You can tell you’re in farm country in Earlton – 1) it has a John Deere dealership, and 2) the Earlton Country Store isn’t a craft outlet, it’s a real country store complete with seed, fertilizers, and farm tools.

Earlton hosted the International Plowing Match in 2009

Earlton hosted the International Plowing Match in 2009.  (Photo credit: Highgrader Magazine)

Earlton is a francophone farm hamlet of about 800 on Highway 11.  I love Earlton.  It reminds me of southern Ontario.  Upon driving in to Earlton you see the grain, corn, and dairy farms (I think they also grow some potatoes and berries up here too.)  Depending on the direction of the wind, the town sometimes smells like a barn.  But that’s why it is so neat.  Heck, there are cows practically right in the town itself.  Earlton is so cute – I love it.

Cow traffic jam!  Cattle graze near homes in Earlton, Ontario on highway 11

Honestly, these were right in the middle of town

Earlton is kind of the half-way point between North Bay and Cochrane, being about 200 kilometres in between both.  Earlton is about 30 kilometres north of New Liskeard. Earlton is the home of hockey’s true number 99, former Maple Leafs player Wilf Paiement, who recently appeared in a pretty-cheesy-but-not-unfunny Leon’s commercial (“You can make three easy paiements…”)

Earlton used to be well known for the Earlton Zoo – the only place in Ontario north of Toronto to have zebras and other African animals.  However that morphed into the Temiskaming Wildlife Centre, which took care or orphaned or rescued animals from across the north.  Apparently, according to posters below, the Centre is now shut down.

Earlton, Ontario on Highway 11 highway11.ca

(Credit: User P199 at wiki Commons.)

There is also Manitou, the famous bison statue that is (if I am correct) the world’s largest sculpture of a bison or buffalo.  If you get up close, you’ll see that it is made of everything from sheet metal to fibreglass to nuts and bolts (as hair.)  It is even anatomically correct, which I’m sure leads to many rude photos and pranks.

Earlton, Ontario Highway 11 Bison statue

Earlton’s anatomically correct bison

Earlton hosts a number of festivals.  As a farming town, Earlton hosts a farm fair the weekend after Labour Day.  Every July 15 and 16 Earlton hosts its annual Steam Days, where old steam powered machines are resurrected and displayed.  There is also the yearly Temiskaming Drag n’ Fly drag racing event held at the airport. Earlton was also the home to the 2009 International Plowing Match – the furthest north the IPM has ever been held. (Scroll down for a few IPM photos – thanks to Highgrader Magazine for the International Plowing Match photos.)

Earlton, Ontario 2006 protest

Local businesses and residents fought the closure of the Thornloe Cheese Factory, and won

In terms of services, Earlton has a caisse, a Scotiabank and Chartrand’s Grocery.  Hotel LaSalle (“the friendly place”) has takeout and dine-in food.  There are also two chip stands, a little bowling alley (it is northern Ontario still!) and a motel.  There is a baseball diamond and recreation centre at the west end of town.  There is gas just off Highway 11, and Real’s Barbershop is in town should you need a haircut on your roadtrip.

Earlton is definitely worth a stop, especially on a summer evening to watch the sun set over the local farms.  You’ll swear you’re in Perth County or Essex County, not Temiskaming.

Earlton, Ontario rural airport, highway11.ca

Earlton’s little airport, surrounded by countryside. (Credit: User P199 at Wiki Commons.)

Earlton, Ontario 2009 IPM Highway 11

2009 International Plowing Match. (Photo credit: Highgrader Magazine.)

26 thoughts on “Earlton

  1. Posted to Earlton Airport as radio operator late Fall of 1959 after two months at Kapuskasing. Boarded briefly with Ann and Ed Audet in RR station then shared new apartment with Don Solar (also airport radio operator) until April 1960 then posted to Fort William . Enjoyed swimming hole ar-t Englehart, weekend dances in New Liskeard and general countryside and warmth of the people. Spur-of-the-moment baseball games were always exciting in the cow pasture just off the main drag. Cheers all.

  2. I’m headed out East this summer towing my boler trailer #dornytheboler that was manufactured in Earlton in 1976. Any idea if the factory is still there being used to manufacture something else? I’m leaving from Cumberland on Vancouver Island and ultimately headed to the 50th anniversary of the boler trailer rally in Winnipeg but have some extra time to explore and will be spending a few weeks in Ontario before backtracking to Winnipeg. I thought it might be neat to see where my trailer was originally manufactured so was checking if the factory was still there.

  3. I stopped in Earlton on the way to Timmins in Dec. 2005 , took some cash out of the Scotiabank and got a coffee at the little store there. It seemed like a cute little town. I knew that it was home to the Paiement brothers, Wilf, Rosaire and Pierre.

  4. I lived in Earlton in 73-74,worked on the expansion of the airport and had my picture taken while working which was published in the local paper…what was the local paper called back the then, anyone?

