The Town of Coniston

With a bright future once again on the horizon, the people of Coniston decided it was time to consider incorporating their village. Up until that point, Coniston was little more than a collection of homes and businesses situated in geographic proximity to one another. While there was some sense of community, the townspeople felt that a deeper feeling of unity was needed. So, in 1933, the people of Coniston signed a petition to incorporate their community. The petition was sent to the Ontario Municipal Board and on January 1, 1934, the Town of Coniston was officially incorporated.

As a result of the incorporation, the people held their first municipal election and the candidates who were nominated to serve as mayor and councillors were each elected to office. The first mayor was Edgar Taylor Austin, the superintendent of the Coniston smelter and the original surveyor of the townsite. One of the first resolutions Council passed was to permit INCO to supply police services to the Town of Coniston.

On April 3, 1934, the Town Council appointed John Angove as the first fire chief in charge of the twelve-man volunteer fire brigade and in 1947, the brigade received its first fire truck. INCO paid to retrofit the truck and the work was done at the Coniston smelter. The company offered to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance to the fire equipment and provided the use of its fire marshal to assist in the training of the volunteers. INCO even built the community fire hall.

In 1939, INCO arranged for the construction of a community hall in Coniston at the former executive home on 44 First Avenue. The company covered the remuneration for the caretaker and the cost of maintenance on the building. This community hall served as the polling station for elections, as a meeting place for church groups, social organizations and clubs, and when required, as the town's medical clinic. Across the street, the town's first clinic and doctor's residence was established at 45 First Avenue. The resident doctor was a member of INCO's medical centre staff and the company continued to provide medical care to Coniston until the late 1960's when their medical system was phased out.


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