About winter roads

Winter roads are built over land, frozen rivers and lakes by remote communities and First Nation members. The roads connect remote and First Nation communities in the Far North to a permanent highway or railway system.

From around mid-January until spring thaw, winter roads make it easier to travel and bring in supplies.

Benefits of winter roads

Winter roads:

  • allow essential goods and services such as food, medical and construction supplies to reach northern communities more easily during the deep freeze months 
  • lower the cost of transporting consumer goods, fuel and construction materials to remote communities
  • improve access to primary health care and other services
  • create jobs and training opportunities for First Nation members involved in road building and maintenance
  • improve access to minerals and other resources which helps create jobs and grow the economy in remote communities

What we do

We provide funding annually through our Winter Roads Program to remote and First Nation communities to build and maintain the winter roads network.

Winter Roads Program - Bridges and Culverts Stream

We also provide funding under the Bridges and Culverts Stream for:

  • new water crossing infrastructure (pre-engineered bridges and culverts)
  • repairs to existing structures

Read the Winter Roads Program—Bridges and Culverts Stream for more information.

Winter roads contact information

CommunityPhone number
Animakee Wa Zhing #37807-737-3721
Bearskin Lake807-363-2518
Cat Lake807-347-2100
Deer Lake807-775-2141
Fort Severn807-478-2572
Kasabonika Lake807-535-2547
Kimesskanemenow Corporation519-787-5119
Kingfisher Lake807-532-2067
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug807-537-2263
Marten Falls807-349-2509
Moose Cree705-658-4619
Town of Moosonee705-336-2993
Muskrat Dam807-471-2573
North Caribou Lake807-469-1279
North Spirit Lake807-776-0021
Northwest Angle #33807-226-2858
Poplar Hill807-772-8838
Sachigo Lake807-595-2577
Sandy Lake807-774-1564
Wunnumin Lake807-442-2559

Hours of service exemption for commercial drivers

Commercial vehicle drivers have maximum driving times and minimum off-duty times. These rules are set out in the Hours of Service regulation under the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8. This regulation applies on winter roads.

Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) certificate holders can apply for an exemption to the hours of service regulations if they have deliveries that are affected by winter road conditions.

To apply for an exemption, email csio@ontario.ca and include all the following:

  • carrier name
  • CVOR number
  • whether the request is for a specific type of vehicle, or geographic location that makes your carrier unique
  • the exemption duration, including the start and end date
  • alternatives that you have considered and the reasons why they are not viable
  • any impacts you may experience if we deny the exemption