Moosonee, village, NE Ont., Canada, on the Moose River near James Bay. It is the northern terminus of the Ontario Northland RR and Ontario's only saltwater port. A popular tourist center, it is also the site of a meteorological station.
Moosonee is a town in Ontario, Canada, on the Moose River approximately 19 kilometres south of James Bay.

Moosonee is the railhead on James Bay of the Ontario Northland Railway where goods are transferred to barges and aircraft for transport to more northerly communities. Moosonee is not particularly far north (51°N) but is isolated due to its lack of road access to the rest of Ontario. The community was the site of a fur trading post set up in 1903 by Revillon Freres, competitors to the Hudson's Bay Company which later bought out Revillon.


Moosonee is inaccessible by road. The nearest road outside of Moosonee ends at Otter Rapids, Ontario which is south of Moosonee. During the early months of 2008, a winter road was open between Moosonee and the provincial road system at Otter Rapids. This road was built to support the twinning of the electric transmission lines that run from Otter Rapids to Moosonee. Local residents report it taking five or six hours to get to Timmins from Moosonee via Otter Rapids and Smooth Rock Falls.

The main method of access is by Ontario Northland Railway which provides passenger and freight train service to Cochrane. There is a passenger train from Cochrane that runs six days per week during the summer months and five days per week during the rest of the year. There are also two freight trains per week. During the summer and early fall shipping season, goods can be transported from Moosonee by barge. In January 2007, responsibility for the Port of Moosonee was transferred from the federal government to the Town of Moosonee. During the winter, ice roads are plowed and maintained on the ice across the Moose River to Moose Factory and to the coastal communities of Fort Albany, Kashechewan and Attawapiskat. In recent years, much of the traffic heading up north has been destined for the Victor Diamond Mine operated by De Beers Canada to the west of Attawapiskat.

Moosonee was formerly Ontario's only "Development Area" and was governed by a locally elected board subject to formal appointment by the Ontario provincial government. It became incorporated as a town in 2000 with an elected mayor and four person council. The most recent council took office on December 1, 2006 after being elected on November 13, 2006. The mayor of Moosonee is Wayne Taipale and the councillors are Richard Grom, Melody McComb-Uiselt, Clifford Trapper and Bob Gravel.

The population is about 3000 people (by municipal government estimate, the Statistics Canada 2001 census figures for Moosonee are inaccurate due to incomplete enumeration, a common problem with remote communities). More than 80% of the population are native Cree. The number of private dwellings was shown as 297 but this has been revised to 659 and the population was revised from 936 to 1916. Population density per square kilometre is 1.8 in the original 2001 census figure, density using the revised figures would be 3.6 persons per square kilometre of the census subdivision. Land area shown for the census subdivision is 533.82 square kilometres but the actual town site is considerably smaller. For the 2006 census, Statistics Canada sent in a crew of enumerators to avoid the problems that arose in 2001. The 2006 Canadian census showed a population of 2006 people.


Moosonee has two elementary schools, Moosonee Public School and Bishop Belleau Separate School (Roman Catholic) that offer kindergarten through grade eight. Bishop Belleau School also provides a French Language Instructional Unit for children who are entitled to be educated in French. There is a public high school, Northern Lights Secondary, that provides grades nine through twelve. Northern College's Moosonee campus provides some postsecondary programs.

Health services are provided through the Moosonee Clinic of James Bay General Hospital and the Weeneebayko Health Ahtuskaywin which operates Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory. Plans exist for the merger of the two hospitals.


Moosonee generally has long cold winters and short warm summers, with James Bay acting as a thermal reservoir to moderate and skew spring and fall temperatures. Freeze-up on the Moose River normally occurs in late October or early November, with mean daily minimum January temperatures approximately around -30 °C. Spring break-up, or known as spring thaw occurs in April. Mean annual precipitation is approximately 660 mm, and mean annual snowfall is approximately 2413 mm (snow depth). Maximum accumulations of snow occur in mid-May. Severe thunderstorms can occur from time to time, however, on August 1, 2007 Environment Canada had issued a tornado watch for Moosonee and the James Bay coast.


Moosonee has a local radio station, CHMO 1450 AM that is generally operated by volunteers, plus a rebroadcasting facility for CBC Northern Ontario from Greater Sudbury on 1340 AM. CBC Television and TVOntario have rebroadcast transmitters in Moosonee. Most homes subscribe to either cable TV or satellite TV to augment the two locally available channels.

Ontera, formerly Ontario Northland Telecommunications, provides telecommunications service, including analog cellular (band B), in Moosonee (NPA-NXX 705-336).


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