Kenora District

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Kenora District
Map of Ontario KENORA.svg
Location of Kenora District in Ontario
Coordinates: 49°46′N94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483 Coordinates: 49°46′N94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483
CountryFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Province Flag of Ontario.svg  Ontario
Region Northwestern Ontario
   MPs Eric Melillo (CPC), Charlie Angus (NDP)
   MPPs Greg Rickford (PC), Guy Bourgouin (NDP), Sol Mamakwa (NDP)
  Land407,213.01 km2 (157,225.82 sq mi)
Highest elevation
505 m (1,657 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2016) [2]
  Density0.2/km2 (0.5/sq mi)
Time zones
West of 90° west/Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (Central Daylight (CDT))
East of 90° west UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight (EDT))
Pickle Lake/Mishkeegogamang First Nation UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
Postal Code FSA
Area code(s) 807
Largest communities [3] Kenora (15,177)
Dryden (8,195)
Sioux Lookout (5,183)

Kenora District is a district and census division in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. The district seat is the City of Kenora.


It is geographically the largest division in Ontario: at 407,213.01 square kilometres (157,225.82 sq mi), it covers 38 percent of the province's area, making it larger than Newfoundland and Labrador, and slightly smaller than Sweden. Kenora District also has the lowest population density of any of Ontario's census divisions (it ranks 37th out of 50 by total population).

The district was created in 1907 from parts of Rainy River District. The northern part (north of the Albany River) only became part of Ontario in 1912 (transferred from the Northwest Territories). [4] The separate Patricia District upon transfer, it was in 1937 annexed to Kenora District and known sometimes as the Patricia Portion. [5]


As with the other districts of Northern Ontario, Kenora District has no equivalent to the county or regional municipality level of government that exists in Southern Ontario. All government services in the district are instead provided by the local municipalities, by local services boards in some unincorporated communities, or directly by the provincial government.


The climate is very harsh because of the influence of the cold waters of Hudson and James Bays: most of the region is taiga characterized by discontinuous permafrost, but on the extreme northern coast there are – remarkably for a latitude of only 54°N – patches of true Arctic tundra and continuous permafrost. This is the southernmost point in the Northern Hemisphere reached by the circumpolar line of continuous permafrost on any continent.

Kenora District is geographically extensive enough to share borders with both the contiguous United States (the boundary between it and the Northwest Angle is located in the Lake of the Woods) and the Canadian Arctic waters (Hudson Bay), the only district in Canada to do so.

The District contains the Sturgeon Lake Caldera, which is one of the world's best preserved Neoarchean caldera complexes and is some 2.7 billion years old. [6]



Dryden 7,749
Kenora 15,096
Red Lake, Ontario Red Lake ON 1.JPG
Red Lake, Ontario


Red Lake 4,107
Sioux Lookout 5,272


Ear Falls 1,026
Ignace 1,202
Machin 935
Pickle Lake 425
Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls 567

First Nations reserves

Attawapiskat 1,549 Northwest Angle 33 187
Bearskin Lake 461 North Spirit Lake 263
Cat Lake 489 Pikangikum 2,100
Deer Lake 763 Poplar Hill 473
Eabametoong 1,014 Rat Portage 38A 362
Eagle Lake 27 227 Sabaskong Bay 35D 387
English River 21 639 Sachigo Lake 443
Fort Albany 67 (part)2,031 Sandy Lake 1,861
Fort Severn 89 361 Shoal Lake 39A (part)388
Islington 29 832 Shoal Lake 40 (part)101
Kasabonika 681 Shoal Lake 34B2 97
Keewaywin 340 The Dalles 38C 195
Kenora 38B 394 Wabauskang 21 75
Kingfisher Lake 462 Wabigoon Lake 184
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug 904 Wapekeka 355
Lac Seul 872 Wawakapewin 21
Lake of the Woods 31G N/A Weagamow Lake 87 677
Lake of the Woods 37 46 Whitefish Bay 32A 670
Marten Falls 190 Whitefish Bay 33A 79
Mishkeegogamang 1,920 Whitefish Bay 34A 126
Muskrat Dam Lake 281 Wunnumin Lake 565
Neskantaga 265

Unorganized areas


Canada census – Kenora District community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population:65,533 (13.8% from 2011)57,607 (-10.6% from 2006)64,419 (4.2% from 2001)
Land area:407,213.01 km2 (157,225.82 sq mi)407,192.66 km2 (157,217.96 sq mi)
Population density:0.1/km2 (0.26/sq mi)0.2/km2 (0.52/sq mi)
Median age:34.9 (M: 34.5, F: 35.2)
Total private dwellings:31,19129,60630,940
Median household income:
Notes: Excludes census data for one or more incompletely enumerated Indian reserves. – References: 2016 [2] 2011 [1] 2006 [7] earlier [8]
Historical population figures
References [8]


Most of the population is concentrated in the district's extreme south where some agriculture is possible: the main crop is barley. Traditional native activities such as hunting and fishing dominate the north of the district outside of mining settlements.


