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.

Government services

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.

Community services

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:

  • hiking
  • boating
  • canoeing
  • kayaking
  • swimming
  • cycling
  • camping
  • snowshoeing
  • snowmobiling
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • fishing
  • hunting
  • bowling
  • golf
  • tennis

There are organized team sports for:

  • soccer (football)
  • hockey
  • basketball
  • baseball
  • softball
  • slow-pitch
  • volleyball
  • cricket

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.

Transportation services

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.

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Contact Us

Timmins and District Multicultural Centre
119 Pine Street South, Suite 10
Timmins, ON P4N 2K3

North Bay & District Multicultural Centre
100 Main Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 1A8

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