND THAT'S HOW THE TOWN
WAS STRUCTURED.
AND THAT'S HOW ALL THE
MINING TOWNS WERE STRUCTURED.
THE MEN
WOULD COME OFF WORK,
AND THE FIRST THING
THEY WOULD DO,
ALL THE MINE CREWS
WOULD GO TO THE BARS
AND START TO DRINK, I THINK
JUST TO BLOW OFF THE TENSION
OF WORKING UNDERGROUND ALL DAY.
AND ALL THE BARS HAD TO SHUT,
I THINK AT 5 OR 6 O'CLOCK,
SO THAT THE MEN WOULD
GO HOME FOR DINNER.
OTHERWISE, THEY SAID,
THE MEN WOULDN'T GO HOME.
THAT WAS VERY MUCH
PART OF THE IDENTITY.

A family portrait appears with the caption Okonmah Family. Immigrated to Canada in 2009."

John says MY BOYS DIDN'T
ASK TO IMMIGRATE.
I JUST THOUGHT IT
WOULD BE BEST FOR THEM.
GIVING THEM THE OPTIONS AND
BETTER OPPORTUNITIES IN CANADA.
SO AT THE TIME THERE WAS
SOME CONFUSION ABOUT WHAT
THIS MEANT TO THEM,
BUT THEY'RE GOOD NOW.

The caption changes to "Jonathan Okonmah. Youngest son."

Jonathan is in his late teens, with short curly brown hair and wears glasses, gray sweatpants and a white T-shirt with a print on the front.

He sits on a couch playing video games.

He says YEAH, WE GET ALONG.
WE'RE CLOSE BROTHERS.
I DON'T KNOW WHY I SMILED
WHEN I SAID THAT.
I'M SORRY.
[LAUGHS]
I REMEMBER MY OLDEST
BROTHER JUSTIN WAS IN...
HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL,
AND ME AND JEREMY
WERE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
SO, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES A LOT OF
OLDER BROTHERS DON'T LIKE THEIR
YOUNGER BROTHERS HANGING AROUND
WHEN HIS FRIENDS ARE OVER,
BUT WE WAS COOL,
HE WAS COOL ABOUT IT, SO YEAH.

A family picture shows the other boys: Justin, at 16 years old; Jeremy, at 13 years old; and Jonathan, at 10 years old.

Jonathan says I REMEMBER
COMING TO TIMMINS.
OBVIOUSLY, THE CULTURE HERE
IS A LOT DIFFERENT
THAN IN LAGOS, AND WE
HAD TO ADAPT TO IT,
YOU KNOW, 'CAUSE YOU'RE
JUST TRYING TO LIKE FIT IN.
I REMEMBER,
THE FIRST COUPLE OF MONTHS,
I DIDN'T REALLY... I WASN'T
REALLY LIKE A FAN, YOU KNOW?
CAUSE YOU JUST MOVED
FROM LIKE A BIG CITY
TO A REALLY SMALL TOWN;
IT'S A HUGE ADJUSTMENT.
IT WAS HARD TO
GET USED TO, BUT I MANAGED.

John says I REMEMBER MY FIRST SON'S
FIRST DAY IN SCHOOL.
HE TEXTED ME, ACTUALLY,
THAT HE DIDN'T LIKE IT HERE.
I SAID NO, THAT WAS THE
LAST THING I WANTED TO HEAR.I SAID, "OKAY,
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
"DID ANYONE CALL YOU NAMES?"
HE SAID NO.
I SAID, "DID ANYONE
LAUGH AT YOU?"
HE SAID NO.
I SAID, "WERE THEY
MAKING FUN OF YOU?"
HE SAID NO.
SO I SAID, "WHAT'S GOING ON?"
HE SAID, "EVERYONE'S
JUST LOOKING AT ME."
"ANY OTHER BLACK GUYS
IN YOUR SCHOOL, AT THE TIME?"
HE SAID, "NO, NOT REALLY,"
AND I SAID, "MAYBE THAT'S IT."
SOMETIMES, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE IN THE ROOM, YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE LOOK AT US BECAUSE
WE'RE DIFFERENT, RIGHT?
I'M NOT PASSING JUDGEMENT
ONE WAY OR THE OTHER,
BUT THAT'S JUST
THE WAY IT IS.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY
THAT THERE WERE NO...
THERE WERE NO NEGATIVE STUFF
GOING ON IN THE COMMUNITY
OR IN THE SCHOOL.
I'M NOT SAYING THERE WASN'T.
EVERYTHING WAS ALL-- YEAH,
BUT IN BALANCE, I THINK, UM,
THE EXPERIENCE
HAS BEEN POSITIVE.

The caption changes to "Dan Andreatta. Timmins Resident."

Dan is in his sixties, with short straight white hair and wears dark gray trousers and a light gray shirt.

Dan says GROWING UP
IN THE PORCUPINE
WAS PROBABLY ONE OF
THE GREAT ADVANTAGES
THAT YOU COULD
HAVE AS A CHILD.

A picture of 9 at the age of 9 appears.

He says WE HAD THE FREEDOM.
WE PLAYED IN THE BUSH
IN THE FOREST.
WE STAYED UP UNTIL DARK,
WE PLAYED OUT IN THE WINTER,
WE PLAYED IN THE SUMMER.
IT WAS REALLY A WONDERFUL
TIME FOR US, GROWING UP HERE.
WHEN I WAS OF AGE,
I WORKED AT THE DOME MINE.
MY EXPERIENCE UNDERGROUND,
I ALWAYS BELIEVED
WAS ONE OF THE BEST
EXPERIENCES I'VE EVER HAD.
WORKING WITH MEN, LEARNING
A LOT ABOUT LIFE, AND, UH,
LEARNING ABOUT NOT WANTING
TO HAVE THAT LIFE FOR MYSELF.
TO SPEND A GOOD
PART OF YOUR LIFE,
WORKING UNDERGROUND IN
DARKNESS AND, YOU KNOW,
WITH A HEADLAMP ON, WAS NOT
THE MOST ENJOYABLE FORM OF WORK.
AND OF COURSE, WHEN I WENT,
IT WAS A LOT BETTER THAN
WHEN MY FATHER
STARTED IN 1923, SO...

A picture of Dan's dad appears with the caption "Corrado Andreatta."

Dan says MY DAD WAS BORN IN
A LITTLE TOWN CALLED FANZOLO.
IT'S ABOUT MAYBE,
A HALF HOUR FROM VENICE.
HE GREW UP AS A SERF,
HE WORKED FOR COUNT AMO.

