Nipigon, Ontario Canada

Discover Nipigon, Ontario: A Northern Gem on the Great Lakes

Nipigon, Ontario is a charming township nestled in the Thunder Bay District of Northwestern Ontario, Canada. This northernmost community on the Great Lakes is situated along the west side of the Nipigon River and south of the picturesque Lake Helen, which runs between Lake Nipigon and Lake Superior. With Lake Nipigon approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of the township, Nipigon offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rich history.

The Geography of Nipigon, Ontario

Nipigon is surrounded by a diverse landscape, with Highway 11 running within the Nipigon River and a lake for about 15 km. The township is located northeast of Thunder Bay, southwest of Geraldton and Beardmore, west of Marathon, and northwest of Sault Ste. Marie. The town is so renowned that a crater on Mars, Nipigon Crater, is named after it.

The area is enveloped by pine and other varieties of forests, with power lines connecting from Lake Nipigon supplying electricity to Thunder Bay and the rest of Ontario. Timbering has been a common activity in the north, northwest, and within Lake Nipigon, forming old forest roads to the northeast and north. The municipality of Greenstone lies to the north, while a manufacturing plant is situated to the south. A communications tower near Nipigon broadcasts local radio and television channels from Thunder Bay, including CKPR (TBT), CFNO, and CBQT.

Nipigon, Ontario: A Hub of Transportation

Nipigon is a crucial transportation hub, with two bridges at the east end of town spanning the Nipigon River. One is a single-track railway bridge belonging to the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the other is a two-lane highway bridge constructed by the Province of Ontario. These bridges, along with the Canadian National Railway transcontinental rail line, form the narrowest east-west land link in Canada's transportation system. Highways 11 and 17 and the Canadian Pacific Railway route all their traffic across these bridges.

The Nipigon River Bridge, a pair of two-lane cable-stayed bridges, is the first of its kind in Ontario. It replaced the 1937 bridge and, despite a temporary closure in 2016, continues to serve as a vital transportation link.

The People of Nipigon, Ontario

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Nipigon had a population of 1,473 living in 663 of its 747 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -10.3% from its 2016 population of 1,642. With a land area of 107.94 km2 (41.68 sq mi), Nipigon had a population density of 13.6/km2 (35.3/sq mi) in 2021.

A Look Back: The 2007 Mill Fire in Nipigon, Ontario

On February 6, 2007, a devastating fire ripped through Multiply Forest Products, burning the mill to the ground. The mill was the main employer in the town, and its loss was deeply felt by the community. Less than a month before the fire, workers at the mill had purchased it from Columbia Forest Products of Portland, Oregon, and a $4-million modernization plan for the mill had been announced.

Transportation in Nipigon, Ontario

Nipigon is served by several transportation corridors, including Highway 11, Highway 17 (both part of the Trans-Canada Highway), and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Ontario Northland motor coach service also operates on its Sault Ste. Marie–Thunder Bay route, providing additional connectivity.

Recreation in Nipigon, Ontario

Nipigon and the surrounding area boast a wide array of outdoor recreational activities for all times of the year. A select number of cliffs in the Nipigon area are being developed into rock climbing destinations, offering adventure seekers a new challenge. More information can be found in the Thunder Bay Climbing guidebook. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Nipigon, Ontario has something for everyone.