The area near Lake Minnehaha saw a gold rush between 1902 and 1909. The settlement of Gold Rock served 14 area mines, which included the Big Master, Laurentian, Detola and Elora. According to Barnes, "Approximately 180,000 ounces of gold was won from 27 mines in the Kenora district from 1880 to 1976," with "over 331 known gold occurrences." The more successful mines included the Bully Boy, Cameron Island, Champion, Combined, Cornucopia, Gold Hill, Golden Horn, Kenricia, Mikado, Oliver, Olympia, Ophyr, Regina, Scramble, Severn, Stella, Sultana, Treasure and Wendigo. [9]

Mining is currently extremely extensive in northern Kenora District, which contains some of the world's largest and highest-grade reserves of uranium and some of the world's major producers of nickel. A major mining exploration project is currently underway in the Ring of Fire region, centred on the district's isolated McFaulds Lake.


Highway 599, longest secondary highway in Ontario Hwy 599 ON.JPG
Highway 599, longest secondary highway in Ontario

Permanent roads (Highway 599) only reach about halfway to the northernmost point of Kenora district, with the provincial highway network ending at Pickle Lake. Some more northerly communities connect seasonally through an ice/winter road network to the Northern Ontario Resource Trail.

Year-round air and summertime river transport are the only means of reaching the most remote parts of the district.

The major railroad lines between Toronto and British Columbia pass through the south of the district.

Patricia Portion

Provincial boundaries of Canada prior to 1912. The portion of Ontario's modern boundaries which is not represented as part of Ontario in this map constitutes the "Patricia Portion" of Kenora District. Canada provinces 1905-1912.png
Provincial boundaries of Canada prior to 1912. The portion of Ontario's modern boundaries which is not represented as part of Ontario in this map constitutes the "Patricia Portion" of Kenora District.

The Patricia Portion is the part of the Kenora District lying north of the Albany River, which was transferred from the Northwest Territories to Ontario on May 15, 1912, in The Ontario Boundaries Extension Act. [4] This area was originally a separate division, Patricia District, but became part of Kenora District in 1937. [5]

With the exception of a few communities along the northernmost ends of Highway 599 and the Highway 105/Highway 125 corridor, the Patricia Portion consists almost entirely of remote First Nations communities that are only accessible by float plane or winter road. Accordingly, the term "Patricia Portion" is still sometimes used to distinguish the region from the relatively more populated and road-accessible southern portion.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dryden is the second-largest city in the Kenora District of Northwestern Ontario, Canada, located on Wabigoon Lake. It is the smallest community in the province of Ontario designated as a city. Dryden and Kenora are the only cities in Ontario located in the Central Time Zone.

Kenora City in Ontario, Canada

Kenora, originally named Rat Portage, is a small city situated on the Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, close to the Manitoba boundary, and about 200 km (124 mi) east of Winnipeg. It is the seat of Kenora District.

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Black River-Matheson Township in Ontario, Canada

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Northwestern Ontario Secondary region in Ontario, Canada

Northwestern Ontario is a secondary region of Northern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north and west of Lake Superior and west of Hudson Bay and James Bay. It includes most of subarctic Ontario. Its western boundary is the Canadian province of Manitoba, which disputed Ontario's claim to the western part of the region. Ontario's right to Northwestern Ontario was determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1884 and confirmed by the Canada Act, 1889 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In 1912, the Parliament of Canada by the Ontario Boundaries Extension Act gave jurisdiction over the District of Patricia to Ontario, thereby extending the northern boundary of the province to Hudson Bay.

Pickle Lake Township in Ontario, Canada

Pickle Lake is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the most northerly community in the province that has year-round access by road. Located 530 kilometres (330 mi) north of Thunder Bay, highway access is via Highway 599, the only access road to the town from the south. More northerly communities rely on winter roads for access and are cut off to land travel in the summer. Highway 599 meets the Northern Ontario Resource Trail, formerly Tertiary Highway 808, at Pickle Lake.

Unorganized Kenora District Unorganized area in Ontario, Canada

Unorganized Kenora District is an unorganized area in northwestern Ontario, Canada, in Kenora District. Comprising 98.39 percent of the district's land area, yet only 10.93 percent of its population, it is essentially the remainder of the district's territory after all incorporated cities, municipalities, townships, Indian reserves, and Indian settlements have been excluded. It is by far the largest municipal-equivalent level census division in Ontario, covering over 35 percent of the entire provincial land area, yet only about 0.05 percent of the population of Ontario.

Unorganized Thunder Bay District Unorganized area in Ontario, Canada

Unorganized Thunder Bay District is an unorganized area in northwestern Ontario, Canada in Thunder Bay District. It comprises all parts of the district that are not part of an incorporated municipality or a First Nations reserve.

