Ontario Newsroom

Winter Road Network Opens in Northern Ontario

Archived News Release

Winter Road Network Opens in Northern Ontario

Ontario Improving Access to Remote Communities

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

With support from the provincial and federal governments, 28 First Nations organizations and the Town of Moosonee have built and are operating a 3,187-kilometre network of temporary roads over frozen ground and waterways.

Each year, winter roads connect remote northern 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. Cold weather in December and January meant an early start to this year's winter roads season.

Improving access to remote northern communities is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has invested more than $4.7 million to help remote northern Ontario communities build winter roads this season.
  • Ontario’s 3,187-kilometre winter roads network is about the driving distance from Nipigon to Nanaimo. B.C.
  • Since October 2003, the Ontario government has invested more than $45 million through the Winter Roads Program.

Background Information

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.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“For many remote First Nation communities in Ontario, winter roads are a critical link to the province’s permanent road network and essential goods and services. The Winter Roads Program is further evidence of the government’s commitment to invest in people and communities.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Media Contacts



Driving and Roads Rural and North