NorthernTel began in April 1905 in New Liskeard, Ontario as the Temiskaming Telephone Company. It grew by buying other regional telephone providers and became the Northern Telephone Company Ltd. in 1928. Over the years, the company expanded into Northwestern Ontario and Northwestern Quebec. These assets were later sold to Bell Canada (1969) and Télébec (1976), respectively.
Since January 30, 2007, NorthernTel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Aliant.