Not even the most frigid temperatures of minus 40 below could keep Timmins from showing off its community spirit as the Olympic flame made its way through the city on its way to Vancouver.
Thousands waited in Hollinger Park as country singing superstar Shania Twain made her way on the torch's final 300 metres of the Timmins leg. They all cheered as the precious flame lit the Olympic cauldron on stage.
Officials estimate anywhere between 7,000 and 9,000 people attended the celebration on New Year's Day. Many others lined the torch's route from Porcupine through Timmins.
The crowd erupted as Twain made her way into Hollinger Park toward the stage. She proudly carried the torch and lit the cauldron, before taking a few moments and speaking to the crowd, as her son Eja, looked on, waving from the front of the crowd.
"This is so fantastic, it's pretty overwhelming," Twain said. "I know we could have probably had warmer weather, but in a way it just feels really beautiful to be back up North in the cold.
"I know that sounds crazy, but it wouldn't be Timmins if it wasn't 40 below with the wind chill."
Twain went on to say that the fact that all those people stood out in the crowd in the freezing weather only proves the spirit people from the North have.
She wished luck to all Olympians, and said how happy she was to be back in her hometown.
"I'm honoured," said Twain. "I'm extremely proud and it's a highlight of my life to be able to be here to carry the torch."
"It was such an honour."
When asked how she felt about the Olympics themselves being held in her home country, Twain said that no matter where she has travelled in the world, Canadians are much loved, and that is something Canadians should be proud of. She also had some words of encouragement for all those out there in Timmins, both young and young at heart.
"I say go for your dreams, never lose hope and hold on to spirit," she said. "Not just of your hometown, although Timmins has a fantastic home spirit, of course it does, and I think I carry that with me everywhere I go.Twain paused and waved to the crowd before bounding the final few metres onto the stage, where she lit the Olympic cauldron and passed the flame to the next torchbearer. She called the experience the "highlight" of her life.
An international superstar and multiple-Grammy winner, Twain was born in Windsor, Ont., but spent most of her youth in Timmins, honing her talents by performing in local bars and clubs.
Her 1997 record Come on Over has sold more than 34 million copies, making it the best-selling album by a female artist of all time.
The torch continues its journey through northern Ontario on Saturday, making stops in a number of communities including Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.