Flin Flon Manitoba was named for a character in a science fiction novel, and it’s where marijuana was grown for the Canadian Government

statue of Flintabbatey Flonatin at Flin Flon, Manitoba, created by Al Capp. Photo by Wtshymanski / Public Domain

Statue of Flintabbatey Flonatin at Flin Flon, Manitoba, created by Al Capp. Photo by Wtshymanski / Public Domain

Flin Flon, Manitoba – One of the city’s curious and controversial claims to fame is that an abandoned mine shaft was used to grow marijuana for the Canadian Federal Government. This stopped in 2009 (CBC report) The marijuana was grown for Health Canada, for people who required it for medical purposes.

That’s just the start though, Flin Flon has other curious ‘claims to fame’. The mining community got its name from a character in a dime-store novel ‘The Sunless City’.

Wikipedia says the novel was about a prospector named Josiah Flintabbaty Flonatin who explored a bottomless lake in a submarine, and discovered a land where everything was backwards.

There are a number of different theories as to why the city was named for this fictional character, including the story that a copy of the book was found here by several prospectors who were portaging the Churchill River in 1915.

Today a statue of the character Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin, which was designed by American cartoonist Al Capp, creator of L’il Abner, now stands at the edge of town.

Flin Flon also once minted it’s own $3 coin, which was legal tender for one year.

The city is on the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border. Most of it is in Manitoba, however the city’s Main Street does cross  the provincial boundary. You’ll find the city about 740 km/460 mi north of Winnipeg, on the same latitude as Copenhagen and Moscow.

One of the towns most popular events is its Trout Festival, held annually on Canada Day weekend. The derby often produces winners weighting as much as 18km/40lbs. Grass River Provincial Park (with 150 lakes),  is about 30 km / 20 mi east of town, and is popular for canoeing, camping and fishing.


81 Church Street, Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada


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