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Oliver Paipoonge is a township in the Canadianmarker province of Ontariomarker, located directly west of the city of Thunder Baymarker. The municipality was formed on January 1, 1998, with the amalgamation of the former Township of Oliver and Township of Paipoonge. It contains several communities within its boundaries, including Kakabeka Falls, Murillo, Rosslyn, Slate River Valley and Stanley. The remainder of the municipality is agricultural or rural.

The municipality is part of Thunder Bay's Census Metropolitan Area.


The municipal office of Oliver Paipoonge is located in the village of Murillo. The current mayor of Oliver Paipoonge is Lucia Kloosterhuis; first elected as mayor in 2003, having previously served as a councillor in both Oliver Paipoonge and the former Township of Paipoonge. The first female elected as mayor in Oliver Township was Iris Calvert, in 1991. Previously, the Municipality of Paipoonge had not elected a female as mayor.


The geography of Oliver Paipoonge transitions from river valleys in the south, through flat open farmland and rolling hills in the central areas, to the rough Canadian Shield in the north. The most notable geographic feature is Kakabeka Fallsmarker, located on the western edge of the municipality in Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park.


The municipality is served by three major highways. Highways 61 and 130 are located in the southeast corner of the municipality and serves as the backbone of the Slate River Valley, an agricultural community. Highway 130 connects to the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 11/17) at Rosslyn, the largest settlement. It also serves as the main street for Kakabeka Falls. Approximately half of the population of Oliver Paipoonge lives within five kilometres of Highway 11/17. Highway 102 runs through the northeast corner of the municipality. A small grass airstrip is located northeast of Kakabeka Falls, and two rail lines run through the municipality.


Oliver Paipoonge's primary industry is agriculture, followed with tourism focused around Kakabeka Falls and forest products manufacturing in Murillo and Rosslyn. Many residents commute to work either to Thunder Bay or the surrounding woodlands.


Murillo contains a post office, two stores, the Murillo Bakery featuring Rye Breads, a municipal hall, and a tavern. New commercial enterprises, located in the Rubin Industrial Park, include a well driller, self-storage facility, a forest products manufacturer, and the Rural Roots child care facility. Each year the village hosts the Murillo Fall Fair, which features chariot races.

The village is the location of the government offices for the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge as well as the Oliver Paipoonge Police and the Lakehead Rural Planning Board.

Murillo was originally a water stop on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The stop was named after the Spanish painter Bartolomé Estéban Murillo, as the CPR was at that time using the names of painters to name the many new communities springing up along its trans-Canadian line.

Rosslyn contains numerous commercial enterprises and is home to approximately 1,000 people and the Paipoonge Museum. A new golf course and housing subdivision, named King George's Park, are currently being developed in a former gravel pit. There is also a skating rink here, and a community centre beside it.

Kakabeka Falls takes its name from the nearby Kakabeka Fallsmarker waterfall. The Lauber Arboretum is located in the community.

As Kakabeka Falls' economy is based on tourism, its main street is lines with tourist oriented businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and camping sites. A three-day street fair is hosted in the village every August. Kakabeka Falls has a public school, called Kakabeka Falls Elementary School, located on the community's main street.

Population and demographics

[90226] According to the 2001 census, there were 5,862 people residing in Oliver Paipoonge, of whom 51.2% were male and 48.8% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 4.9% of the resident population of Oliver Paipoonge. This compares with 5.8% in Ontario as a whole, and almost 5.6% for Canada overall.

In mid-2001, 9.7% of the resident population in Oliver Paipoonge were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada. The average age is 37.9 years of age comparing to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Oliver Paipoonge declined by 0.8% compared with an increase of 6.1% for Ontario province as a whole. Population density of Oliver Paipoonge averaged 16.7 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 12.6 for Ontario altogether.


The 2001 census states that 81.2 per cent of Oliver Paipoonge residents belong to a Christian (28.5% Roman Catholic, 50.1% Protestant, and 2.6% other Christian, mostly Orthodox) denomination. Those who follow religions like Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and others make up 1.5% of the population combined, while the remaining 17.3% are non-religious.

Sites of Interest

Each year Kakabeka Falls hosts a street fair, Murillo hosts the Murillo Fall Fair, the Slate River area hosts the Slate River Ploughing Match, and the Agriplex hosts an annual summer fair.

There are two museums in the municipality: the Paipoonge Museum in Rosslyn and the Pioneer Museum in the Slate River Valley.


Oliver Paipoonge is served by the Lakehead District School Board. There are three schools located in Oliver Paipoonge, Crestview Public School in Murillo, Kakabeka Falls Public School in Kakabeka Falls and Valley Central Public School. High schools students are bused to Thunder Bay. A daycare centre is located in Murillo.

Surrounding Municipalities


  1. Tronrud, Thorold J. & Nicholson, David (1999). Thunder Bay Quiz Book: 101 Fascinating Questions about our History. Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, pps. 9 (question) and 36 (answer) ISBN 0-920119-50-6.

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