History Lesson Overlooking Juniper
Overlooking the Juniper neighbourhood is where one can see the first houses built in a model mining community, 1958-61. A modern town exploded out of the wilderness in the first few years. The first school, bank, grocery store, and hospital operated in brand new houses before they moved to their permanent buildings. Streets were gravel; houses were unfinished on the outside; no sidewalks existed; everyone wore rubber boots and entered houses in their stocking feet to keep them clean.
Each neighbourhood in Thompson had its own elementary school and playgrounds. Streets were named after fish, birds, metals, trees, etc. to help identify specific areas of the community.
All trees were cleared to allow the sun to melt the permafrost. Only then could construction begin. Most trees in residential areas were planted after homes were built. The trees directly below the Juniper Viewpoint have grown back as secondary growth since the early 1960s.
PERMAFROST is frozen ground that never thaws and is a challenge to engineers and contractors. It’s why buildings move and roads dip if not prepared properly.
- The first house was occupied on Poplar Crescent in October, 1958.
- The first bank was the Toronto Dominion in a house in 1958.
- The Thompson Plaza was the first indoor mall in western Canada in 1962.