Driving from Toronto, you can reach the southern portion of Northeastern Ontario in just three hours. If you follow the highway as far as it goes north, it will take another seven-and-a-half hours the region is that big. Airports in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins offer daily flights to Toronto's Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and other Canadian cities.
You will find that housing prices throughout the region are significantly cheaper than in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and other cities across Canada. In Northeastern Ontario the dominant language is English, and many people also speak French. We're finding that South Asian and Chinese languages are increasingly being heard in the smaller centres, along with others from around the globe, such as Polish and Spanish. The original inhabitants of this region --the Indigenous people of the Algonquin, Ojibway and Cree nations-- still live here, and each group has its own language.
Each of the four hub cities has a newcomer settlement agency, and these offer settlement services in smaller centres as well. You'll find that general information on living in Ontario or in Canada is readily available at the settlement agencies or on-line.
Guy says My name is Guy Tran. I was born in Vietnam. My parents and me and my brother immigrated in 1979.
Guy is looking at the camera.
Guy says My dad got a job at the village restaurant in Burk's Falls and it was a diner at the time. But, the owner quickly found out my, my dad's culinary skills as a Chinese food chef and they quickly converted the village restaurant into a Chinese food restaurant. Major families in Sundridge urged my parents to come and set up shop here, and that's how Ha’s Restaurant started.
Guy and his wife walk out of Ha’s restaurant
Guy and his wife enter a car and begin to drive down the street.
A picture of Guy and his wife on their wedding day shows on screen.
Guy says My wife and I grew up here.
Guy and his wife in their kitchen, Guy’s wife is on the phone while drinking tea.
Guy says We're Northern people. We have lots of experience with local customers and we have a great rapport with them
Guy is looking at the camera.
Three kids get off a bus and run to their parents (Guy and his wife) they have a group hug.
Guy is looking at the camera.
Guys says We have three kids and they're just rambunctious, energetic people. it's great for them to, you know, to go to school and have some good interaction with, other kids.
Guy and his family walk into their home.
Guy says And they love being outdoors, they love fishing, you know, swimming, boating. We try to give our kids every opportunity and every experience we can.
Kids are riding ATV’s around, through tall grass and on the street.
Guy’s wife is looking out a window laughing and watching her kids play outside.
Guy and his sons are playing table hockey in their basement
Guy says Growing up north is, is a great place to, for them to have, you know, a good chunk of Canadiana.
A kid is riding an ATV around in the snow.
His oldest son is playing drums.
His daughter is sorting out candy with the help of her mother.
Guy says I think our family is a testament to what can be done if you just put your mind to it and if you're not afraid to take chances. It is worth it.
Guy is looking at the camera
On screen text reads Can you describe Northeastern Ontario in one word?
Guy is looking at the camera, then one after the other, people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds say there answer to the camera
Guy says Family
Female 1 says Safe then speaks in her native language
Male 2 says Friendly
Male 1 says Home
Female 2 says Community and then laughs
On screen text reads Your Gateway to the Goodlife is Here. Breathe in a Fresh New Life in Northeastern Ontario.
There are three levels of government in Northeastern Ontario: Federal, provincial and municipal. You will need to familiarize yourself in time about which services are federal (citizenship, permanent resident cards, etc.), provincial (health card, driver’s licence, highways, etc.) or municipal (water, sewers, municipal roads, etc.). School boards in Northeastern Ontario represent English Catholic, English public, French Catholic and French public interests, and are regional in scope.
Both the municipal and provincial governments offer a wide range of community services, such as childcare and income assistance. Each community page on this site features specific information about its local amenities, such as childcare, libraries, sporting facilities, and cultural and recreational activities.
Housing prices in Northeastern Ontario are considerably cheaper than in the Greater Toronto Area or in other Canadian cities. While it varies by town, you can buy a nice three-bedroom detached home with a garage for $200,000 to $300,000. In Toronto, that same home could cost well over $1 million. You can compare housing prices here.
Ask friends, relatives or the closest settlement agency for the name of a good real estate agent in the town you are interested in. If you’re buying a home, there is no cost for a real estate agent's services, and they have the best knowledge about prices and location. They can help you search for the right home, make a purchase offer, and finance your mortgage. The cost of renting a home or apartment varies across the region. You may want to familiarize yourself with the rights and responsibilities of renting.
Sports and recreation
Northeastern Ontario offers a wide range of sports and recreation activities you can do on your own or with your family such as:
There are organized team sports for:
- soccer (football)
Many communities also have fitness centres.
Once you live here, prepare for visits from friends and family, because here are the top 10 reasons to visit Northern Ontario.
Shopping and entertainment
Almost every community in Northeastern Ontario has stores to serve your everyday grocery, clothing and household needs. Every now and then, however, you will probably want to visit one of the larger regional centres for a cultural event or a little shopping. Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie have large retail malls, good downtown shopping, cultural facilities and sporting events.
For travel within Northern Ontario your options are driving, flying or taking a bus. There are rail options if you are travelling further south, east or west. If you're driving, we highly recommend snow tires for winter driving, and make sure you have a GPS system or a good highway map to reach your destination safely. Ensure you have a valid Ontario driver’s licence. Further driving information is available here.
Health and Social Services
The cost of medical care is covered through your provincial OHIP card, which you present at every visit with a health care professional. OHIP also covers eye examinations. Your employer may offer a benefit plan that covers dental and prescription glasses costs, but if not, you pay as you go. Information about mental health services, addiction, child and family services, and other health programming can be found here.
Food and Beverages
In Northeastern Ontario you may find some unique new food and beverage options that you didn’t have in your home country. Enjoy a fresh pickerel dinner washed down with a superb local craft beer. Visit a sugarbush and come home with some delicious maple syrup to enjoy with your Canadian bacon and pancakes. Go to a French Canadian cultural festival and sample delights such as poutine, tourtière, and sea pie, a layered multi-meat pie. If you attend a pow-wow or other indigenous event you can try bannock or game meat from moose, partridge or bear. Local artisans produce cheese, pastries and honey that are not to be missed.