[EXPLOSIONS]

Dan says WHEN WAR BROKE OUT,
HE JOINED IN THE ARMY.
AT THAT TIME,
ITALY WAS AN ALLY
TO BRITAIN AND FRANCE.
AND HE SERVED HIS TIME WITH
THE ARMY AND CAME BACK
TO HIS HOMETOWN TO DISCOVER
A GREAT DEAL OF POVERTY.
AND IN ADDITION TO THAT,
THIS WAS THE BEGINNING
OF THE RISE OF FASCISM IN ITALY.
HE DIDN'T LIKE THE EXPERIENCE
OF WHAT WAS GOING ON
IN THAT COUNTRY AT THAT TIME.
SO HE DECIDED,
IT'S TIME FOR HIM TO LEAVE.
HE LEFT HIS SURROUNDINGS,
WHICH WEREN'T GREAT,
BUT THEY WERE NICE
AND WARM.

He laughs and says AND HE MIGRATED
TO SOUTH PORCUPINE.
HE HAD NEVER SEEN SO MUCH
FOREST AND BUSH IN HIS LIFE.
HE WAS DESPERATE; YOU KNOW,
HE HAD TO GET A JOB,
AND THAT'S WHERE IT WAS.
IT WAS REALLY
A PRIMITIVE MINING VILLAGE.
HE LIVED IN A LITTLE
PLACE CALLED LITTLE ITALY,
WHICH WAS ON MY PROPERTY,
AND THEY WERE BASICALLY WHAT
WE CALL TAR-PAPER SHACKS.
THEY WERE BUILT WITH
THE BOXES THAT POWDER CAME IN,
AND THEN THEY COVERED
THEM WITH TAR PAPER,
AND THAT'S WHERE THEY SLEPT
IN BOTH SUMMER AND WINTER.
MINERS WOULD GO DOWN,
OF COURSE, AND WORK,
AND OF COURSE THEY WORKED HARD
SO THEY WOULD PERSPIRE
AND THEIR CLOTHES
WOULD GET WET.
IN WINTERTIME WHEN THEY
HAD TO COME BACK UP,
THEY HAD TO GO HOME
IN THE CLOTHES
THAT THEY WORE UNDERGROUND.
ON THE WAY HOME, THE CLOTHES
WOULD START TO FREEZE,
SO WHEN THEY GOT HOME,
THEY'D PUT ON A FIRE
AND THEN HANG UP
THEIR CLOTHES.
THEY WOULDN'T HAVE
TIME TO DRY COMPLETELY.
IN THE MORNING, THEY'D GET UP
AND HAVE TO PULL ON THESE
COLD, FROZEN,
STILL-NOT-COMPLETELY-DRY CLOTHES
AND WALK BACK TO WORK
AND GO UNDERGROUND AGAIN.
THAT'S WHAT EVERYBODY DID.
THAT'S WHAT WAS
ACCEPTED AT THAT TIME.
THE EARLY DAYS
IN THE MINES WERE VERY BRUTAL
IN MANY WAYS, AND, UH...
PEOPLE DIED YOUNG,
AND THOSE THAT SURVIVED
WERE OFTEN NOT WELL.

Different newspaper articles read about accidents in the mine.

Karen says SO THE SHIFTS
FOR THE MINERS
WOULD LAST BETWEEN 8-12 HOURS.
MOST OF THE TIME,
THEY WERE 12-HOUR SHIFTS.
IT WAS VERY DANGEROUS.
YOU WERE DEALING
WITH DYNAMITE,
AND YOU'RE DEALING
WITH ROCK FALLS.
AT LEAST ONCE EVERY MONTH,
IF NOT TWICE EVERY MONTH,
THERE'S SMALL REPORTS ABOUT
PEOPLE BEING CRUSHED BY ORE,
OR HAVING FALLING
DOWN THE HOLE.

Karen says I BELIEVE THERE
WERE PROBABLY CLOSE TO
1,000 MINING DEATHS
IN THIS CAMP ALONE,
SO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WHO HAVE WORKED UNDERGROUND
WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES.

Dan says MINERS DIDN'T HAVE
UNIONIZATION THAT WE HAVE TODAY,
AND PROTECTION THAT WE HAVE
TODAY, AND LEGISLATION.

Charlie says THE CONDITIONS WERE SO
DANGEROUS, LIFE WAS SO CHEAP,
THEY USED TO SAY
THAT THE COMPANIES
PAID MORE ATTENTION
TO THE VALUE OF A SHOVEL,
BECAUSE A SHOVEL COST
MONEY TO BE REPLACED.
WHEREAS IF A MAN GOT HIS
BACK BROKEN, OR DIED,
THEY JUST WENT TO THE MINE
GATE AND REPLACED HIM.

Charlie says MEN LITERALLY
WORKED THEMSELVES TO DEATH
IN THESE MINES,
AND THE IDEA
THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE A LITTLE
BIT OF TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY
AT THE END OF THE DAY...
NOBODY GAVE ANYBODY
ANYTHING HERE.
PEOPLE HAD TO FIGHT FOR IT.

The caption changes to "Kevin Vincent. Timmins author and historian."

Kevin is in is early fifties, clean-shaven and with short gray hair. He wears jeans, a red T-shirt and a navy blue blazer.

Kevin says IN THE GOLD MINING
COMMUNITIES LIKE TIMMINS,
THEY HAD AN OPPORTUNITY
TO ENHANCE THEIR INCOME.
AND THERE WAS NOTHING,
NOTHING, THAT
STOOD IN THEIR WAY
BUT THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE.
HIGH GRADING IS THE ACT OF
STEALING GOLD FROM A GOLD MINE.
AND THAT CAN BE DONE IN
AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF WAYS.

Dan says MY DAD OFTEN TELLS ABOUT,
HIS JOB ONE TIME WAS TO COLLECT
WHAT THEY CALL
THE HIGH GRADE ORE.
THEY HAD VERY RICH
VEINS AT THAT TIME.
AND SO THEY'D GET
CHUNKS OF SOLID GOLD.
AND WHAT HIS JOB WAS TO DO
WAS TO SELECT THESE,
PUT THEM IN POWDER BOXES,
AND PUSH IT TO THE CAGE.
THE CAGE IS WHERE
THEY MOVED ORE UP AND DOWN,
FROM THE MINE UP
TO THE SURFACE.
HE ALWAYS SAID
THAT, YOU KNOW,
"I COULD HAVE HIGH GRADED."
BUT HE SAYS, "I WAS TOO SCARED
TO LOSE MY JOB."
THE COMMON BELIEF WAS
THAT GOD PUT THE GOLD
IN THE EARTH,
AND IT BELONGED TO EVERYBODY.
[LAUGHS]

Different newspaper articles appear with headlights about criminal activity.

