Welcome to northern ontario
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Welcome to Northern Ontario!. Prepared By: Northern Development Division. Agenda. Geography Population Aboriginal Population Francophone Population Labour Force Characteristics Unemployment Education Transportation Industrial Structure Manufacturing in Northern Ontario

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Welcome to northern ontario

Welcome to Northern Ontario!

Prepared By: Northern Development Division


  • Geography

  • Population

  • Aboriginal Population

  • Francophone Population

  • Labour Force Characteristics

  • Unemployment

  • Education

  • Transportation

  • Industrial Structure

  • Manufacturing in Northern Ontario

  • Incentives for Northern Ontario


Ontario’s North

  • Northern Ontario covers over 800,000 square kilometres, representing close to 90% of the provincial land mass

  • Northern Ontario borders Quebec, Manitoba, Minnesota, Michigan, Hudson Bay and James Bay


Population - General

  • Northern Ontario’s population is approximately 786,000, representing over 6% of the provincial population

  • Population density of approximately 1 person per km2 in Northern Ontario, versus 109 people per km2 in Southern Ontario

  • 56% of Northern Ontario’s population resides in 5 major centres (Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, and Timmins)

  • Northern Ontario’s rural population represents 35% of the total northern population. In Southern Ontario, only 11% of the population lives in rural areas

Source: 2006 Census


Aboriginal Population

  • 12.5% of the North’s population is Aboriginal (up from 10% in 2001)

  • 40.4% of Ontario’s Aboriginal population resides in the North

  • 29% of Ontario’s Aboriginal population is under 15 years of age

Source: 2006 Census


Francophone Population

  • Approximately 24% of the province’s Francophone population resides in the North, representing close to 18% of the northern population

  • Northeastern Ontario has the highest concentration of Francophones; Francophones represent 22% of the Northeast’s population while less than 2% in Northwestern Ontario

Source: Office of Francophone Affairs


Labour Force Characteristics - 2009

  • Total Labour Force: 387,700

  • Labour Force – Employed: 355,100

  • Employment in the North had increased by almost 6% over the period from 1997 to 2008 and then in 2009, it decreased by close to 5% over a one year period. Employment increased by over 3,000 workers between 2009 and 2010.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey



  • The unemployment rate for Northern Ontario in 2010 is lower than the provincial rate - 8.4% in Northern Ontario (up from 6.6% in 2008) compared to 8.7% for Ontario

  • Historically, the unemployment rate in the North has been on average 2% higher than the Province

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey


Education Status

  • Universities – 4; Community Colleges - 6

  • Approximately 39,000 post-secondary students

  • As a proportion of Northern Ontario’s population 25 years to 64 years:

    • 81% have a Secondary School Diploma

    • 38% have a Trade Certificate or College Diploma

    • 17% have a University Degree

Source: 2001 and 2006 Census



  • Approximately 45,000 kilometres of all-season roads in Northern Ontario, including:

    • 11,000 kilometres of highway network

    • 4,400 kilometres of local roads

    • 30,000 kilometres of forest access roads (est.)

  • 3,024 kilometres of winter roads to 31 remote northern First Nation communities


Transportation cont

  • Northern Ontario’s rail network consists of 7,000 kilometres of rail lines

  • 63 municipal and remote airports across the North

  • 2 marine ports in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, Port of Thunder Bay and Port of Sault Ste Marie, serving 3,700 kilometres of waterway

  • Four main Canada-USA border crossings in Northern Ontario


Business and Industry

  • There are 41,862 established business locations in Northern Ontario, with over 83% hiring less than 10 employees

  • Approximately 5,390 retail establishments

  • Only 0.5% of businesses have 200 employees or more and are concentrated in education institutions, hospitals, mining companies, manufacturing companies, and government

  • There are about 150 businesses that support activities within the forestry sector, 190 businesses that support activities in the mining sector

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns 2010


Industrial Structure - % of Total Employment (2009)

Mining and forestry accounted for 5.5% of the North’s total employment in 2009 (down from 6.5% in 2008), compared to only 0.5% for Ontario.

