Kenora District

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Kenora District
Location of Kenora District in Ontario
Location of Kenora District in Ontario
Coordinates: 49°46′N 94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483Coordinates: 49°46′N 94°29′W / 49.767°N 94.483°W / 49.767; -94.483
Country Canada
Province Ontario
RegionNorthwestern Ontario
 • MPsBob Nault (LPC), Charlie Angus (NDP)
 • MPPsGreg Rickford (PC), Guy Bourgouin (NDP), Sol Mamakwa (NDP)
 • Land407,213.01 km2 (157,225.82 sq mi)
Highest elevation
505 m (1,657 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total65,533
 • Density0.2/km2 (0.5/sq mi)
Time zonesUTC-6 (Central (CST))
UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (Central Daylight (CDT))
UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight (EDT))
Postal Code FSA
Area code(s)807
Largest communities[3]Kenora (15,177)
Dryden (8,195)
Sioux Lookout (5,183)
WebsiteKenora District Services Board

Kenora District is a district and census division in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. It was created in 1907 from parts of Rainy River District. It is geographically the largest division in that province; at 407,213.01 square kilometres (157,225.82 sq mi), it comprises almost 38 percent of the province's land area, making it larger than Newfoundland and Labrador, and slightly smaller than Sweden.

Kenora District also has the lowest population density of any of Ontario's census divisions, and it ranks 37th out of 50 by population.

The district seat is the City of Kenora.

The northern part, north of the Albany River and known sometimes as the Patricia Portion, became part of Ontario in 1912. It was originally designated as the separate Patricia District, but was added to the Kenora District in 1937.[5]


As with the other districts of Northern Ontario, Kenora District has no equivalent to the county or regional municipality level of government that exists in Southern Ontario. All government services in the district are instead provided by the local municipalities, by local services boards in some unincorporated communities, or directly by the provincial government.


The climate is very harsh because of the influence of the cold waters of Hudson and James Bays: most of the region is taiga characterized by discontinuous permafrost, but on the extreme northern coast there are – remarkably for a latitude of only 54°N – patches of true Arctic tundra and continuous permafrost. This is the southernmost point in the Northern Hemisphere reached by the circumpolar line of continuous permafrost on any continent.

The Kenora District is so geographically large that it shares a border with both the contiguous United States (the boundary between it and the Northwest Angle is located in the Lake of the Woods) and the Canadian Arctic waters (Hudson Bay), the only district in Canada to do so.

The Kenora District contains the Sturgeon Lake Caldera, which is one of the world's best preserved Neoarchean caldera complexes and is some 2.7 billion years old.[6]


City Population Ref.
Dryden 7,749
Kenora 15,096


Red Lake, Ontario
Town Population Ref.
Red Lake 4,107
Sioux Lookout 5,272


Township Population Ref.
Ear Falls 1,026
Ignace 1,202
Machin 935
Pickle Lake 425
Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls 567

First Nations reserves[edit]

Reserve Population Ref. Reserve Population Ref.
Attawapiskat 1,549 Northwest Angle 33 187
Bearskin Lake 461 North Spirit Lake 263
Cat Lake 489 Pikangikum 2,100
Deer Lake 763 Poplar Hill 473
Eabametoong 1,014 Rat Portage 38A 362
Eagle Lake 27 227 Sabaskong Bay 35D 387
English River 21 639 Sachigo Lake 443
Fort Albany 67 (part) 2,031 Sandy Lake 1,861
Fort Severn 89 361 Shoal Lake 39A (part) 388
Islington 29 832 Shoal Lake 40 (part) 101
Kasabonika 681 Shoal Lake 34B2 97
Keewaywin 340 The Dalles 38C 195
Kenora 38B 394 Wabauskang 21 75
Kingfisher Lake 462 Wabigoon Lake 184
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug 904 Wapekeka 355
Lac Seul 872 Wawakapewin 21
Lake of the Woods 31G N/A Weagamow Lake 87 677
Lake of the Woods 37 46 Whitefish Bay 32A 670
Marten Falls 190 Whitefish Bay 33A 79
Mishkeegogamang 1,920 Whitefish Bay 34A 126
Muskrat Dam Lake 281 Wunnumin Lake 565
Neskantaga 265

