Espanola (Ontario)

Espanola is a city in Northern Ontario.


Espanola's population has hovered near the 5000-5500 number for the last 30-40 years. It has a beautiful golf course that lies along the Spanish River, several motels, camp grounds and restaurants for visitors, and is the largest shopping area between Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. The town of Espanola was founded in the early 1900s for the employees of the Spanish Pulp and Paper Company. Though still a fine paper town, Espanola is now renowned for it's picturesque wilderness, lakes, fishing, camping, hiking and golfing opportunities.


The story of how Espanola got its name dates back to the 18th century where an Ojibwe tribe went out on a raid far away and brought back a Caucasian woman who spoke Spanish. This woman was said to have married into a First Nations family and taught her children to speak her mother tongue. Later, when French voyageurs would make their way to the mouth of the river they were surprised to hear bits of Spanish spoken by the local natives. Thus giving the town the name “Espagnole” which was later anglicized to “Espanola”. The river was subsequently then called the Spanish River.

The town of Espanola was founded in the early 1900s for the employees of the Spanish River Pulp and Paper Company. The town soon populated and housed a hotel, school and theatre. A couple decades later the mill was closed during the Great Depression and was rendered a ghost town. During the war Espanola was used as a German prisoner camp and later reopened and produced paper once again. Throughout the years the pulp and paper mill has become committed to lessening their environmental impact. The 1969 CBC Television series Adventures in Rainbow Country was filmed near Espanola, close to the small First Nations community of Birch Island and at Whitefish Falls.

Get in

Espanola can be reached by car by traveling east from Sault Ste Marie or west from Sudbury on Highway 17, then south on Provincial route 6 for 2 miles.

Get around

Espanola is accessible by car but the best part of it all is that it is accessible to anyone by foot or by paddle along the Spanish River.


Espanola is renowned for its picturesque wilderness, lakes, fishing, camping, hiking and golfing opportunities. Tour the area on one of our many, groomed snowmobile trails or spend the day at the Espanola Ski Hill for some enjoyable downhill skiing. Take a walk along the fitness trail to the shores of a sparkling lake Espanola. Join the fun at Espanola’s Annual Paper Festival in Celebration of the areas heritage. Massey is also home to a huge agricultural fair and their annual marathon will surely give you a run for your money. While there stop into the Massey Museum & Information Centre to find out what has been and what’s coming up. When you visit the Town of Spanish you’ll see where the waters of the Spanish River flow into Georgian Bay. Take advantage of their beautiful new marina complex and the gateway to the Whalesback Channel of Lake Huron.







Town of Espanola. Phone +1-866-904-1087. Website

Town of Spanish. Phone +1 705) 844-2300. Website

Go next

Routes through Espanola

Sault Ste Marie Blind River  W  E  Sudbury North Bay
END  N  S  Manitoulin Island Owen Sound

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 30, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.