Northeastern Ontario

Northeastern Ontario is a secondary region of Northern Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron and east of Lake Superior.[1]

Northeastern Ontario
Nord-est de l'Ontario (French)
Secondary region

██ Core area ██ Extended area
Coordinates: 48°00′N 81°45′W
Country Canada
Province Ontario
  Total280,290.16 km2 (108,220.64 sq mi)
  Density1.96/km2 (5.1/sq mi)
Largest cityGreater Sudbury
161,647 (2016)

Northeastern Ontario consists of the districts of Algoma, Sudbury, Cochrane, Timiskaming, Nipissing and Manitoulin. For some purposes, Parry Sound District and Muskoka District Municipality are treated as part of Northeastern Ontario although they are geographically in Central Ontario. These two divisions are coloured in green on the map.

Northeastern Ontario and Northwestern Ontario may also be grouped together as Northern Ontario. An important difference between the two sub-regions is that Northeastern Ontario has a sizeable Franco-Ontarian population — approximately 25 per cent of the region's population speaks French as a first language, compared with just 3.2 per cent in the northwest.[2] Virtually the entire region, excepting only the Manitoulin District, is designated as a French-language service area under Ontario's French Language Services Act, unlike in the northwest where only a few standalone municipalities are so designated.



There are six cities in Northeastern Ontario in alphabetical order (2016), they are.

Name of City Population District Ref.
Elliot Lake 10,741 Algoma District
Greater Sudbury 161,647 Greater Sudbury
North Bay 51,533 Nipissing District
Sault Ste. Marie 73,368 Algoma District
Temiskaming Shores 9,920 Timiskaming District
Timmins 41,788 Cochrane District

Smaller Towns

Smaller towns in the region include Espanola, Blind River, Chapleau, Cochrane, Englehart, Hearst, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Mattawa, Moosonee, French River, St. Charles, Markstay-Warren and West Nipissing.


The region is served by several branches of the Trans-Canada Highway, including Highway 11, Highway 17, Highway 66 and Highway 69. Several other highways in the region are part of the provincial highway system, but not the national Trans-Canada Highway.

The only freeways in the region are a portion of Highway 17 in the Walden district of Greater Sudbury, and most but not all of Highway 69 between Greater Sudbury and the French River. The remainder of Highway 69 is slated for conversion into a full freeway, and will be redesignated as part of Highway 400 when the construction is complete. The provincial government also has plans on file for the eventual conversion of Highway 17 to freeway from Sault Ste. Marie easterly toward Ottawa, although no timetable for this project has been announced as of 2018 except for the conversion of Highway 17's Southwest and Southeast Bypasses route through Sudbury near the completion of the Highway 69/400 project.


Population of Northeastern Ontario
District 2016 ± 2011 ± 2006 ± 2001 ± 1996
Northeastern Ontario 505,625 -0.7% 508,982 -0.3% 510,326 -3.3% 512,007 -5.6% 542,248
Algoma District 114,094 -1.5% 115,870 -1.4% 117,461 -0.9% 118,567 -5.5% 125,455
Cochrane District 79,682 -1.8% 81,122 -1.7% 82,503 -3.2% 85,247 -8.6% 93,240
Greater Sudbury
(including enclaved Wahnapitae First Nations reserve)
161,647 0.8% 160,376 1.6% 157,909 1.7% 155,268 -6.1% 165,336
Manitoulin District 13,255 1.6% 13,048 -0.3% 13,090 3.2% 12,679 7.9% 11,747
Nipissing District 83,150 -1.9% 84,736 0.1% 84,688 2.1% 82,910 -2.3% 84,832
Sudbury District 21,546 1.7% 21,196 -3.0% 21,392 -6.6% 22,894 -3.9% 23,831
Timiskaming District 32,251 -1.2% 32,634 -1.9% 33,283 -3.4% 34,442 -8.9% 37,807

Provincial parks


  1. Kerry M. Abel, Changing Places: History, Community, and Identity in Northeastern Ontario. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780773530386.
  2. William Kaplan, Belonging: The Meaning and Future of Canadian Citizenship. McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993. ISBN 9780773509856. p. 142.
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