Unorganized areas[edit]


Canada census – Kenora District community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 65,533 (13.8% from 2011) 57,607 (-10.6% from 2006) 64,419 (4.2% from 2001)
Land area: 407,213.01 km2 (157,225.82 sq mi) 407,192.66 km2 (157,217.96 sq mi)
Population density: 0.1/km2 (0.26/sq mi) 0.2/km2 (0.52/sq mi)
Median age: 34.9 (M: 34.5, F: 35.2)
Total private dwellings: 31,191 29,606 30,940
Median household income:
Notes: Excludes census data for one or more incompletely enumerated Indian reserves. – References: 2016[2] 2011[1] 2006[7] earlier[8]

Historic populations:[8]

  • Population in 2006: 64,419
  • Population in 2001: 61,802
  • Population in 1996: 63,360


The area near Lake Minnehaha saw a gold rush between 1902 and 1909. The settlement of Gold Rock served 14 area mines. These included the Big Master, Laurentian, Detola and Elora. According to Barnes, "Approximately 180,000 ounces of gold was won from 27 mines in the Kenora district from 1880 to 1976," with "over 331 known gold occurrences." The more successful mines included the Bully Boy, Cameron Island, Champion, Combined, Cornucopia, Gold Hill, Golden Horn, Kenricia, Mikado, Oliver, Olympia, Ophyr, Regina, Scramble, Severn, Stella, Sultana, Treasure and Wendigo.[9]

Most of the population of the district is concentrated in the extreme south where some agriculture is possible: the main crop is barley. In the north, mining is extremely extensive: northern Kenora district contains among the largest and highest-grade reserves of uranium in the world, and is also one of the world's major producers of nickel. Traditional native activities such as hunting and fishing dominate the northern half of the district outside of the few mining settlements.

A major mining exploration project is currently underway in the Ring of Fire region, centred on the district's isolated McFaulds Lake.


Highway 599, longest secondary highway in Ontario

Permanent roads (Highway 599) only reach about halfway to the northernmost point of Kenora district, with the provincial highway network ending at Pickle Lake, although some more northerly communities have access to a seasonal ice/winter road network, via the Northern Ontario Resource Trail. Year-round air and summertime river transport are the only means of reaching the most remote parts of the district. The major railroad lines between Toronto and British Columbia passes through the south of the district.

Patricia Portion[edit]

Provincial boundaries of Canada prior to 1912. The portion of Ontario's modern boundaries which is not represented as part of Ontario in this map constitutes the "Patricia Portion" of Kenora District.

The Patricia Portion is an informal name for the part of the Kenora District lying north of the Albany River, which was transferred from the Northwest Territories to Ontario on May 15, 1912 in the Ontario Boundaries Extension Act, 1912. This area was originally a separate division named Patricia District, but became part of Kenora District in 1937.[5]

With the exception of a few communities along the northernmost ends of Highway 599 and the Highway 105/Highway 125 corridor, the Patricia Portion consists almost entirely of remote First Nations communities which are only accessible by float plane or winter road. Accordingly, the name "Patricia Portion" is still sometimes used to distinguish the area from the more populated southern portion of the district.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017.
  3. ^ Compilation of Northwestern Ontario's 2006 census data[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Highest elevation from MapArt 2003 Edition Ontario Provincial Map – G4 south of Willard Lake. Hudson Bay is at MSL
  5. ^ a b Patricia Act Retrieved on March 26, 2016
  6. ^ Caldera Volcanoes Retrieved on July 20, 2007
  7. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Barnes, Michael (1995). Gold in Ontario. Erin: The Boston Mills Press. pp. 23–26. ISBN 155046146X.