White River benefits from new Harte Gold mine
200 jobs may be created in 800 person community
A complete 180-degree turn would be the best way to describe the economy of White River, Ont.
A decade ago, the local sawmill was closed, and the future of the community looked bleak.
Now, in 2017, hundreds of new jobs are slated to come to the community of 800 people along Highway 17 in northwestern Ontario.
In fact, there is even a labour shortage in the small community.
"White River is a robust little community, and when it falls flat on its face, we get together, we rebuild it. This is what we've always wanted to do, and it's working out great for us."
Bazzoni said one challenge is finding housing for all of the workers to live. Limited space at the mine site means all Harte Gold employees and contractors will have to live in White River.
Bazzoni said the township has 70 infill lots available for building - it just needs a contractor to come in and start building homes.
Even the local sawmill has brought in trailers to accommodate some of its employees.
Harte Gold, landlord
Steve Ball, the General Manager for Harte Gold said he never imagined that developing the mine from the ground up, and ground down, would also involve purchasing living quarters for workers.
"Our goal has been to hire locally where we can, when we find the right skills, and I think we've been quite successful with that," Ball said.
"Most recently we've also bought the trailer park," he said. Other purchases include a former cabin rental business, to try and alleviate the housing shortage.
"We've had to improvise for sure. Welcome to White River and we like to make it unique."
When fully operational, the mill and mine will employ up to 200 people.