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Supporting Seasonal Transportation Networks in the North

Archived Bulletin

Supporting Seasonal Transportation Networks in the North

New Ontario Government Improves Winter Road Access to Northern Communities

A winter roads network throughout northern Ontario has made it easier to get vital goods and health care services to remote First Nations communities.

With support from the province and the federal government, 29 First Nations organizations and the Town of Moosonee built and operated a network of temporary roads over frozen ground and waterways.

Each year, these winter roads connect remote communities to a permanent provincial highway or railway system. Individuals and businesses use the roads from freeze-up until spring thaw, usually in mid March. A longer spell of cold weather this winter extended the winter roads season by several weeks.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario invested more than $4.7 million to help remote northern Ontario communities build winter roads this season.
  • This winter, a new 178-kilometre winter road was opened between Moose Factory and Otter Rapids north of Smooth Rock Falls.
  • Since October 2003, the Ontario government has invested $39 million through the Winter Roads Program.

Additional Resources


“This program is vital to improving transportation routes across northern Ontario and ensuring that remote communities continue to have full access to important services. I’m proud that this year we were able to announce the first major expansion to the winter roads network adding a new 178-kilometer road between Moose Factory and Otter Rapids.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“The Winter Roads Program is essential to ensuring that remote communities are connected to a permanent highway during the winter months. Ensuring that goods and services are accessible to First Nation communities year-round is important to maintaining community well-being.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

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