Flin Flon, Manitoba, incorporated as a city in 1970, population 5363 in Manitoba, 229 in Saskatchewan (2011c); 5594 in Manitoba, 242 in Saskatchewan (2006c) Manitoba,; area 13.88 km2 in Manitoba, 2.37 km2 in Saskatchewan. The City of Flin Flon is situated along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, 743 km northwest of Winnipeg. The Saskatchewan part of Flin Flon is jointly administered by the 2 provinces. Flin Flon is named after the fictional character Professor Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin (created by J.E.P. Muddock), the adventurer-explorer hero of The Sunless City (1905).
Extensive mineral deposits were discovered at the site in 1915, although it was more than a decade before production began. Construction of a railway link with THE PAS (1928), development of a power source at Island Falls on the CHURCHILL RIVER (1929) and successful extraction processes facilitated development, as did the involvement of H.P. Whitney of New York, who by 1927 had formed Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company Ltd (HBMS).
By 1930 production began at what became Canada's largest zinc refinery and third-largest copper smelter. Many families left the Prairies for Flin Flon during the 1930s, determined to make new lives for themselves. HBMS also established satellite mines within the region, including around SNOW LAKE, a community to the east; or bought mines such as the Rattan mine near LEAF RAPIDS to the northeast.
Flin Flon was developed initially in an unplanned manner near the mine and plant. Costs of materials and the rocky terrain led to construction of small houses and businesses with minimal amenities. Redevelopment and newer residential areas have improved the cityscape. Flin Flon is still dependent on mining, with tourism also of importance. Lumbering contributes somewhat to the economy. The city is also a regional service and recreation centre and hosts an annual Trout Festival in July. Flin Flon is known for its production of fine hockey talent.