Kevin says THE GENERAL CONSENSUS
WAS THAT IF YOU WERE INVOLVED
IN HIGH GRADING,
THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK.
AND IF YOU WERE
NOT INVOLVED,
YOU SIMPLY TURNED
A BLIND EYE TO IT.
EVERYBODY KNEW
WHO WAS DOING IT.
EVERYBODY KNEW WHO
THE KINGPINS OF IT WERE.

A newspaper headline reads "High-grade seizure. Biggest in history."

Kevin says THERE ARE A LOT OF HOMES
AND BOATS AND COTTAGES,
AND WINTER HOMES IN FLORIDA,
BOUGHT AND PAID FOR
WITH STOLEN GOLD FROM
THIS PART OF THE WORLD.
FOR MANY, MANY YEARS,
THERE WAS ONLY ONE
WAY OUT OF TOWN.
ONE HIGHWAY OUT OF TIMMINS,
SO IF YOU WERE
GOING TO TORONTO,
EVERYBODY IN TOWN
KNEW ABOUT IT.
IN FACT, THE SOCIETY PAGE
IN THE NEWSPAPER,
THE INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD KEEP
TRACK OF ALL THAT INFORMATION,
WOULD PUBLISH IT!
"OH, SO-AND-SO IS GOING TO
TORONTO TO VISIT HER SISTER,"
OR "SO-AND-SO IS GOING TO
TORONTO, THEY'RE GONNA
"GO SEE A TORONTO
MAPLE LEAFS HOCKEY GAME."
THAT NEWS WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE
THROUGHOUT THE CITY,
AND THE HIGH GRADERS
AND THE GOLD SMUGGLERS
WOULD APPROACH YOU,
AND THEY WOULD SAY,
"LISTEN, YOU KNOW WHAT?
YOU'RE GOING TO TORONTO?
"LISTEN, WE HAVE
SOMETHING FOR YOU HERE.
"WOULD YOU LIKE
TO MAKE AN EXTRA 50 DOLLARS?"

Kevin says THIS CAB DRIVER
WHO TO THIS DAY IS UNKNOWN,
ONCE A MONTH HE WOULD PICK UP
TWO TO THREE MEN FROM TIMMINS
AND THEY WOULD HAVE
LITERALLY A BAG FULL OF GOLD.
AND HE WOULD
DRIVE THEM FROM TIMMINS,
ALMOST 800 KILOMETRES
SOUTH TO TORONTO.
IT WAS QUITE
A DRIVE BACK THEN.
THE HIGHWAYS WERE
EXTREMELY RUDIMENTARY...
AT THAT TIME.
THE CAB DRIVER
WOULD TAKE THESE MEN
TO AN ADDRESS
IN CENTRAL TORONTO.
AND THAT WAS THE HOME
OF ANNIE NEWMAN AND ROCCO PERRI.
ROCCO PERRI WAS KNOWN
THROUGHOUT THE 20'S AND THE 30'S
AS CANADA'S AL CAPONE.

A picture of Rocco Perri appears.

Kevin says A YOUNG ROCCO PERRI,
AFTER COMING FROM ITALY,
ENDED UP WORKING IN COBALT.
AND THERE IS EVIDENCE
THAT HE INVOLVED HIMSELF
IN THAT PARTICULAR WORLD
OF STEALING SILVER.
SHORTLY AFTER COBALT, YOU HAVE
THE TOWNS OF KIRKLAND LAKE,
AND TIMMINS,
WHERE YOU DISCOVER GOLD.
AND NOT JUST
A LITTLE BIT OF GOLD...
STAGGERING AMOUNTS OF GOLD.
ROCCO, HIS FRONT WAS THAT
HE WAS A MACARONI SALESMAN.
SO HE WOULD MAKE STOPS
FREQUENTLY IN SUDBURY,
AND NORTH BAY, AND HE WOULD DO
IT IN TIMMINS AND KIRKLAND LAKE
ON HIS WAY BACK TO TORONTO,
ON A REGULAR BASIS.
SO ABSOLUTELY HE HAD
THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH
PEOPLE THAT WERE
DEEPLY INVOLVED
IN THE WORLD OF
GOLD SMUGGLING.
IT WAS A VERY
SERIOUS BUSINESS.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
VERY LARGE SUMS OF MONEY.
TIMMINS WAS GROUND ZERO
FOR ALL OF THIS.
THESE GOLD THIEVES
FROM NORTHERN ONTARIO
WERE STEALING GOLD,
ALL BEING FUNNELLED THROUGH
THIS MAJOR CRIME SYNDICATE
BASED OUT OF TORONTO.
ROCCO PERRI AND ANNIE NEWMAN,
THE TWO BIGGEST GANGSTERS
IN CANADIAN HISTORY,
THEY SOLD 850,000 DOLLARS
WORTH OF GOLD.
IN TODAY'S DOLLARS,
WITH TODAY'S PRICES,
IS WORTH APPROXIMATELY
36 MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT IS ONE GANG
OF GOLD THIEVES IN TIMMINS,
AND THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHERS
THAT WERE ALSO ENGAGED
IN THE SAME ACTIVITY.
IT'S BIG BUSINESS,
AND IF YOU DARED TO
OPERATE OUTSIDE THE REAL
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT,
THERE WAS A RISK THAT YOU
COULD BE SERIOUSLY HURT.
AND THERE WERE INDIVIDUALS
THAT TRIED TO DO THAT,
THAT SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES,
NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT.
I BELIEVE
IT WAS AROUND 1933,
IS WHEN THE MINES
IMPLEMENTED THE DRY SYSTEM.
YOU GO INTO THE CHANGE ROOM
AND YOU TAKE OFF
YOUR STREET CLOTHES.
YOU PUT YOUR WORK CLOTHES ON,
AND THEN YOU GO THROUGH
A SHOWER SYSTEM,
AND THEN YOU GO TO WORK.
ON THE WAY BACK, YOU TAKE
YOUR WORK CLOTHES OFF,
AND YOU GO BARE NAKED RIGHT
THROUGH THE SHOWER SYSTEM,
AND THEN YOU PICK UP YOUR STREET
CLOTHES ON THE OTHER SIDE.
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
THE END OF HIGH GRADING.
IT DIDN'T END IT AT ALL.
IT SIMPLY MADE HIGH GRADERS
AND GOLD SMUGGLERS
A LITTLE MORE INVENTIVE
AS TO THE WAYS
THEY WERE GOING
TO GET IT OUT.

