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Living in Northwestern Ontario Collage


Thank you for considering NWO as your potential new home. It’s a region of natural wonders and a high standard of living. Below you will find some useful links for making your move a bit smoother.

Before you arrive

You’ve decided to come to Canada, to Ontario, but you have yet to decide where to go and how to get there. There are pre-departure services (also known as pre-arrival services) that can help with hints and advice to get your planning on track.

Destination Canada

Destination Canada  is presented by the Embassy of Canada in France with support from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and in partnership with public agencies for employment and international mobility: Pôle emploi international in France and FOREM, Actiris International , and VDAB in Belgium. Destination Canada is also an annual recruitment event in support of the Roadmap for Official Languages which aims to inform French speaking candidates of the opportunities available to them to live and work in Canada.

L’Ontario, c’est chez moi – infos avant et après l’arrivée

Orientation to Ontario (O2O) L’Ontario, c’est chez moi is a bilingual pilot project, co-funded by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The pilot initiative is designed to ease the transition of newcomers by providing access to standardized information about settling in Ontario and connecting newcomers to community services shortly after arrival.

Réseau de Développement Économique et Employabilité (RDÉE) Services pré-départ

These new services enable member organizations of RDÉE Canada to offer Francophone immigrants individualized services via distance in employability and entrepreneurship, in French.

Settlement Services

All settlement and resettlement services in Northwestern Ontario go through the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association (TBMA).
TBMA helps newcomers to establish themselves and integrate into life in Canada by providing or referring newcomers to essential services. Currently, there is one French speaking settlement officer in house, so making an appointment is highly recommended.

Telephone: 1-866-831-1144


It’s not always easy to find accommodations in NWO, particularly if you want rental accommodations. However, there are many services and agencies that you can use to find yourself lodgings before your arrival.

une plateforme sur laquelle on peut trouver des logements à acheter ou à louer. Vous pouvez également vous adresser directement aux agents immobiliers de la région. Plusieurs agents immobiliers offrent leurs services pour la recherche d’appartement ou maison en location, moyennant certains frais.


Site web commercial où l’on peut trouver toutes sortes de choses, incluant les logements à acheter ou à louer.


similar to kijiji. Not as popular but worth looking at.


a site and mobile application that collates ads for long and short-term accommodations from a variety of online sites (e.g. kijiji, airBnB, craigslist). It is possible to filter your searches according to your needs (sublet, housemates, etc.)


if you have arrived in Northwestern Ontario and you still do not have lodging, the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association may be able to help.


In Northwestern Ontario, there are few General Practitioners that speak French. However, there are free interpretation services available for French speaking clients for any appointments or dealings with the Health sector (please see the description of Accueil francophone below). At a specialist level, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has a large range of specialists who speak French.

Accueil francophone de Thunder Bay

Interpretation services make up the piller of services that Acceuil francophone offfers to its French speaking clients and to professionals in Health Sciences, including doctors, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and pharmacists, among others. In addition, Accueil helps its Francophone clientele identify and access a variety of French language services available in Northwestern Ontario.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) serves the whole Northwest region and has one of the busiest emergency rooms in Canada, with 100 000 patients annually. The TBRHSC has been identified as bilingual, which means that a certain number of their services are offered in French. The centre is working hard to increase the number and the quality of services available in French.

Certain services are also available in French in the following hospitals in NWO:

Geraldton District Hospital

Wilson Memorial General Hospital in Marathon

Community and Leisure

There are many Francophone clubs and organizations in Northwestern Ontario where you can meet other French speakers who can help you become familiar with your new community. For a complete list of clubs and organizations, please see the Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario website.

Other useful links Travelling in Canada

Canadian government website – information on immigration, waiting times at border crossings, and hints on travelling in Canada.

Travelling in Northwestern Ontario

Please find a number of sites on activities and destinations to visit in the region.

Conduite automobile au Canada

Les règles et les astuces sur la conduite automobile au Canada

Vehicle Rental

National Car Rental:

Thunder Bay, Marathon, Manitouwadge, Terrace Bay, Greenstone, Dryden

Enterprise Rent-a-Car:

Thunder Bay, Dryden, Kenora, Fort Frances

Online directories

For businesses and services available in French, please consult the following regional directories.


Répertoire des services en français dans tout le Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario (only available in French)

For the districts of Rainy River, Kenora and Fort Frances (only available in English)

Greenstone (available in French and English)

For the Northshore of Lake Superior (Red Rock, Nipigon, Schriber, Terrace Bay, Marathon, Manitouwadge) (available in French and English)

Red Lake (only available in English)

Fort Frances (only available in English)

Wifi Hotspots

If you have your own mobile device, you can get internet access through free Wifi hotspots around the region. Without your own device, you can still access free internet through community libraries. Often, libraries have 2 types of internet access– no reservation needed (15 min access) and by reservation (1 hour access).

Thunder Bay:

Wifi hotspots:


Tim Horton (autoroute 11/17),

Terrace Bay:

Simcoe Plaza, Library


Marathon Classic Coffee (free for patrons), Library


Friend’s Bakery (free for patrons), Library


McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Dryden Memorial Arena, 84,ave Whyte.

Grocery Stores

The Northwest has become more and more diverse on a multicultural level. There are many small ethnic groceries to discover once you are in the area. You will also find certain ingredients for ethnic dishes in the following supermarkets and grocery stores:

Thunder Bay:

The Real Canadian Superstore:
The Bulk Zone:
Golden Flower Grocery:
Westfort Foods:


Zechners Food Mart:

Terrace Bay:

Costa’s foods:


Extra Foods:


Rouselles Valu-Mart:


No Frills (Geraldton):
Valu-Mart (Longlac):
Northern (Nakina):

Sioux Lookout

Fresh market foods:
Giant Tiger:

Red Lake

Balmertown Food Fair:


Bulk Zone:
Extra Foods (Loblaws):
Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op:


No Frills:
Wholesale Club: 16, ave 10th sud, Kenora, ON P9N 2J4

Fort Frances

The Place: 604, rue Stewart, Fort Frances, ON P9A 2Y2

Thrift stores

Quand vous arriverez dans la région, il est fort possible que vous vouliez vous procurer des meubles et des fournitures de cuisine à prix modiques avant de vous installer de façon permanente. Les chaînes bon marché et les magasins d’aubaines peuvent alors vous dépanner.

Chaînes bon marché dans la région

When you arrive in the region, it is quite possible that you do not want to invest in new furniture or other necessary items until you have settled more permanently. In this case, thrift and bargain stores can help you get started.

Bargain shops

The Bargain! Shop/Red Apple: Stores in Atikokan, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Iroquois Falls, Kenora, Manitouwadge, Marathon, Nipigon, Sioux Lookout, Sturgeon Falls, and Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay:

Value Village: 915, ave Memorial, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 4A1
Salvation Army: Thunder Bay: 870 Red River Road, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 1K2
et 915, ave Memorial Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 4A1


Top of Superior Thrift Shop:


Thrift R Us:

Sioux Lookout:

Good News Books n’Things:
Salvation Army: Sioux Lookout : 13, rue Robert, Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1C8


The Dryden Mission:
Second Chance Pet
Gently Loved
Dryden’s Online Auctioning


Salvation Army:

Red Lake:

Second Chance:
Encore Kidz Warehouse:

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