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About our Campus & Community

Welcome to the Wawa CampusOur Wawa Campus, the third stop in the eastern leg of my journey is located in the Regional Training & Technology Centre building in the town of Wawa. This campus location was formerly run by Sault College

This article is part of a series entitled “Know Your Regional Campuses” (KYRC) - Wawa Campus … an opportunity to become more familiar with our Regional Campuses, some of the people who work there, and the unique communities in which they reside, along with a little history of the area.Wawa History, Mining & Forestry

Aerial photo of WawaWawa (Ojibway word meaning “Wild Goose”) is located just off of the Trans Canada highway, a six-hour drive east of Thunder Bay, or two hours north of Sault Ste Marie. The town was originally founded on iron-ore mining (1898) (Helen Mine, Magpie Mine & George W. MacLeod Mine). The forestry industry has also been a major part of Wawa’s history. In 2007, Weyerhaeuser shut down its oriented strand board mill, 30 km east of the town, putting a large number of Wawa residents out of work. Gold mining and exploration as well as diamond exploration are showing some signs of recovery in the area. Europeans first settled in the Wawa area in the early 1700’s near the mouth of the Michipicoten River, approximately 9 kms south-west of Wawa. The Northwest Company and Hudson Bay Company fur-trading posts were located here next to an Ojibway summer campsite. At its peak after World War II, Wawa was a progressive and energetic community that grew to almost 5,000 residents (town sign currently says 3,700 residents). Many early residents came from war-torn countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

iron ore drill

Iron ore drill display - downtown on the shore of Wawa Lake.

The Wawa Goose

Wawa is famous for the “Wawa Goose” sculpted and unveiled in September, 1960, in celebration of the opening of the last link in the Lake Superior section of the Trans Canada Highway. Prior to this, residents of Wawa travelled from their town via steamboat on Lake Superior (until 1941) or the Algoma Central Railway (after 1921). During the depression of the 1930’s, hundreds of men worked on the roadway for 15 cents per day! The biggest challenge to the road construction, located 80 km south of Wawa at the base of the Agawa Promontory, is known as “The Gap.” This mountain of pre-cambrian rock was deemed to be impassable, as the rock was very rugged and very hard. It was apparently easier to navigate the highway through the Rocky Mountains than it was to put the highway north through to Wawa!

Wawa is certainly very proud of its “Wawa Goose!” The goose symbol can be seen everywhere, even on the animated lamp post decorations that light the main street at night.

Wawa Goose photo

The famous “Wawa Goose” at sunrise.

Wawa goose photo

The steel goose is beginning to look a little weathered these days and the community is currently undergoing a fundraising campaign to replace the 50 year-old structure.

Young’s General Store - for a “trip down memory lane”

Young’s General Store (with Henrietta the moose on the porch) is one of the most notable businesses in town. Its exterior is a sprawling museum of “devices” from a former era.

Young's General Store - Wawa photo

If it’s old and no longer works … you can likely find it here … at Young’s General Store a sprawling, informal museum of “devices” gleaned from a former era.

Henrietta the Moose photo - Young's General Store - Wawa

“Henrietta the Moose” greets customers from near and far, from her perch on the porch!

Wawa Campus Staff

photo - Anne Renaud

Anne Renaud is the Campus Director (who is also the Campus Director for the Northshore Campus (Marathon) and the Greenstone Campus (Geraldton)

Nadine photo

Nadine Sager
taught CS 007 as the first instructor at the Wawa Campus.

First Nation Community - Michipicoten & other communities

To wind up my tour of the Wawa area, Melanie Pilon took me on a tour of the nearby Michipicoten, a First Nation community on the shores of Lake Superior with which she is anticipating doing even more work in future.

Wawa Campus services the Superior East Region which includes four communities;
Wawa, Chapleau, Dubreuilville, White River and six First Nations Communities.

Student Learning

Wawa students photo

Early Childhood Education students(l to r), Jennifer & Shauna.

Wawa Campus student photo

Sara - Pre-Health Sciences

Wawa Campus students photo

“The two Jessica’s” - Business Human Resources & Business Accounting.

Wawa Campus student photo

Sara busy working on her lab.