Karen says OH, YOU HID IT
WHEREVER YOU COULD HIDE IT.

Dan says IT WAS COMMON
AT THAT TIME,
AND MINERS DID
ALL KINDS OF THINGS.

Kevin says WHETHER YOU
WERE A CLOTHING STORE,
OR GROCERY STORE,
YOU HAD A SET OF SCALES,
BECAUSE YOU KNEW THAT
SOMEBODY WAS GONNA COME IN
WITH GOLD TO HELP PAY
FOR GOODS AND SERVICES
THAT YOU HAD FOR SALE.
AND THAT WAS JUST
A FACT OF LIFE.

Karen says IT WAS CARRIED OUT
BY A LOT OF WOMEN,
BECAUSE THEY COULD HIDE IT
IN THEIR CORSETS.
THE COPS WOULD NEVER
FRISK THE LADIES.
THEY WOULD GO AFTER THE MEN
THAT WERE IN THE CAR,
AND THEY WOULD
TAKE APART THE CARS
AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF.
BUT THEY NEVER, EVER FRISKED
THE WOMEN FOR SOME REASON.
THIS IS A PIECE WE RECEIVED
ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO,
BY A PRIEST WHO DROPPED
IT OFF AND SAID,
"I'M VERY WORRIED ABOUT THIS
AND I DON'T WANT TO HAVE IT
"IN MY POSSESSION ANY MORE."
AND HE WALKED OUT.
AND WE THOUGHT,
"WOW, A RUBBER REPAIR KIT.
"I WONDER WHAT IT IS."
IT WAS ONE OF THE PIECES
THAT SOMEBODY HAD ACTUALLY
TAKEN OUT AS A BIT OF
HIGH GRADE IN THE AREA.

A newspaper article reads "Nearly 1.5 million dollars worth of gold sold by Ring is charge in Toronto Court. Charlie Lamothe, five others tried in highgrade case."

Kevin says CHARLIE LAMOTHE
IS A LEGEND IN TIMMINS.
IF YOU THINK OF SANTA CLAUS,
THAT WAS CHARLIE LAMOTHE.
HE MOVED TO TIMMINS IN
THE 1920'S, MET HIS WIFE,
STARTED A FAMILY HERE,
AND QUICKLY FOUND HIMSELF
INVOLVED IN THE WORLD
OF HIGH GRADING.
CHARLIE BECAME VERY
GOOD AT WHAT HE DID.
HE WAS ALWAYS ONE STEP
AHEAD OF THE COPS.
PEOPLE LIKE CHARLIE WERE
EMBRACED BY THE COMMUNITY.
HE WAS DEFINITELY
A ROBIN HOOD TYPE CHARACTER.
YOU KNOW, TAKING FROM THE RICH
AND GIVING TO THE POOR.
THAT'S ESSENTIALLY
WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY
WOULD BENEFIT
BY THE INDIVIDUALS
THAT WERE INVOLVED.
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE
STORIES ABOUT CHARLIE,
IS THE STORY OF AN 8-YEAR-OLD
BOY THAT WAS SENT BY HIS FATHER
WITH AN ENVELOPE THAT HAD
A LITTLE PIECE OF GOLD IN IT.
SO THE LITTLE BOY GOES RUNNING
OVER INTO CHARLIE'S HOME
IN SOUTH PORCUPINE, AND HE SAID,
"MY DAD SAID TO GIVE YOU THIS;
"YOU'D KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT."
SO HE GRABS THE ENVELOPE,
AND HE TEARS IT OPEN,
HE LOOKS INSIDE
AND HE POURS OUT
A LITTLE PIECE OF GOLD.
CHARLIE REACHES INTO HIS POCKET
AND HE TEARS OFF A 50 DOLLAR BILL,
AND HE HANDS IT
TO THE LITTLE BOY.
AND HE SAID,
"NOW, YOU RUN HOME
"AND YOU GIVE
THIS TO YOUR FATHER."
THE GUY THAT'S SITTING
THERE WITH CHARLIE
LOOKS AT HIM AND SAYS,
"WHAT THE HELL DID
YOU GIVE THE GUY 50 DOLLARS FOR?
"THAT PIECE OF GOLD ISN'T
WORTH 5 DOLLARS, LET ALONE 50!"
HE SAID, "AH, DON'T
WORRY ABOUT IT."
HE SAYS, "HE'S A GOOD MAN,
HE'S A HARD WORKER."
IN 1939-1940,
THE ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
HAD ESTABLISHED WHAT
THEY CALLED A GOLD SQUAD.
THIS WAS A GROUP OF OFFICERS
DEDICATED TO STAMPING OUT
THE PRACTICE OF HIGH GRADING
OR GOLD SMUGGLING.

Different newspaper articles show news of police smashing smuggling rings.

Karen says THERE WAS
A LOT OF CRACK DOWN,
OF COURSE FROM THE MINING
COMMUNITY AND THE MINE OWNERS,
BECAUSE THEY WERE
LOSING QUITE A BIT.

Charlie says THE MINES NEVER
EVER WANTED TO GIVE A SENSE
OF JUST HOW MUCH GOLD
WAS BEING STOLEN.
ONE OLD-TIMER TOLD ME
THAT THEY WERE IN
A VERY HIGH GRADE GOLD VEIN,
WHERE YOU COULD SEE THE GOLD.
AND THE MINERS WERE IN THERE,
AND THE SHIFT BOSS CAME IN
AND LOOKED AT THEM
AND SAID, "WELL, BOYS,
"PLEASE LEAVE SOME FOR US.
THE COMPANY NEEDS IT."
SO IT TELLS ME THAT THEY
KNEW THAT A LOT MORE OF IT
WAS BEING TAKEN THAN
WAS BEING ADMITTED.

