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The Districts of Northern Ontario

Starting in 1858, districts were created in Northern Ontario for the delivery of judicial and provincial government services to the local population. As populations grew new districts were created and boundaries changed.

Northern districts contain incorporated improvement districts, villages, towns, cities, and townships, but they are not incorporated themselves, unlike the counties in southern Ontario. This means that they have no council. Also, the northern districts should not be confused with the pre-1850 districts in Southern Ontario.

Click the following link to view maps of the district.

Click on the dates below to see maps showing the northern districts at various points in time between 1869 (when the first change to the 1858 districts occurred) and 1927.

The table below lists the names of the northern districts, the year they were created, and the districts from which they were created.

List of names of the northern districts


Created in 1858

Unorganized territory

Created in 1921

Temiskaming District

Thunder Bay District

Created in 1909

Rainy River District

Created in 1888

Algoma District

Created in 1868

Unorganized Territory

Created in 1858

Unorganized territory

Parry Sound
Created in 1869

Unorganized territory

Rainy River
Created in 1885

Thunder Bay District

Created in 1907

Algoma District

Created in 1912
Now called Timiskaming

Algoma District

Nipissing District

Sudbury District

Thunder Bay
Created in 1871

Algoma District

Districts of Northern Ontario - Maps 

The following maps form part of the Territorial Series of maps published by the Department of Lands and Forests (later the Ministry of Natural Resources) between 1950 and 1972. Maps 22 to 27 were produced at a scale of 1:506,880 (or, 1 inch to 8 miles). In addition to showing towns, roads, waterways and governing boundaries, Territorial maps also feature provincial parks, rail lines, and water and land spot elevations. Most maps covering northern Ontario show Red Cross outposts, gas pipelines, hydroelectric transmission lines and reserves. These maps are found among Archives of Ontario series RG 1-707 Ministry of Natural Resources topographic maps, which includes additional maps to those included in this page.

List of names of the northern districts

Map Name Map Number

The Southern Part of the Province of Ontario Map – (Detail) Algoma District, 1950

Map 21a

Districts of Algoma, Sudbury and Timiskaming, 1969

Map 22

District of Thunder Bay, 1970

Map 23

Districts of Rainy River, Kenora, and part of Kenora Patricia Portion, 1968

Map 24

Districts of Rainy River, Kenora, and part of Kenora Patricia Portion, 1957

Map 24a

District of Cochrane, 1962

Map 25

District of Kenora Patricia Portion Northeast, 1971

Map 26

District of Kenora Patricia Portion Northwest, 1969

Map 27

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