Major employers in Chapleau have jobs to fill, town wants to increase population

Chapleau is a town with roots in Canadian history and played an element in constructing the country’s rail infrastructure.

Bearing the name of Joseph-Adolph Chapleau, Quebec’s fifth premier and secretary of state to John A. MacDonald, the town formed just 18 years after confederation in 1867.

It began as a divisional point for the Canadian Pacific Railway, certainly one of the last steps of the railroad’s construction, which was accomplished in 1885.

CP Rail still operates in the neighborhood to assist transport goods across the country. It’s currently in need of train conductors.

The corporate’s Chapleau ‘trainmaster,’ David Marchioni, was born and raised in Chapleau. He began as a conductor and has been working here for greater than 20 years.

“You’re contributing to the nation’s GDP, we move freight day-after-day,” Marchioni said.

“It’s quite rewarding, once you come to think that, being a conductor, you’ll be able to serve the country as an entire. Whether or not it’s grabbing that nice lobster that was caught out within the pacific … to the whole lot else you may ever consider.”


Once a town that had as many as 5,000 residents in its peak, Chapleau’s population has dwindled to about 1,900, based on last yr’s census.

Employers have been attempting to attract people to the community with extra incentives, like signing bonuses — CP is offering an additional $5,000 to candidates who commit to staying for a yr — to competitive salaries and advantages.

GreenFirst Forest Products purchased the town’s sawmill last yr and the mill’s general manager, Eric Tremblay, said it’s continually trying to hire expert trade staff.

“Now we have various shifting arrangements and all kinds of positions available,” Tremblay said.

“We even have opportunities here in Chapleau for apprenticeship programs within the electrical, mechanical and power engineering fields.”

The mill employs roughly 150 employees, Tremblay said, and does business with two major local forestry contractors, which give one other 100 jobs for the community.

About 10 minutes east, Newmont’s all-electric Borden gold mine employs greater than 100 people in the realm.


Despite the shrinking population, Chapleau’s economic development officer, Charley Goheen, said the town hasn’t lost its charm since its incorporation in 1901.

Nature is the focus of the community, while neighbouring three First Nations: Chapleau Cree, Chapleau Ojibwe and Brunswick House.

The realm is home to certainly one of the biggest wild game preserves on the earth, a 7,000-square-kilometre area established in 1925.

It’s also encompassed by two river systems, the Nebskwashi and Kebsquasheshing rivers, making Chapleau prime for water sports and award-winning fishing, in addition to hunting, ATV riding and snowmobiling which can be staples of the north.

Goheen said individuals who enjoy adventures and the small-town feel — or willing to present it a try — will find Chapleau an important fit.

“It’s just so serene, that you may be sleeping after which, for those who want, you’re a footstep away from nature. You’re footsteps away from a lake, to go fishing, to see wildlife,” said Goheen, adding that the life-style may particularly appeal to northerners or those trying to get away from the town.

“Especially (for) mental well-being, I feel like the character and just connecting with the whole lot is just good for mind, body, spirit and you’ll be able to get that here.”


Despite being a small town with a spot in Canadian history, several individuals who called Chapleau home have gone on to make their very own marks on history.

The founding president and CEO of Porter Airlines, Robert Deluce, was born in the neighborhood, occurring to receive national recognition for his accomplishments in aviation. He currently sits on Porter’s board of directors as its executive chairman.

As well, Robert Fife, the Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau chief and former CTV News journalist, can be a Chapleau native. He was named certainly one of Canada’s 50 strongest people by Maclean’s Magazine in 2021.

Most recently, Timmins saw its first mayor of color in Kristin Murray, Chapleau Cree First Nation member and Chapleau High School graduate. She has retained her city council seat, following the recent municipal election and is the descendant of a signatory to Treaty 9.


Goheen said the town has the whole lot a family or single person would wish to begin a life in Chapleau.

It’s a bilingual, close-knit community with each elementary and high schools, a library, a museum, a fireplace hall and basic amenities.

There may be a supply of jobs ready for the taking, Goheen said, in addition to business properties for entrepreneurs.

Many roles available have set schedules, which Eric Tremblay said makes work-life balance a straightforward thing to administer.

“Regardless of where you reside, in the neighborhood, you’re two minutes away from work,” Tremblay said.

“You show as much as work early within the morning and by 4 p.m., you’re back at home and you’ll be able to spend every night along with your family. That’s certainly one of the advantages of working in a small community like here.”


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