Unorganized North Algoma District Unorganized area in Ontario, Canada

Unorganized North Algoma District is an unorganized area in northeastern Ontario, Canada, comprising all areas in Algoma District, north of the Sault Ste. Marie to Elliot Lake corridor, which are not part of an incorporated municipality or a First Nation. It covers 44,077.03 km2 (17,018.24 sq mi) of land, and had a population of 5739 in 2016.

Red Lake, Ontario Municipality in Ontario, Canada

Red Lake is a municipality with town status in the Canadian province of Ontario, located 535 km (332 mi) northwest of Thunder Bay and less than 100 km (62 mi) from the Manitoba border. The municipality consists of six small communities—Balmertown, Cochenour, Madsen, McKenzie Island, Red Lake and Starratt-Olsen—and had a population of 4,107 people in the Canada 2016 Census.

Secondary Highway 599, commonly referred to as Highway 599, is a provincially maintained secondary highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. The 291.0 km (180.8 mi) route connects Highway 17 near Ignace with the remote northern community of Pickle Lake; its terminus at Pickle Lake marks the northernmost point on the provincial highway system. Highway 599 was first assigned in 1956 between Savant Lake and Pickle Lake, although it did not connect with the rest of the provincial highway system at the time. Construction to link it with Highway 17 in Ignace took place between 1958 and 1966. The northern end of Highway 599 is one of two possible starting points for a road to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits, the other being Highway 584 in Nankina.

The Northern Ontario Resource Trail (NORD) is the designation of two mainly gravel roads in the Canadian province of Ontario. One road travels north from Pickle Lake to the northern shore of Windigo Lake. The second road travels north from Nankina to Marten Falls. Both link several winter roads and ice roads that serve communities in extreme Northern Ontario with the provincial highway system. The first 60 km (37 mi) of the Pickle Lake–Windigo Lake Road, as far as the Otoskwin River, also held the tertiary highway designation of Highway 808 within the provincial highway system from 1966 to 1983.

Ear Falls Township in Ontario, Canada

Ear Falls is a township located in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, on the banks of the English River, Lac Seul, Pakwash Lake and Wenesaga Lake. It is located along Highway 105, 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Highway 17 and Vermilion Bay, about halfway between Highway 17 and Red Lake, or about 480 kilometres (300 mi) northwest of Thunder Bay.

King's Highway 105, commonly referred to as Highway 105, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. Located in the Kenora District of northern Ontario, the highway extends for 173.5 kilometres (107.8 mi) from an intersection with Highway 17 between Kenora and Dryden with the Red Lake mining area to the north. The route also passes through the town of Ear Falls near its midpoint. Highway 105 was built to provide access to the large gold deposits at Red Lake, which were only accessible by boat or plane between their discovery in 1926 and the opening of the highway in 1946. Highway 105 passes through long stretches of isolated forest and lakeland, with no services available between the distanced communities along the route.

King's Highway 125, commonly referred to as Highway 125, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is the second northernmost provincial highway in Ontario, behind Secondary Highway 599. The 13-kilometre (8.1 mi) route connects Highway 105 in Red Lake with Cochenour to the northeast. It was built in the early 1950s and assumed as a gravel-surfaced provincial highway in 1955. The route was paved in 1962 and remains generally unchanged today.

Matachewan Township in Ontario, Canada

Matachewan is a township in Timiskaming, Northeastern Ontario, Canada, located at the end of Ontario Highway 66 along the Montreal River. The name is derived from the Cree word for "meeting of the currents".

Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls Township in Ontario, Canada

Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls is a township in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Kenora District. It is located on the eastern shores of Lake of the Woods along Ontario Highway 71.

Stikine Region Unincorporated area in British Columbia, Canada

The Stikine Region is an unincorporated area in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. It is the only area in the province that is not part of a regional district. The Stikine Region was left unincorporated following legislation that established the province's regional districts in 1968 and is not classified as a regional district. It contains no municipal governments which normally constitute the majority of seats on the boards of regional districts. There is only one local planning area, the Atlin Community Planning Area, which was combined in 2009 with the Atlin Community Improvement District to provide fire, landfill, water, streetlighting, sidewalks and advisory land use services. All other services not provided privately are administered directly by various provincial government ministries. The area around Dease Lake, formerly in the Stikine Region, is now within the boundaries of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine following a boundary amendment in 2008.


  1. 1 2 "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  2. 1 2 "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017.
  3. Compilation of Northwestern Ontario's 2006 census data [ permanent dead link ]
  4. 1 2 The Ontario Boundaries Extension Act, S.C. 1912 (CA), 2 Geo. V, c. 40.
  5. 1 2 Patricia Act, RSO 1937, c 5 (retrieved March 26, 2016).
  6. Caldera Volcanoes Retrieved on July 20, 2007
  7. "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  8. 1 2 "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census . Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  9. Barnes, Michael (1995). Gold in Ontario. Erin: The Boston Mills Press. pp. 23–26. ISBN   155046146X.