Prior to 1950, Wawaitin could only be reached by the Mattagami River or a winter road.
Employees were given isolation pay. In summer, staff and supplies were transported on
The Haig, a large boat piloted by Joe Cloutier. In winter, travel was first by horse and
sleigh from Timmins, then a snowmobile with heaters. It was large enough to carry 6
men and supplies. The driver was Jim Kennelly.
In the late 1940s, Percy Dixon was the resident Mechanic and Adelard Girard was the
Handyman. His wife was the cook and looked after the bunkhouse. My husband Bob,
was an operator-in-training in 1951 at Wawaitin and from his memory, other Operators
there were Hilford Atwater (Red) Reid, Thomas Flood, Alfred Groom and Nels Darling.
The Chief Operator worked day shift; the Operators and Floormen worked 3 shifts to
man the plant 24 hours a day.
In later years and before the plant was automated in 1965, the chief Operator was
Perry Lockhart. Lou Malouin, Don Howe, Don Ouimet, Bert Fay, Ed Gyene, Jim Found,
Bill Larrett, Ken Kitchen, Bill Petty, Jim Lemire, George Sheridan and Len Richardson
and their families were among those living at the Wawaitin colony.
Here is a final note about the name of the generating station. It is
pronounced just as it's written - Wa-WAIT-in; it's not Way-wee-a-tin.
In Oji-Cree it means loud waterfalls.
Families lived in Hydro-owned homes near the
Colony Life at Wawaitin
Published in Timmins Times March 4, 2010 By Diane Armstrong