The North Changed My Life

Northern Ontario is the place where you will be daydreaming for a return all season long and want to return as soon as possible.

There’s something about the North that gets in your blood. A single trip into Ontario’s boreal forest will have you daydreaming about a return all season long, needing a trip back as soon as possible. Though it’s impossible to put your finger on one single happenstance, there is a call from the North that is excruciatingly difficult to ignore.  The North is extraordinary in its makeup, its opportunity, and its expanse.


So what is it about Northern Ontario that draws people back?

The People


Northerners are a people of the community. It’s not uncommon for strangers to smile or nod while passing on the street, offering a friendly “good morning” while waiting in line for the day’s first double-double. It’s refreshingly friendly in an often fast-paced, head-down, get-it-done kind of world. People are always quick to be of assistance and sometimes will go so far as to invite you into their homes. People of the North are generally a kind, caring bunch. They work hard and play hard with the community, the center of it all.

The Weather


The people of Ontario’s Northland are a remarkably resilient bunch—working, playing, and living in some of the most challenging environments. It doesn’t matter if it’s 30 degrees above zero (100 Fahrenheit) or 60 degrees below (damn cold); the people of the North have learned to embrace that which Mother Nature throws at them—more often than not, with a smile on their face. It’s about being outside and loving all four seasons. The weather doesn’t hinder outdoor recreational opportunities in the North; with seemingly countless things in which to participate, there is always something happening both on the land and on the water (or ice)—no matter the temperature.


The Wildlife


The North is a wild place, and in that wild place, you’ll find a plethora of creatures big and small. From tiny tree frogs to enormous bull moose, Northern Ontario is teeming with wildlife. Sturgeon, the ancient dinosaurs of fresh water, soaring bald and golden eagles, and the seemingly always-searching black bears are but a few examples of the diversity of wildlife the North has to offer. Eco-hunters (photographers) have long revelled in the opportunity to sit still in the boreal forest awaiting a visitor from the bush.


The land 


The land is where it all happens, where everything happens. When you step into a city for the first time, you get the vibe of that city. Often it will imprint a feeling of what you perceive that city or town to be like. When you step onto the land in Northern Ontario, for many, it’s a breath of fresh air (literally!). There is a purity to it. The sun seems a little sharper, the air that much more clean, and the water drinkable. The vibe of the North is the heartbeat of the land and all over, it’s palpable.


If you haven’t had the opportunity to venture North, consider doing it and doing it soon! It really doesn’t matter the season, either; all four have plentiful opportunities for art, culture, adventure, and sport! But be warned, once you step foot in Ontario’s North, it will change you. The North gets in your blood and is all but impossible to ignore.


A Southerner from Ontario.

Start planning your trip North

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About Mark Melnyk

Currently, Mark is the host and producer of The New Fly Show. With a passion of fly fishing, the shows goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. 

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