  5. When I was 12, my grandparents took me camping up there. I am in the process of trying to locate and map out a trip to 3 lakes up there that we camped/fished for 6 weeks. I know that we made one trip in the 6 weeks to a town named Armstrong which had a laundromat, a store and maybe a restaurant and bar. I was only 12 so some of it is quite foggy. We camped on Jackiness (best I can recall) and another lake which was my favorite Pesigee (sp) and that lake led to Wabinosh (my favorite). I remember an old native coming ashore in a canoe and talking with us. I distinctly remember him saying “Wabinosh, no road”. Can anyone help me get there? Maybe which highway to get to that area? I have googled the name of the lakes (which I tried many spellings of) with no luck. I’d like to take my family there for a summer vacation. I am hoping it is as deep and rustic as it was back then. I cannot imagine anyone putting a improved road in there. It was a beater of a road and I like that. If there is anything you can share with me about how to get there, I sure would appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Kevin Rudden

    • I’m not sure, but maybe you stayed near temagami Ontario. This seems to be the only place that I could find similar names to the lakes you remember. (Pisigee= opechee, jackness=jackpine,wabinosh=Wabi-kon) opechee,jackpine and wabi-kon are all near temagami

    • You were north of Thunder Bay: Wabinosh Lake, Pishidgi Lake and possibly camped on Jackfish Island. Armstrong/Armstron Station is north of Wabinosh Lake. Google maps is awesome! I grew up 3 miles from Earlton.

  6. I am looking for the phone number of that place that sells gazebo’s on highway 11 just outside of Earlton Ontario? if anyone knows it please message me. thank you

  7. Hi there, I’ve had some exposure to the North and am now looking at moving here for a year or so. Technology keeps me in touch. I welcome your comments!

    • Yes I have been to Earlton several times, its a nice little town with friendly people. I camp near Earlton so I get all my supplies there.

      • I remember my teacher David Silver took care of the Earlton Zoo. They had tigers. Moose and birds. I am trying to reach him.

  8. i live in this great little town..our grocery store is now called Earlton Grocery King..and the old Hotel Lasalle reopened with new owners and is now called 10st Tavern which is a great place with good food..a real friendly town to raise children.

    • I have shopped at the grocery store & had breakfast at the bar there on the corner. I also bought lumber from the hardware store there . I sure like the town of Earlton. lol

  9. My fathers name Edward Audet was a staion agent in Earlton 1932-1969. Had 6 children. I left in 1945 to attend St. Mary’s Halebury. Worked for Ontario Northland Railway as a telegraphist steady Kirkland lake ticket and telegraph office until 1957. Continued to work in Woodstock ontario for CPR. Married Bruce Howlett, moved to London in 1961, worked for Air Canada, have 2 sons..Jay and Brent. Growing up in Earlton was a wonderful experience living in the station. Excitement everyday. Remember the bakeshop owned by Gauthiers, hardware store as well. 3 groceries stores (Charlebois, Lacroix and ?)More if interested.

    • To Gwen Howlett: Do you know anything about my uncle, Gilbert Earnest McCloskey? He worked as a telegraphist for the ONR. He married my mother’s sister, Elsie Brooks (first married name Sheridan) around 1930?? Gilbert and Elsie apparently lived in Earlton for a while before starting a tourist camp on Rib Lake, 11 mi north of Temagami, east of Hwy 11. The camp was either named, or came to be called, Camp Bay-Lee-Mac. Gilbert had a number of children from a prior marriage to Gertrude Swinwood McCloskey, who had been born in Montreal. The children’s names were Ellen Fern McCloskey, Lyall McCloskey (maybe nicknamed Bud), Ernest McCloskey, and Ethel Irene McCloskey. I would love to hear from you if this is ringing any bells. I’m trying to put the pieces of my aunt’s life together!

  10. I lived in Earlton only a few short months in the summer of 2007? But have lived in many other Northern Ontario towns….Engleghart, Charlton/Dak, Kirkland Lake, Eby Township….But the think I miss most about Earlton was a Friday night spent at the Auction. If memory serves, was the grocery store not called Earlton Foodland? I rememeber making very precise shopping lists, as to pick up everything needed from the first stop, Grocery Depot in KL, then Thib’s in Englehart, then Foodland in Earlton, then finally the old Lobelaws in New Liskeard. Full day trip. I loved when they held the drag races at the Airport. I missed them the next few years when they moved them. Glad to hear they are back.

    • I have never seen the drag races at the Airport but I did spend awesome hours at the Steam Show. There were a lot of old vehicles & machinery there .That was a full day of smiles .lol

  11. Have just discovered records of my grandfather, William Barnes, and family who came over fron England to Canada in 1912 on the ship Lake Manitoba with their destination Earlton. My grandfather was a farm laborer and from what I find on your website Earlton is definitely a farming area. I would be most interested if anyone in your area might remember the William Barnes family. His brother,Arthur Barnes was already here with his family.

    • Hi
      When was he in Earlton area? I did not know any Barnes from Earlton, but there was a Charles Barnes living on the street behind my grandparents in Englehart. He was from England.
      Do you have the ancestry on his family. My mother’s maiden name was Annie Barnes Anderson Coyle. Her great great great grandfather William Charles Barnes was born 08 Jan 1843 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, England. His father was also William Charles Barnes, born 28 NOV 1812 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, England. Charles still has a son Terrance living in Englehart.

    • If Rob Barnes would like a bit more info about Arthur Barnes’ family (descendants – as I don’t have any stories about him or his immediate family) you can contact me as I am his Great Great Granddaughter. I am doing some genealogy and would like to know if you have any info on the parents of William and Arthur Barnes.
      Thank you
      Tammy Bockus

  12. well, just to let yu know, the Temiskaming Wildlife Centre is no more… it has been closed.. unfortunately…

    the Zoo was GREAT, I did end up working there for a summer, between high school and college..

    Earlton DOES have a Caisse Populaire and a Scotia, but it is NOT a Chartrand’s Independent (that is in New Liskeard), but we do have a grocery store (cant remember the name of it)
    unfortunately, Hotel LaSalle has been closed…

    Population of Earlton is now at 1250

    and we will be host to the International Plowing Match in 2009

    overall, Earlton is a great lil town to go relax and escape the city…

    Myself, i go back about 3-4 times a year

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