Town Of Fort Frances

21st Century Opportunity

With a population of 9,500, the Town of Fort Frances is the judicial, medical, and business centre of the Rainy River District. Our neighbour to the south, across the Rainy River, is International Falls, Minnesota with a population of 8,000.To our east is Couchiching First Nation, with a population of 1,000.

The town’s location on the edge of Rainy Lake offers the cottage lifestyle in a full service community. Boating, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and a world class fishery are available on our doorstep. Residents and visitors enjoy a fully developed waterfront, marina, beach area, an active arts community and recreational facilities.

The community, once a stop on the fur trade route, is today home to an Abitibi Bowater paper manufacturing plant. The facility has a long history of profitability and recently invested $85 million in new technology. Employment in the community can be found in a variety of areas; medical professions, skilled trades, engineering, education, transportation and social services.

Fort Frances is home to a range of public education options. Postsecondary education is available at the local college or in International Falls. University courses are offered through distance and virtual learning networks.

More than 100,000 tourists travel through Fort Frances every summer. Access in and out of the town is available to the US via a no wait bridge to Minnesota. Daily flights are available to Toronto, Winnipeg or to Minneapolis via Thunder Bay.

Fort Frances is proud of its history and optimistic about its future. Our community is more than a place to live and work. It is the place that you will want to call home, where neighbour still means something and rush hour is something you will never experience. You will find time to pause, time to walk to work, time to take your children fishing, time to plant a garden and time to live a better life.

We invite you to be a part of our community.


Fort Frances is more than a place to live and work. It is the place that you will want to call home.

The average cost of a home is an affordable $138,000 and smaller family homes can be easily purchased for as little as $60,000. Over 20 years a family can save more than $165,000 in interest and taxes vs. costs in the Greater Toronto Area. A variety of housing options are available; condominiums, apartments and town houses. Subsidized housing is available with minimal waiting. Homes are advertised by local realtors who also may be able to locate a rental property for you. Realtors are listed on the Chamber of Commerce website.

The town offers both subsidized and non subsidized licensed registered daycare services. Public transportation is available through Dial- a- Ride, a low cost van service.

All health care services are available such as dentists, counselling, pharmacy and optometrists. Fort Frances has a number of family doctors and some specialists. The hospital provides a variety of services including surgical services, dialysis, diagnostic imagery, palliative care, maternity care and cancer treatment.

The town, in two shopping districts, Downtown and King’s Highway, offers a vast array of options. Locally owned and managed specialty stores and international big box department stores all compete for consumers in Fort Frances. The town has several grocery stores and a farmer’s market that operates three seasons.


The major employers in Fort Frances include Abitibi Bowater, the Rainy River District Board of Education and Riverside Healthcare. As a regional service centre, employment opportunities exist with all three levels of government as well as teaching, social services and public administration.

The forestry sector hires all trades; truck drivers, machine operators and general labour.

Job resources and postings can be found at:

A list of the many businesses in Fort Frances can be found on the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce website.

General information on the labour market can be obtained at ( and specific advice on finding a job in Fort Frances can be found by emailing the contacts listed at


Primary school education is available in both the Catholic and Public systems. The Catholic school system buses students from most locations in Fort Frances to their elementary school. The Public Board operates three junior kindergarten to Grade 8 schools in the Town of Fort Frances.

A new high school was built in the late 1990’s as part of a multi-use complex. The high school is proud of its numerous educational departments, physical education, dramatic and visual arts, sciences, technical training and languages. In addition to Ontario standard curriculum, students have the opportunity to join many clubs, teams and groups. Students regularly have the opportunity to travel to extend the scope of their experiences.

The multi-use complex also houses Contact North and Confederation College's campus. These institutions offer both in class instruction and distance education courses. Services include University level courses, skills upgrading, technical training and testing services.

English as a second language services are available at the United Native Friendship Centre.

Rainy River Community College in International Falls allows students to complete the first two years of a four year University degree or provides one or two year technical programs.

 Doing Business

Fort Frances has the infrastructure supply to meet the needs of all types of businesses, both large and small. Fort Frances offers a secure and stable economic base for companies to begin and prosper.

The Town of Fort Frances offers financial incentives for new business development and expansion. As a Northern community, your business will be eligible for senior government grants or loan assistance.

Sharing a common border with Minnesota offers the entrepreneurs in the Rainy River District the very best of two countries. Companies have access to both Canadian and US markets which can be reached daily via air courier, truck services, Highway 11 and the Canadian National Railway. The Rainy River District offers excellent access to the Upper Midwest of the United States and East/West connections to the prairies and Eastern/Southern Ontario.

Other benefits of doing business in Fort Frances include:

  • Lowest Hydro Rates in Ontario

  • Low Natural Gas Rates

  • Industrial Land starting at $37,000 an Acre

  • Modern Telecommunications Services

  • Digital Cell Phone and ASDL

  • Building Incentive Grants

  • No wait Border to the US

  • Exceptional Rail and Road Access

  • Access to Federal/Provincial Capital and Grants

  • No Development Fees

  • Skilled Trained Workforce

  • Modern Water, Sewer and Road Infrastructure

The Rainy River Future Development Corporation provides support and information for entrepreneurs, business owners, and new business wishing to locate in Fort Frances or the Region.


The town has invested in a new community theatre facility, a museum, a new sports complex with two ice surfaces, fitness centre and swimming pool. Programs include multi-level swimming lessons, including competitive swimming; fitness programs, including yoga and aqua-therapy; and girls, boys and adult hockey. The arena is also home to figure skating lessons.

Dance lessons, yoga and fitness instruction are also available at private clubs in town. The Fort Frances Curling Club is active through the winter months with regular league competition and bonspiels.

In the spring of 2010 a new library and technology centre is scheduled to open.

The town features a waterfront walkway, marina, beaches, soccer and baseball fields. Two golf courses are located within minutes of Fort Frances.

Rainy Lake and the Canadian Shield offer residents numerous outdoor sports and leisure activity choices.  Boating and fishing are two of the community’s most popular activities in the summer. Cottages are still affordable to purchase and many residents enjoy canoeing and camping. Information on outdoor activities can be found at

The winter season brings Tour de Fort and events in Fort Frances of musical entertainment, our semi professional hockey team’s league games and activities at any number of town facilities or clubs.

Within minutes of downtown residents can enjoy great skiing trails and a short drive takes you to Reef Point, where you can spend an afternoon practicing your skills on exciting courses. Giants Ridge, Minnesota is less than 2 hours away with fun ski slopes and downhill trails for all levels.

Events in Fort Frances:

Where We Are 
Photo Gallery 
Photo Gallery: Fort Frances will appear here on the public site.