I love Atikokan and its spirit. Since I moved here I have started to enjoy myself like never before. If you like the outdoors this the perfect place to be. I like the people of Atikokan and their altruistic efforts to improve the town and themselves. I feel safe and I feel blessed. What more I can ask for?
My family and I immigrated to Canada in March 2001.We left behind the political instability, poverty and corruption of our home country, Romania, but also beloved family, friends and memories with the hope of a brighter future, both personally and professionally.
Despite fifteen years of forestry experience and academic credentials, as recent immigrants we faced various barriers that any person in our situation would face (i.e. not knowing how to access information, lack of Canadian work experience and training, English language proficiency, credential assessment, licensing).
The years of hard work, privation, and continuous learning were rewarded by earning a Masters of Forest Conservation degree from the University of Toronto, the title of Registered Professional Forester designation, followed by employment with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Atikokan, Ontario. My life has changed greatly since my arrival to Atikokan.
Moving somewhere new is often difficult, but making the move to a small town can be a pleasure. It is a delight to become a part of a closeknit, warm community such as Atikokan. No sooner have you landed than you find yourself skiing on tens of kilometers of wonderful trails, biking on rugged bush roads or on roads along gorgeous lakes and boreal forests dotted by majestic red and white pines , in a murder mystery at the Intergenerational Center or going for a canoe trip in beautiful Quetico Park. No one needs to try to adjust; the rich North-Western culture and stunning wilderness will bring out the existing Atikokanite in anyone. This move was not only rewarding on a personal note but on a professional level as well. I achieved things that I don’t think I could have initially even dreamed upon my arrival in Canada. Surrounded by caring, friendly people and colleagues I was able to put to good use the skills and knowledge accumulated during my carrier in Romania than complemented through my education in Canada. All culminated in 2008 when my work was recognized by my fellow pears as the recipient of the year of Ontario Professional Foresters Association’s (OPFA) “Forester of the Year”. None of this would have been possible, without moving up here.
Julie Slack, MSc, RD
Why I love Atikokan, Ontario
I moved to Atikokan in January 2007 to be with my partner. To be totally honest, before I moved here I was not very excited about living ‘in the middle of no where’. But once I got here, it sure didn’t take me long to fall in love.
I had lived in many communities before moving to Atikokan and I had never felt that true sense of community or spirit before moving here. The people are so friendly and instantly accept you as one of them. I think the part of Atikokan that made me a ‘lifer’ was the unlimited amount of activities that are at our fingertips. We have a wonderful swimming pool, arena and curling club/golf course in our community, and we are surrounded by lakes and the beautiful Quetico Park. My favourite are our amazing mountain bike and ski trails, right at our back door. I feel like Atikokan is a little kept secret and look forward to raising a family in this community one day.