Community Planning of the T ownsite of Thompson

CIM Bulletin, 1964

D. G. Henderson Director of Municipol Plonning, Plonning Branch, Dept. of Municipal Affairs, Province of Manitoba

The development of the townsite of Thompson by The International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited, is worthy of review and study for a number of reasons. Primarily, this project clearly demonstrates the value of the application of sound planning and engineering principles and techniques to the problem of creating a new community in the wilderness of the north. This paper attempts to review the background of the Thompson Townsite project and the number of design factors which influenced the form and pattern of the final townsite plan. In addition, the peculiar site characteristics and other factors which ultimately determined the character of the development plan are outlined and their significance commented upon. The features of the final plan and the means whereby the )Jlan came into reality are an essential part of this paper. It is the author's purpose to demonstrate the importance of the planning, engineering and municipal administration functions and the degree to which they are interdependent. This paper brings to the attention of the reader the fact that the design of a new townsite represents a greater challenge than the mere extension of an existing community. The creation of an environment conducive to a happy and rewarding community life is the real measure of the success of a new townsite plan. The planning, engineering and administrative skills cannot claim success in such a venture if, in fact, the physical form does not take on life and possess a spirit. This paper does not claim Thompson to be a total success, for it is too early to tell. It does, however, suggest that there are signs indicating success, and that these result from the use, by The International Nickel Company of Canada, Ltd., of a sound planning program.
Keywords: Canada, company town, Inco, Thompson, Manitoba, Design, Development, Developments, Planning, Projects, service, Services, Townsite, Townsites