The first phase of the McIntyre Park rejuvenation was the creation of the Lion’s Walk between the Gillies Lake Promenade and the Rotary Trail in Schumacher. This trail connects Timmins and Schumacher for a one-way distance of 2 km. The trail incorporates the abandoned ONR railway right-of-way and follows the shores of Little Pearl Lake to the McIntyre Community Centre. The trail is rich in history that includes the development of the Porcupine Camp and the many mines associated with it. It also features the McIntyre headframe and the rejuvenated McIntyre Park with its picnic areas and historical points of interest.
The Kiwanis Gardens next to Gillies Lake is the start of the Lion’s Walk before it crosses Highway 655 and heads to the east. Almost immediately the trail follows the old Ontario Northland Railway right-of-way, through a rock cut only to emerge on the westerly shore of Little Pearl Lake. From here it passes along the north shore of the lake, through the McIntyre Park and in to behind the Chamber of Commerce offices at the Lion’s Gate. The trail crosses Hwy 101 E at the lights, continues eastward along the back streets of Schumacher until it arrives at Schumacher Heights and the start of the Rotary Trail.
- The Kiwanis Gardens is actually the old lake bottom of Gillies Lake that through the 1930’s and 1940’s had been infilled with mine tailings and other rock debris. It sits right next to the old Ontario Northland Railway tracks, removed in the early 1980’s when freight and passenger service into Timmins was discontinued. Further along the trail you will see the remains of the Hollinger Mine bucket line used to bring sand from the Hersey Lake area to backfill mining tunnels and stopes.
- As the trail makes its way to the Lion’s Gate, it passes along the shores of Little Pearl Lake, originally the smaller brother of Pearl Lake further to the east. When the McIntyre Mine started operations, it used this lake as a basin to deposit its tailings, the rock waste that is left over after the gold has been extracted. Over time this filled-in lake was developed into a park. Then in the early 1980’s the tailings were removed for their gold potential and the lake reappeared. The trail features benches and bridges.