Building Safe Roads and Economic Growth in Northern Ontario
Province Increasing 2016-17 Support for Public Forest Access Roads
Ontario is growing the economy and creating jobs in Northern and rural communities by
topping up its annual support for public access roads in Crown forested areas.
This increase, in addition to the province’s regular annual support, will go toward constructing
and maintaining roads, such as the 100-kilometre Papakomeka – Grassy River Road network,
which provide safe, reliable transportation infrastructure for communities and crucial routes for
emergency and fire response.
This support also generates good jobs and economic growth in rural and Northern
communities. These public forest access roads provide vital connections for local businesses,
boosting the forestry, mining and tourism sectors in the region.
Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit,
roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your
community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.
Supporting reliable roads and transportation infrastructure for communities across the
province is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their
“This additional support will help people across Northern and rural Ontario to continue to use
forest access roads in their communities. These roads are important connections for many
communities and provide opportunities to our forestry, mining and tourism industries. Forestry
is a major source of jobs and economic opportunities in the region, and our government will
continue to support this sector and the communities that depend on it.
— Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
- This one-time investment of up to $10 million is in addition to the previously announced
$60-million budget for the Provincial Forest Access Roads Funding Program for 2016-17.
- The Papakomeka/Grassy River Road network was a critical link between Timmins and
Sudbury during the Timmins forest fires of 2012 that provided a crucial route for
emergency and fire response.
- Since 2005, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has provided more than $733
million for the construction and maintenance of the public forest access roads network that
supports not only the forest industry, but many other public users including Indigenous
communities, mining, tourism and cottagers for community access.
- On average, more than 20,000 kilometres of roads are maintained and more than 800
kilometres of new roads are constructed annually, providing access not only to the forestry
industry but many other resource users as well.
- These roads are a key component of the rural infrastructure for emergency preparedness
- Ontario’s forest sector contributes $15.5 billion to the economy and supports an estimated
172,000 direct and indirect jobs in 260 communities across the province