Exploring Flin Flon & Meeting Flinty

I’d always wanted to visit Flin Flon, ever since I was a little girl and learned about Flintabbatey Flonatin. Was it a CBC thing or Canadian content to air adjacent to Sesame Street? Not sure. But I remember seeing that iconic cartoon character/roadside attraction on TV and wanted to go there.

It seemed really far away. Like I’d never get there.

And then, this summer, we did! I was stoked to see all the Flinty stuff.

But there was something about Flin Flon that I had no idea about — its topography. Huge rounded rocks rose like the shoulders of giants, with houses perched upon them. No building seemed to have a basement, but rather, basements were built into homes. I wonder if they’re considered two-storey homes, or one storey with a basement?

I’ve never been to the East Coast… but I imagine this might be what it’s like? Colourful unique houses built right onto the rock?

But instead of fishing, you can definitely tell it’s a mining town. We didn’t really talk to anyone there, but it seemed gritty. But then also soft. And enthusiastic. Warm. And colourful.

Here, please join us for a stroll through Flin Flon, Manitoba! July 2020.

First thing’s first — we had to meet Flintabbatey Flonatin!

And, it wouldn’t be a typical summer vacation for me if it didn’t involve finally seeing something I’d always wanted to see… then getting there and finding it under scaffolding. But, I was still excited to see the statue! It was designed by Al Capp, and the erected in 1962.

The sign says: “Flin Flon is named after Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin, an adventurer in The Sunless City, a novel by E. Preston Murdock. In 1914, a copy was found in the wilderness of northern Manitoba by a party of prospectors. A year later, these men working claims near the present site of Flin Flon came upon a conical hole having rich showing of gold. Tom Creighton, recalling the adventures of Flintabbatey Flonatin who escaped from an underground lake through a large gold-studded hole in the earth’s crust, suggested the claims be called Flin Flon. The others agreed and that is how Flin Flon got its name.”

The statue is located at the Flin Flon Station Museum. We didn’t go inside, as many large mining relics are everywhere outside!

As soon as we saw this, I urged Andrew to join me for a stroll around Ross Lake. I mean, I could not resist something that is named for Flinty, AND involves a walk!

But we only walked out to Del’s Point. Not around the whole lake. Hopefully next time!

Heading downtown!

Take note of Mugsy’s above.

We were impressed to find they have rainbow sidewalks in Flin Flon. I feel like Steinbach is due for one.

This church is in the middle of downtown Flin Flon, on a rocky hill.

This another kind of church — the Whitney Forum. It’s the “home of the Flin Flon Bombers”. Andrew said it was important to take a picture of this.

We quickly detoured out of Manitoba for a quick look at Creighton, which is Flin Flon’s Saskatchewan counterpart.

More mining…

And then we were hungry. Mugsy’s was calling out to me. It seemed warm and cozy. I was not disappointed! I love the way she indicated which tables no one could sit at. Rather than using hazard tape like other restaurants, she placed colourful large balloon bouquets that made social distancing feel like a party! And the sandwich was incredible.

We left Flin Flon with bellies full.

Just one last look at Flintabbatey Flonatin.

I leave you with the words Flinty uttered upon the completion of his stellar little submarine: “Behold my handsome fish. Together we will discover a great new world. Indeed why not?”