Also known as the "Moose Capital of Canada", Hearst is a town with a population of 6,000 people, located along the northern part of the Trans-Canada Highway (#11), on the Mattawishkwia River.
The Town of Hearst was originally known as Grant, but the name was changed in honour of Sir William Howard Hearst, the 7th premier of Ontario (1914-1919).
Founded in the early 1900s and incorporated as a town in 1922 under Mayor Gus McManus, Hearst was once a small settlement of farmers. Eventually, Hearst became a maintenance station for the National Transcontinental Railway, later renamed the Canadian National Railway, as well as a terminus for the Algoma Central Railway.
The rail industry attracted many people to Hearst and as a result, the population and economy grew. A large portion of the inhabitants came from Quebec and today about 85% of the community is francophone.
After World War II, family-owned lumber companies gave birth to its truly industrialized economic base and forestry became, and still continues to be, the main industry. Hearst is a major supplier of plywood, particle board and melamine. Because the forest is an integral part of Hearst's economy, the town has taken measures to maintain it as a sustainable resource.