Ontario's Historical Plaques 

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The French Presence in Hearst

The French Presence in Hearst

Photo by contributor Denis Gionet - Posted November, 2009

The French Presence in Hearst

Photo from Google Street View ©2015 Google - Posted February, 2015

Plaque Location

The District of Cochrane
The Town of Hearst
Along the 9th Street west sidewalk
across from Kitchener Street

Coordinates: N 49 41.088 W 83 39.964


Click here for a larger map

Plaque Text

French Canadians began to settle in Hearst in 1912 during the construction of the National Transcontinental Railway. Most came to farm but soon turned to the more lucrative forest industry. Sawmills established by French Canadians prospered as family enterprises for decades, before being amalgamated into large forest-product companies by the end of the 20th century. Over the years, the French-speaking community in Hearst - once a minority - grew to 89% of the population with Francophones taking on leading cultural, economic and political roles. Institutions such as the Catholic Church and the Université de Hearst, founded in 1953, have played important roles in Franco-Ontarian education and society.

Related Ontario plaques
French-Canadian Settlement and the CPR in the Mattawa Area
French Community in Welland
The French Presence in Cornwall
The French Presence in Lafontaine
French Settlement on the South Shore
Jeanne Lajoie 1899-1930
L'École Guigues and Regulation 17


Assorted Events

Hearst Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted January 15, 2014
I have some updated coordinates for you to consider: N49 41.088 W83 39.964. The difference is only about 50 metres, but the plaque is found along the 9th Street sidewalk.[Editor's Response: Thanks. Coordinates updated.]

> Posted November 24, 2009
We've photographed this sign and area as part of a geocache very close by, using the nearby Catholic Church as well. Interesting writeup, and the Grotto behind the sign is very interesting and unique as well. Lots of history in the University as well. It used to be the convent and church many years ago. Enjoy the surroundings, we often do!
Denis Gionet, Doris Bouffard

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