John says MY FIRST JOB WAS
PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR
FOR THE IMMIGRATION PROGRAM
IN THE COMMUNITY AT THE TIME.
SO I WAS RESPONSIBLE
FOR CREATING THE PARTNERSHIPS,
TO WELCOME NEWCOMERS,
THE PARTNERSHIPS
FOR SEVERAL MAIN SERVICES.
WE USED TO KIND OF HANG OUT
IN CHRISTOPHER'S COFFEE.
FIRST, AS A NEWCOMER
IN A COMMUNITY,
AND I THINK MOST
NEWCOMERS WILL NOTICE,
BECAUSE YOU SHARED
COMMON CHALLENGES, RIGHT?
SO THERE'S A SENSE
THAT, YOU KNOW,
YOU CAN CONNECT
WITH A NEWCOMER
QUICKER THAN YOU WOULD
CONNECT WITH A CANADIAN.
IT'S JUST WHAT IT WAS, RIGHT,
BECAUSE IF SOMEONE IS HAVING
CHALLENGES WITH FOOD,
FOR EXAMPLE,
THE OTHER NEWCOMERS
WILL UNDERSTAND THAT
BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY MISS,
YOU KNOW...
THEIR HOME FOOD AS WELL.
BECAUSE THE EXPERIENCES ARE
ALMOST, NOT 100 percent SIMILAR,
BUT FOR THE MOST PART SIMILAR.
THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW
WHEN SOMEONE
IS NO LONGER A NEWCOMER,
WHEN THEY STOP COMING.
BECAUSE THEY DON'T NEED
THEIR TEACHER ANYMORE.
[LAUGHS]

The caption changes to "Agnes Okonmah."

Agnes is in her forties and wears a printed headscarf, black leggings and a purple sweater.

Agnes walks on a treadmill and says WE TRY TO HAVE
A NICE TIME, EASTER.
WE INVITED SOME FRIENDS OVER.
MOST OF THEM ARE
IMMIGRANTS, LIKE US.
WE HAVE NIGERIANS, LIKE US.
WE HAVE TRINIDADIANS.
WE HAVE SOUTH AFRICANS,
AND JAMAICANS.
YEAH, PRETTY MUCH.
YEAH, THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM,
BUT THOSE ARE THE ONES
THAT WE KNEW,
SO WE CALLED OVER
WITH THEIR KIDS.
WE DO THAT ONCE IN A WHILE.
CHRISTMAS, YEAH,
HOLIDAYS WHEN WE HAVE TIME.
WE TRY TO GET TOGETHER,
AND KNOW MORE...
AND WITH THAT, THEY TELL US
ABOUT NEW PEOPLE TOO
THAT HAVE COME TO TOWN,
AND WE TRY TO INVITE THEM
SO, I MEAN, TO KNOW
THAT TIMMINS IS NOT AS BAD, EH?

[LAUGHS]

John says I DON'T WHETHER
IT'S BETTER THAN THE PAST,
I REALLY CAN'T SAY.
I JUST KNOW THAT THERE
IS AN ACCEPTANCE
OF MULTICULTURALISM NOW.
I KNOW TIMMINS IS TRYING TO
GET ITS POPULATION GOING,
AND THAT'S ONE OF THE ELEMENTS
THEY'RE LOOKING TO,
TO HAVE NEWCOMERS COMING.
THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE.
I MEAN, ONE GREAT EXAMPLE
I WILL GIVE YOU...
AND I'M NOT COMPLAINING...
IT'S JUST WHAT IT IS.
I DON'T HAVE MUCH HAIR,
SO I DON'T NEED TO WORRY
ABOUT A HAIRCUT, OKAY?

John laughs and says BUT MY KIDS DON'T
CUT THEIR HAIR
UNLESS THEY GO TO SUDBURY,
OR IN TORONTO.
THEN THEY ARE EXCITED
FOR A HAIRCUT.
AND I'VE ALWAYS OFFERED TO
CUT THEIR HAIR, BUT YOU KNOW,
I CAN'T GIVE THEM THE KIND
OF COOL LOOKS THEY WANT,
THEY SAY THAT I DON'T EVEN KNOW
WHAT'S GOING ON, YOU KNOW?
WHEREAS, IF MULTICULTURALISM
WAS REALLY GROWING,
AND WE HAD MORE PEOPLE FROM
DIFFERENT DIVERSE GROUPS
COMING IN, THEN THERE
MIGHT BE ONE GUY WHO SAYS,
"OKAY I'M JUST GONNA DO
THAT FOR...," YOU KNOW?
AND THEN THERE WOULD BE
SOMEWHERE WHERE THEY COULD
CUT THEIR HAIR, BUT...
I KNOW AS A NEWCOMER
THEY ALWAYS ASK YOU, AND SAY,
"OKAY, WHEN DO YOU CONSIDER
"YOUR NEW HOME
HOME?"
AND SOMEONE SAID,
"IT'S WHEN YOU VISIT
"YOUR FORMER HOME,
"AND THEN YOU'RE LOOKING
FORWARD TO GETTING BACK."
THEN YOU KNOW, OKAY,
THAT SHIFT HAS HAPPENED.

Charlie says MINING TOWNS
HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FRONTIERS,
AND PEOPLE COME FOR
ALL KINDS OF REASONS.
SOME PEOPLE COME BECAUSE
THEY'VE RUN OUT OF OPTIONS
EVERYWHERE ELSE,
AND THEY GET TO START OVER.
BUT ONE OF THE REAL INTERESTING
PATTERNS IS THAT TIMMINS
WAS A MINING CAMP,
AND A CAMP IS A PLACE
WHERE MEN GO TO WORK,
AND THEY GO TO WORK
IN THE MINES.
AND THEN THEY STARTED
TO WRITE HOME.

Charlie says WOMEN STARTED
TO COME OVER.
AND WOMEN TOTALLY
TRANSFORMED TIMMINS,
BECAUSE WOMEN
CREATE COMMUNITY.

Karen says WOMEN COME INTO
THE CAMP IN A GREATER FORCE
THAN WHAT THEY DID BEFORE,
SO IF THAT HAPPENS,
THEN YOU NEED CHURCHES
AND YOU NEED SCHOOLS,
BECAUSE YOU'RE
GONNA HAVE KIDS,
AND HAVE ALL THESE
DIFFERENT THINGS.

A black and white picture of an elegantly dressed woman appears with the caption "Ioke Andreatta."

Dan says SHE TELLS ME,
MY MOTHER,
SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS
GOING TO HELL.
SHE SAYS, "NO HOMES,
NO FARMS, JUST BUSH."
AND THEN SHE ARRIVED,
AND MY DAD TOOK HER
TO A LITTLE SHACK
THEY HAD, AND UH,
SHE JUST COULDN'T BELIEVE
WHAT SHE HAD COME TO.

Dan says BUT EVENTUALLY THEY
BUILT A THREE-ROOM HOUSE,
AND SHE WAS VERY HAPPY
WITH THE THREE-ROOM HOUSE.

