'Big' is a theme in Northern Ontario. The area is so vast that it could fit six Englands and still have room for a Scotland or two. Industry is big here, too: most of the world's silver and nickel ore comes from local mines, while boundless forests have made the region a key timber producer. What's not so big is the local population; only Sudbury and Thunder Bay have over 100,000 citizens.
Two main highways weave an intersecting course across the province. Hwy 17 (the Trans-Canada) unveils the area's scenic pièce de résistance, the northern crest over Lake Superior. Between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay, misty fjord-like passages hide isolated beaches among dense thickets of pine, cedar and birch.
Hwy 11 stretches deep into the north, where the Polar Bear Express connects Cochrane to Moose Factory island, an aboriginal reservation and former Hudson's Bay Company trading post near James Bay.
Ontario Northland's bus network provides connections from Toronto to North Bay and Sudbury, continuing north to Temagami and Cochrane. Likewise, Greyhound buses connect Toronto and Ottawa to North Bay and Sudbury, then continue northwest along Lake Superior to Thunder Bay and on to Manitoba.
Parkbus is a useful shuttle from Toronto to Ontario's provincial parks including Killarney. Book well ahead.
The legendary Polar Bear Express train runs north from Cochrane to the isolated outpost of Moosonee, gateway to Moose Factory island near James Bay. A VIA Rail train heads northwest from Sudbury via Chapleau to White River. Sudbury Junction station, near Sudbury, is on VIA Rail's Canadian line between Toronto and Vancouver.
There are airports with connections to Toronto and beyond, and car rental companies, in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.