There’s something in the clear northern air in Cochrane, Ontario. To some, it’s a sense of adventure. To others, it’s a tangible feeling that something great is about to happen. According to former mayor Peter Politis, “Cochrane’s economy is booming and our community knows it. We are proud of who we are, are proud of what we’ve built here – our successes and our beautiful, natural four-season life – and celebrate it every chance we get.”
The Town of Cochrane has a population of about 5,500 and functions as a service centre for a wide tributary area. Where Highway 11 ends and turns west, becoming the northern route of the Trans-Canada Highway, Cochrane is also served by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission and its renowned “Polar Bear Express” train to Moosonee. World-renowned for their commitment to polar bears, the town boasts the world’s only Polar Bear Habitat.
Aside from its special northern charm, Cochrane offers a diverse culture rooted in history; a progressive, family-oriented society; and excellent health-care facilities. Cochrane is unapologetically small but mighty, often breaking economic and environmental trails regionally.
No wonder Cochrane is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Northern Ontario.
This diverse economic landscape offers opportunities for just about everyone in any sector. Trends over the last five years show that employment demand has either remained stable, or increased in sales and services, trades, transportation and warehousing, health, finance and business-related occupations. Proof of Cochrane’s economic growth is the current unemployment rate of only five per cent.
Due to the low unemployment rate, demand has dictated Cochrane focus on attracting skilled labour to the community. Given our diverse sector offerings, it’s easy to showcase the many employment opportunities and great social amenities that exist.
Following an economic boom that occurred with the reopening of Detour Lake Mine, operated by Detour Gold, the re-establishment of two mills, and the completion a large solar farm, Cochrane’s economy is running on all cylinders. New developments such as the Cochrane Intermodal Terminal, a world-class event facility, and infrastructure projects totalling $60 million in investments in the past 10 years indicate the growth trend that has characterized and will continue to characterize Cochrane.
That tangible energy fuelled by success permeates the essence of Cochrane culture. When you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, you’re also not afraid to stand up and tell others who you are.
Cochrane’s beautiful Torch-light parade, our quirky winter dances on a frozen lake, our ice fishing contests, our bike- and book-sharing programs, our pianos scattered through town, an amazingly active beach, the world’s best snowmobile trails, our francophone and First Nations influences, the world-class events centre with a pool, and even fun moose-calling events at the local pubs have earned Cochrane its title as a Top 50 small community in Canada.
Property values continue to appreciate. Quality of life is second to none. Cochrane’s future is bright, and this is why people choose to live and work in Cochrane.
To Cochrane, all of this is just who we are. But, for the rest of the world, we’re proud to say we’re “Wonderfully Unexpected.”
Communities of Opportunity is an annual advertising feature allowing Northern Ontario municipalities to showcase their unique social attributes and economic assets to the investment world, and demonstrate why they are open for business.