Prospecting in the region began in 1906. Benjamin Hollinger, Sandy McIntyre and others made the first large gold discoveries in 1909. The region’s main population centre was South Porcupine until 1911, when it was destroyed by fire.
Timmins was officially incorporated as a town on 1 January 1912. It took its name from Noah Timmins, a merchant from Mattawa, Ontario. Noah Timmins had made a fortune in the Cobalt silver rush before moving north and helping found the company town.
For the first half-century of its existence, the town’s population and prosperity fluctuated with the fortunes of the various gold mines, Hollinger, McIntyre and Dome. Since the 1960s, its economic base has been diversified, with the addition of copper mining (Kidd Operations). Through regional amalgamation in 1973, Timmins achieved city status.