White River (Ontario)

White River is a tiny village on the Trans-Canada Highway in northern Ontario.


Winnie the bear

White River, population 607, was established as a railway village on the Canadian Pacific mainline in 1885. Its primary industry is forestry; the township's population has been in steep decline since Domtar closed its mill in 2007. While the village is a good jumping-off point for fishing and canoeing on the White River, and its location on the main east-west route cross country makes it difficult to miss, it's tiny enough that it might not even be on the map were it not for the notability of its most famous resident: an orphan black bear cub who left with a group of soldiers in 1914.

The soldiers? Fort Garry Horse regiment from Winnipeg, Manitoba – a cavalry unit and their horses off to fight the Great War in Europe. Their unofficial mascot? Winnie the bear, who literary travellers will immediately recognise as a character in a few A. A. Milne books.

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, and the rest is history.


While the village has an anglophone majority, one in six speak French as a first language.


White River is northern by Ontario standards and temperatures as cold as -40° are not unheard of in winter.

Get in

There is no passenger service on the CP line to Thunder Bay

The Canadian Pacific mainline from Thunder Bay has had no passenger service since 1989. Sudbury is reachable from White River on a two-car VIA train which runs each way three times weekly with a long list of stops at isolated, otherwise-inaccessible points; the end-to-end trip is eight to ten hours.

Access is primarily by road. There's a motel with a Greyhound bus stop on the Trans-Canada Highway:

Get around

There is no local taxi service in the village.





There is a grocer, a Home Hardware and a Husky fuel station in the village. Winnie the Pooh memorabilia is available at the travel info centre and the heritage museum.




Local telephone calls are seven digits. The local postal code is P0M 3G0 for the entire village; all mail is addressed to PO boxes as there is no local household delivery.

Go next

Routes through White River

Thunder Bay Marathon  W  E  Wawa Sault Ste Marie

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 27, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.