Northern Ontario is more reliant on public sector employment, including public administration, education and health care sectors, accounting for 32.5% of the North’s total employment in 2009, compared to 23.5% for the province.

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey


Examples of Large Employers in Northern Ontario

*List only includes companies from Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie and does not include grocery or retail businesses


Forest Products Sector

  • In 2008, the value of Ontario’s forestry sector was almost $14 billion

  • The value of Ontario’s forest products exports (95% bound for the U.S.) was $4 billion in 2009

    • Forest products industry in Ontario employed 54,200 people in 2009 (down from 64,300 in 2007, 82,800 in 2000): 4,300 in forestry & logging (includes support activities)

    • 25,600 in wood product manufacturing

    • 24,300 in paper manufacturing

  • Support activities for the forest industry employed 4,500 people in 2009

  • Of the total people employed in the forestry industry in Ontario, approximately 13,000 are located in the North

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey Extract


Value-Added Forestry

  • The forest products industry in Northern Ontario is continuously adapting to maintain its competitive position in the global marketplace

  • Companies are looking toward value-added products such as engineered wood, renewable fuels and chemicals, speciality papers, and pre-fabricated buildings and components

  • Ontario’s forests also offer significant opportunities for green/alternative energy and biofuels, biomass, and wood pellets


Mining Sector

  • Ontario mining generates more than $1 billion in labour income annually; mining in Northern Ontario employs approximately 13,000 people, with an additional 2,500 (estimate) employed in exploration activities

  • An estimated 500 mining equipment and supply companies are located in Northern Ontario

  • In 2009, Ontario produced approximately $6.33 billion worth of minerals (about 60% metallic and 40% non-metallic minerals)

  • In 2009, a total of $469 million was spent on mineral exploration and deposit appraisal in Ontario (down from a record of $799 million in 2008). Forecasts for 2010 exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures are estimated to reach $608 million

  • Ring of Fire

    • ~$2.5 billion in total capital in the first phase of development

    • 3280 permanent jobs (first phase)


Mining Supplies and Services

  • There are an estimated 500 mining service and supply (MSS) companies located in Northern Ontario supplying mining services and advanced equipment to hundreds of exploration and development projects in dozens of countries

  • Northern Ontario's is a world leader in mine automation and rehabilitation, with cutting edge companies supplying the latest methods, technologies, and equipment to global markets

  • In recent years there has been an emergence of higher technology services supplied and developed by numerous companies located in Northern Ontario. These services include:

    • robotic control systems;

    • underground communication systems;

    • 3D surveying; and

    • fragmentation analysis

  • The MSS Sector has a value of $5.6 billion per year in Northern Ontario and employs 23,000 people

  • Other projects of note:

    • India/Ontario Joint Working Group

    • Diamond supply chain


Manufacturing Sector

  • Approximately 1,258 manufacturing firms operate in Northern Ontario - 268 involved in wood or paper products

  • Employs over 24,000 workers and produce a broad range of products

    • From fire extinguishers to disc drives, avionics systems to computerized diamond drills, scheduling software to aluminum and steel subway cars, etc.

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Business Patterns 2010, Labour Force Survey 2009


ICT and Business Services Sector

  • Northern Ontario's telecommunications infrastructure and industry (including secondary services such as Internet service providers, call centres, Website developers, and on-line businesses) has grown dramatically

  • The North has attracted a sizeable contact centre community due to robust telecom infrastructure available throughout the region. There are many factors that attract call centres to this vibrant region, including:

    • low communications costs

    • available educated workforce

    • large bilingual population

    • available and affordable commercial space

    • excellent quality of life


Incentives for northern ontario

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund

Financial assistance to stimulate job creation and economic growth in Northern Ontario

Contribution of 50% match, up to $1 million in the form of combination grants and loans, to offset capital start-up costs


Promotes economic development, diversification and job creation in Northern Ontario

Assists companies by:

Enhancing telecommunication infrastructure and networks

ICT technology applications

Building high-speed data linkages

Government Support – Capital and Infrastructure

Incentives for Northern Ontario