Northwestern Ontario has extensive transportation services that provide residents and visitors with several ways to navigate its towns and wider region. In addition to reliable public transportation in our municipalities, there are also private transportation services that include car rental companies, taxi services, ferries and aircraft.


Getting around Northwestern Ontario is easiest by road. There are excellent highways between major centres and scenic driving routes are often sign-posted. The two main roadways are Highways #11 and #17, and both continue to the Manitoba border.

New and used vehicles are affordable to purchase and there is a good range of domestic and imported vehicles to choose from. To drive legally you must register and insure your vehicle and have a valid driver’s license. Contact your local Driver and Vehicle License Issuing Office to learn more.

If you want to drive in Ontario and need to learn the rules of the road, the Official MTO Driver’s Handbook is recommended. Copies may be purchased at a DriveTest centre or at a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office.

Public Transport:

Northwestern Ontario is the least populated region in Ontario and so demand for regional public transportation is relatively low. The availability and frequency of municipal public transportation varies within each community. Local public transportation networks usually involve bus routes and some rail services.

Rail Services:

Some communities in the region are serviced by passenger rail networks such as WestJet, Northwest and Air Canada, in addition to other national airlines such as Porter Air, operate services from Thunder Bay International Airport to major domestic, U.S. and overseas destinations.

Smaller regional airports are also located in the communities of Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, Dryden, Red Lake and Kenora. Flights between these centres are readily available and serviced by Bearksin AirlinesWasaya Airlines and other domestic charter and scheduled services.

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