Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario is a geographic region covering over 800,000 square kilometres. The region is comprised of over 60 cities, towns, villages and unorganized townships, and about as many indigenous communities. With a population of approximately 730,000 people (that’s less than one person per square kilometre), Northern Ontario is a largely untouched wilderness of forests, lakes, rivers and wildflowers, sprinkled with close-knit communities.

Northern Ontario communities have been the setting of many stories, including Alistair MacLeod’s award-winning novel No Great Mischief (1999), and Joseph Boyden’s first novel Three Day Road (2005). One could also make the argument that the award-winning survival story Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1987), written from the perspective of a boy lost in the Canadian wild, is also set in Northern Ontario.

Northern Ontario has made appearances in many TV shows and movies. Men with Brooms (2002), Termini Station (1989), Wind at My Back (1996-2001) and Hard Rock Medical (2013-present) were all set in Northern Ontario. Certain locations were also featured on episodes of the popular Canadian TV drama Rookie Blue (2010-2015).

Membership with the Silverleaf Writers Guild is open to all Northern Ontario writers, whether they currently live in Northern Ontario or were born in Northern Ontario. Please review the following list to determine if your community is considered part of Northern Ontario. Please note that there may be unorganized townships not included on this list that are eligible. Rule of thumb: if you are from an unorganized township that falls in between the communities on this list, you are likely eligible.

We hope to one day have a chapter of the guild in or near every one of these communities. The ones below with links have established chapters. If you’re interested in starting a writers group in your community, please click here.

Atikokan Black River-Matheson Blind River
Chapleau Cobalt Cochrane
Dryden Dubreuilville Ear Falls
Earlton Elliot Lake Englehart
Espanola Fauquier-Strickland Fort Frances
French River Greater Sudbury Greenstone
Hearst Hornepayne Ignace
Iroquois Falls Kapuskasing Kenora
Kirkland Lake Larder Lake Manitoulin Island Treaty (Anishinabek Nation)
Manitouwadge Marathon Markstay-Warren
Mattawa Mattice-Val Côté Moonbeam
Moosonee Nipigon North Bay
Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Oliver Paipoonge Opasatika
Parry Sound Pickle Lake Rainy River
Red Lake Robinson-Huron (Anishinabek Nation) Robinson-Superior (Anishinabek Nation)
Sables-Spanish Rivers Sault Ste Marie Schreiber
Sioux Lookout Smooth Rock Falls St Charles
Temagami Temiskaming Shores Thunder Bay
Timmins Val Rita-Harty Wawa
Treaty 3 Treaty 5 (Nishnawbe Aski Nation) Treaty 9 (Nishnawbe Aski Nation)
West Nipissing White River