Karen says PEOPLE TRIED TO CREATE
WHAT THEY COULD CREATE,
AND AS HOMEY AS
THEY WANTED TO BE,
WITHIN THE AREA.

Dan says MY MOTHER SPOKE TO ME
IN ITALIAN ALL THE TIME,
AND MY DAD, WHEN
WE WERE GROWING UP.
SHE NEVER DID LEARN TO SPEAK
ENGLISH AS WELL AS MY DAD,
BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T ENGAGE
WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING
PEOPLE A LOT.
HER FRIENDS WERE MAINLY
ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS.

Karen says WE HAVE SOME FIRST-HAND
ACCOUNTS OF SOME WOMEN
WHO WOULD TALK ABOUT...
BECAUSE THE MEN ARE FINE,
BECAUSE THEY'RE OFF TO WORK
AND ALL THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
BUT YOU'RE AT HOME,
HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS
AND HOW DO YOU DO
ALL OF THESE THINGS
AND HOW DO YOU GET
INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY?
SO THERE ARE SOME INFORMAL
SUPPORT NETWORKS FOR WOMEN.
THERE'S A LOT OF WORK THAT'S
BEING DONE THROUGH THE CHURCHES,
BECAUSE THEY WOULD ALL
GRAVITATE TO THE CHURCHES
AND DO THAT KIND OF THING.
AND A LOT OF THEM
HAVE LOTS OF KIDS,
SO THERE'S THAT WHOLE
CONNECTION WITH CHILDREN
AND WITH THE SCHOOLS.

Charlie says IT WAS THE WOMEN
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODS
WHO STARTED TO LOOK OUT
FOR EACH OTHER
AND STARTED TO, YOU KNOW,
WHEN A KID GOT SICK,
IT WAS A NEIGHBOUR WHO CAME OVER
WITH THEIR OLD COUNTRY RECIPE.
SO YOU START TO SEE A REALLY
FASCINATING CULTURAL MELANGE
THAT HAPPENS IN TIMMINS
IN THE 20'S AND THE 30'S,
OF KIDS GROWING UP IN WHAT ARE
BASICALLY MULTI-ETHNIC STREETS,
AMONG WOMEN WHO COOK ALL KINDS
OF FOODS FROM AROUND THE WORLD,
HAD A LOT OF DIFFERENT
CULTURAL INFLUENCES.
MY FAMILY,
BEING SCOTTISH,
WHAT WE CONSIDERED
OUR NATURAL MEALS,
WOULD BE EAST EUROPEAN
AND FINNISH.
WE HAD FINNISH
BREAD AT CHRISTMAS.
WE HAD CABBAGE ROLLS,
PIEROGIES, THE...
YOU KNOW, LIKE, WE LEARNED
FROM EACH OTHER.
SO WE'RE
IN THE MONETA NOW.
"MONETA" IS ITALIAN
SLANG FOR COIN.
SO THIS WAS THE ITALIAN
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
SO THERE WERE A NUMBER
OF NEIGHBOURHOODS IN TIMMINS
THAT WERE MORE ETHNIC-BASED.
SOUTH PORCUPINE WAS MUCH MORE
FINNISH, UH, SCANDINAVIAN.
SCHUMACHER WAS, UM,
CALLED LITTLE ZAGREB.
IT WAS VERY
YUGOSLAVIAN-CROATIAN.
EACH OF THE NEIGHBOURHOODS
HAD THEIR OWN CHURCHES
AND THEIR OWN
SENSES OF IDENTITY.
IT'S A REALLY
INTERESTING HISTORY,
HOW A LOT OF THE POLITICS
OF THE OLD COUNTRY
WERE PLAYED OUT HERE
IN SURPRISING WAYS.

Charlie points at a building and says THIS VINTNER'S CELLAR
IN THE SUBWAY
IS THE OLD CONSUMER'S
CO-OP GROCERY STORE.
THE FINNISH COMMUNITY
WAS REALLY RADICAL,
AND THEY REALLY DIDN'T LIKE
BEING LIVING IN
CRAPPY BOARDING HOUSES
IN THE CRUMMY CONDITIONS,
SO THEY STARTED
THEIR OWN CO-OPERATIVES.
THE CO-OPERATIVES GAVE
THE MINERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
A CHANCE TO HAVE CREDIT,
TO BE ABLE TO HAVE SAVINGS,
TO HAVE THEIR OWN STORES,
THAT THEY RAN THEIR OWN
STORES WHERE THEY GOT FOOD
AT A BETTER DEAL THAN
AT THE COMPANY STORES.
AND THE ROLE OF THE CO-OP
WAS BECAUSE PEOPLE
COULDN'T GET CREDIT,
BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE POOR.
IT WAS A WAY OF
TAKING BACK CONTROL.
THESE WERE CONSIDERED
REALLY, REALLY,
RADICAL ORGANIZATIONS
THAT WERE REALLY SEEN
AS A THREAT
TO THE CANADIAN SYSTEM.
THERE WERE PEOPLE BEING
ARRESTED ALL THE TIME
IN THE FINNISH COMMUNITY;
THERE WERE PEOPLE JAILED;
THERE WERE PEOPLE DEPORTED
FOR THEIR RADICAL ROOTS HERE.
WE HAD
A COMMUNIST PARTY
WAS ORGANIZING HERE.
A SOCIALIST PARTY.
AND THEN OF COURSE, THE MORE
RADICAL ANARCHO-SYNDICALISTS.
AND THEN THERE WAS JUST
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ORGANIZED
BECAUSE THEY JUST WANTED
TO HAVE A DECENT LIVING.
THEY WANTED TO COME HOME
AT THE END OF THE DAY
WITHOUT THEIR BACK BROKEN
UNDERGROUND.
SO THERE WAS A LOT OF
TENSION AND PRESSURE
IN THESE COMMUNITIES
TO FORCE CHANGE.
THESE FRONTIER TOWNS
HAD A SET OF POLITICS
THAT WAS VERY OUTSIDE
THE POLITICS OF
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
BUT TORONTO IS SO
TIED INTERNATIONALLY
BECAUSE OF ITS CONNECTION
TO THE NORTH,
WE TEND TO FORGET THAT.
TORONTO IS
THE WORLD LEADING CAPITAL
FOR MINING INVESTMENT DOLLARS.
AND WHY IS THAT?
IT'S BECAUSE OF THE MINES
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.

