The original Chimo polar bear statue at the Highway 11 entrance to Cochrane would have been on his perch for 53 years this coming September. That is, if he hadn’t been replaced by a newer, different model in 2018.
Cochrane Public Library archivist Ardis Proulx-Chedore gives us Chimo’s history.
“The original Chimo bear was unveiled in September of 1970,” she says. “It was assembled in Toronto and trucked by transport to Cochrane. Chimo was housed in the MNR garage before being put outside for the very first time.”
Chimo was a project of 1970 Board of Trade president Guy Belisle. Whether you prefer the old Chimo or the new model, you’ll have to admit that you couldn’t imagine Cochrane without either one.
You might remember that the word “chimo” is Inuit for “friend” or “friendship”.