David says A TREMENDOUS
GENERATION OF WEALTH,
AS WELL AS HARVESTING
ALL THE FORESTS,
AS WELL AS ALL THE PULP EXPORTS
THAT HELPED DRIVE THE ECONOMY
CAME OUT OF
NORTHERN ONTARIO.
THAT PROCESS...
CONTINUES.
AFTER CANADA WAS FORMED,
AFTER UPPER AND LOWER
CANADA WERE COMBINED
INTO A COMBINED
COLONY OF BRITAIN,
UPPER CANADA SUDDENLY GRABS ALL
OF THE TERRITORY TO THE NORTH.
WELL, THAT MEANS
THAT NORTHERN ONTARIO
WAS AT THAT POINT A COLONY
OF A COLONY.
AND WHAT YOU SEE HERE
IS THIS PLACE IS STILL RUN
AS A COLONY OF SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
THE PROVINCE OWNS ALL THE LAND.
THE PROVINCE DECIDES
WHO GETS MINING RIGHTS.
THE PEOPLE
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO DON'T.
IT'S DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHICALLY.
IT'S DIFFERENT IN TERMS
OF THE GEOLOGY.
IT'S DIFFERENT IN TERMS
OF THE BIOLOGY.
THE PEOPLE HERE HAVE A DIFFERENT
HISTORY FROM THE AGRICULTURAL
AND URBAN POPULATIONS
IN THE SOUTH.
THE CLIMATE
IS ACTUALLY DIFFERENT.
THE ECONOMY
IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT.
WHY IS THIS AREA
BEING GOVERNED
OUT OF 13 CLOSETS
IN QUEEN'S PARK?
I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
BECAUSE IT'S BEEN SUCH
A HUGE SOURCE OF WEALTH.

Charlie says WHEN SILVER
WAS DISCOVERED IN COBALT,
THE FIRST INVESTMENT
WAS COMING OUT OF NEW YORK.
IT WAS THE NEW YORK CAPITALISTS
WHO WERE COMING UP HERE.
ONTARIO SAID, "WELL,
WE'VE GOTTA GET OUR SHARE."
AND SO TORONTO BECAME
THE STOP-OFF PLACE
TO INVEST.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE GROWTH
OF ALL OF THE SUBURBS
AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS
IN TORONTO,
THEY ARE ALL PREDICATED
ON A SUCCESSION
OF MAJOR MINING BOOMS,
FROM COBALT, TO TIMMINS,
TO KIRKLAND LAKE,
TO ROUYN-NORANDA,
TO YELLOWKNIFE.
AND EVERY ONE OF THESE
NEW MINING BOOMS SENT
ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY
INTO DOWNTOWN TORONTO.

David says THE VERY FACT
THAT WE HAVE A WORLD-CLASS
STOCK EXCHANGE IN TORONTO
IS A RESULT OF ALL OF THOSE
GOLD AND SILVER MINES
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.
THE REASON CANADA HAS,
I FORGET THE NUMBER
NOW, DARNIT,
ONLY 76 OR SOME NUMBER
LIKE THAT, OF ACTIVE MINES,
AND YET WE ARE THE MOST
INFLUENTIAL MINING COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD IN TERMS OF MINING
INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
IS BECAUSE OF ALL OF THOSE
FINANCIAL COMPANIES IN TORONTO
THAT ARE BUILT ON
NORTHERN ONTARIO WEALTH.

Karen says THERE'S DEFINITELY
A DIVIDING LINE
BETWEEN NORTHERN
AND SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
I THINK IT'S GETTING STRONGER
AND THAT THERE'S A VIEW
THAT EITHER NORTHERN ONTARIO
IS JUST A TREASURE CHEST
THAT YOU CAN COME
AND YOU CAN PLAY IN
AND YOU CAN GET STUFF OUT,
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO
PROVIDE ANYTHING ELSE FOR IT.
OR ELSE ITS JUST A PLACE
TO COME AND HUNT AND FISH.
AND THAT'S IT.

Karen says ALL OF THOSE THINGS ABOUT
DEVELOPING NORTHERN ONTARIO
IN THE WAY THAT
IT WAS DONE BEFORE
DOESN'T HAPPEN ANYMORE.
AND THAT'S WHAT NORTHERN ONTARIO
IS REALLY BUILT ON.

David says IF WE THINK
ABOUT TOWNS LIKE TIMMINS,
AND WHAT IS IT,
THE FOURTH LARGEST CITY
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO,
HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON GOLD MINES
AND FINDING NEW GOLD MINES,
IT'S NATURAL TO SAY,
"WELL, WHAT HAPPENS
"WHEN THIS LAST
BIG MINE IS EMPTY?"
PART OF THE ANSWER IS, THERE'S
PROBABLY MORE GOLD THERE,
A LOT MORE GOLD THERE.
IT'S POSSIBLE THERE WON'T BE.
I SEE NORTHERN ONTARIO
AS A REGION
THAT'S KIND OF TREADING WATER.
REGIONS ARE
SUPPORTED BY EXPORTS.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING
TO SELL IN ORDER TO BUY THINGS.
SO IF YOUR QUALITY
OF LIFE GOES UP,
BUT YOU'RE NOT
EXPORTING ANYTHING MORE,
YOU HAVE TO HAVE FEWER PEOPLE.
IF YOU DON'T FIND WAYS OF ADDING
NEW KINDS OF PRODUCTION,
THEN THE NATURAL
TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESS
IS TO REDUCE THE LABOUR
NEEDED IN MINING.

John says SO IF MINES
CLOSE AND MOVE ON,
THEN THAT'S GOING
TO BE DEVASTATING
FOR THE COMMUNITY FOR SURE.
WE'VE GOTTA BE FIGURING OUT
WHAT OUR NEXT PLAY IS.
I DON'T KNOW IF WE'VE STARTED
HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS
IN THE COMMUNITY.
YEAH, WHO KNOWS?
I MEAN...
MAYBE THAT'S WHY THE POPULATION
KEEPS GOING DOWN.
PEOPLE ARE KIND OF LOSING JOBS
AND KIND OF MOVING ON
AND, YOU KNOW?
WHO KNOWS, THE NEXT 20-30 YEARS,
IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD.
IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD.
EXCEPT, AGAIN,
WHO KNOWS?
MAYBE THERE'S MORE STUFF
BURIED UNDER HERE
THAT WE HAVEN'T QUITE
GOTTEN TO YET!

[LAUGHS]

David says A QUESTION THAT'S
REALLY WORTH LOOKING AT IS,
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO PRODUCE
A KIND OF CULTURAL REVOLUTION
OR DYNAMIC SOCIETY,
THAT'S CAPABLE
OF PULLING PEOPLE IN
AND DOING INNOVATION?
IF YOU WANTED
TO BE SURE THAT
YOU WERE GENERATING
THE PEOPLE THAT COULD
RUN THEIR OWN SOCIETY,
YOU WOULD HAVE
A SCHOOL SYSTEM
IN WHICH YOUNG PEOPLE
STUDIED THEIR OWN SOCIETY.

David says THE FLOWERS THEY
STUDIED IN THEIR BIOLOGY BOOK
WOULDN'T BE ORCHIDS,
THEY WOULD BE DANDELIONS
FROM THE DITCHES.
ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE NOTED
ABOUT SCHOOLS RIGHT ACROSS
NORTHERN ONTARIO, IS KIDS
GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL,
THEY WALK OUT ONTO
THE SCHOOL YARD,
THERE ISN'T A SINGLE TREE
THAT MOST OF THEM CAN NAME.
THIS IS A FORESTRY COMMUNITY.
HALF THE WEALTH
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO
COMES OUT OF FORESTRY!
KIDS DON'T EVEN KNOW
WHAT THE TREES ARE
THAT THEY DEPEND ON?
THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT
THEIR PARENTS DO?
THOSE KIDS HAVE BEEN EDUCATED
TO BE PART OF THE MACHINE
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO.

At John's house, the family say their prayers before eating.

David says KIDS NOW GO
FROM HERE TO TORONTO
TO GET A JOB IN A BANK,
OR TO BECOME
ENGINEERS AT WATERLOO.
THEY HAVE NO REASON TO
THINK ABOUT A FUTURE HERE.
IF YOUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
TEACHES THEM TO LIVE
SOMEWHERE ELSE,
THAT'S WHAT
THEY'RE GONNA DO.
BUT IF YOU DO THAT,
THEN YOU HAVE NO RESOURCE
FOR BUILDING A SOCIETY.

The family sit in the living room to eat and watch TV

[SPORTS PLAYING ON TELEVISION]
[SPORTS PLAYING ON TELEVISION]

The caption changes to "Jeremy Okonmah. Middle son."

Jeremy is in his late teens, with shirt curly brown hair and wears light gray sweatpants and a burgundy hoodie.

Jeremy says WHEN WE MOVED HERE,
THE SCHOOL I WENT TO
DIDN'T HAVE A SOCCER TEAM.
SO ONE OF OUR COACHES
JUST WAS LIKE,
"HEY, YOU WANT TO
PLAY BASKETBALL?"
AND I WAS LIKE, "SURE."
AND I'VE BEEN
LOVING THE SPORT, SO...
I JUST LOVE TO PLAY; ANY CHANCE
I GET TO PLAY, I'LL PLAY.

Agnes says HE WANTS TO PLAY
ON THE RAPTORS.

Jeremy says IT WOULD BE AWESOME
IF I COULD PLAY ON THE RAPTORS.

Agnes says YEAH!
ANYBODY THAT TALL CAN PLAY
ON THE RAPTORS, JEREMY, NO?
EVEN ME!

[LAUGHS]

John says YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW
THE RULES OF THE GAME. [LAUGHS]

Jeremy says I TURNED 19
ON MARCH 9TH.

Agnes says FEEL ANY DIFFERENT?
IT DOESN'T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT
BECAUSE I'M STILL LIVING HERE.
I STILL FEEL LIKE
I'M A KID, SO...

Agnes says DON'T WORRY!
COME SEPTEMBER, BYE!
[LAUGHS]

She says I REMEMBER JUSTIN,
"OKAY, I'M LEAVING TIMMINS!"
JUST ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER...
"MOM I'LL BE HOME
FOR THANKSGIVING!"
I SAID, "OH, YOU BARELY LEFT!"
HE'S ALREADY MISSING ME.
SAME!
I KNOW!
YOU'LL MISS ME, JEREMY.

Jeremy says I'M NOT GOING
TO BE COMING BACK.

Agnes says WHY?

Jeremy says BECAUSE I DON'T
WANT TO COME BACK HERE.

Agnes says TO TIMMINS?

Jeremy says NO.

Agnes says NOT TO SEE ME?

Jeremy says I'LL COME SEE YOU
FOR LIKE A WEEK,
AND THEN I'LL GO BACK.
I'M PLANNING ON
GOING TO PETERBOROUGH,
FOR FLEMING COLLEGE.
THAT'S WHERE I WANT END UP.
I'VE HEARD IT'S LIKE...
THE ENVIRONMENT IS
SIMILAR HERE, BUT...
WHEREVER ISN'T HERE,
YOU'LL FIND ME THERE.

Charlie says MEN TALK ABOUT
THEIR WORK THE WAY
SAILORS TALK ABOUT
PARTICULAR SHIPS.
EVERY MINE HAS ITS OWN MYSTIQUE,
ITS OWN LEGENDS.
THERE'S
SOMETHING ABOUT WORK
AS A CULTURE AND AS A
REFLECTION OF AN IDENTITY
AND A WAY OF LIFE THAT
REALLY SEPARATES THE NORTH
FROM OTHER PARTS OF CANADA, AND
CERTAINLY THE REST OF ONTARIO.

Dan says YES, WE ARE.
VERY PROUD!
I WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE IN ANY
OTHER PART OF THE PROVINCE.
MY KIDS WANT US
TO MOVE DOWN SOUTH,
BUT WE'RE NOT
READY TO DO THAT.
SOMEDAY, PERHAPS
WE MAY HAVE TO.

Karen says I MEAN, THERE'S A LOT
OF KIDS LEAVING THE NORTH NOW.
THE MINES ARE
TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
YOU DON'T NEED THOUSANDS
OF PEOPLE TO RUN THE MINE.
SO IT'S A WAY OF LIFE, I THINK,
THAT'S TOTALLY CHANGING.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE NOW
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO,
AND I THINK WE'RE JUST
TRYING TO HANG ONTO WHO WE ARE.
AND I'M NOT REALLY SURE
HOW LONG THAT'S SUSTAINABLE.
THAT'S IT.

[LAUGHS]

John says I'VE MADE HERE MY HOME,
EXCEPT OF COURSE,
SOMETHING
FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGES.
BUT OTHERWISE, YEAH,
I CONSIDER TIMMINS HOME.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Executive producers, James Hyslop and Nick Crowe.

Series producer, Catie Lamer.

Writer and director, Catie Lamer.

Copyright 2018, Alibi Gold Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Watch: Ep 1 - A Fortune Found