Manitoulin Island REEP

Manitoulin REEP

Manitoulin Island Regional Energy and Emissions Plan (MI-REEP) is an innovative economic and community development instrument focused on reducing energy costs, improving energy services, and reducing climate impacts for municipalities, businesses and residents on Manitoulin Island.


Energy and Emissions Report

Report of Consultation

Regional Energy & Emissions Plan Summary  

Manitoulin Island and the North Shore Communities  

The Smart Green Communities Team has now completed Two (2) Regional Energy and Emissions Plans (REEPsas part of a 2-year project, funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) 


The REEPs deliver critical information on current energy and emissions usage and future climate scenariospredicting how climate change will affect Manitoulin Island and the North Shore. They also offer strategies and solutions on how to address these scenarios with best practice solutions.  


The REEPs identifthat should a ‘business as usual’ (BAU) approach continue, Manitoulin Island & the North Shore could be greatly impacted by climate change and could expect the following in the coming decades: 



  • Milder winters lead to increased occurrence of freezing rain and ice storms resulting in more pronounced damage to the environment and man-made infrastructure. 
  • Ice storms could down power lines impacting household heating, electrical, and communication systems. 
  • Increaseoccurrences of snow meltfollowed by refreezing can cause more severe potholes and damage to infrastructure. 
  • Warmer winters could increase the survival rate of insects and ticks. 
  • In northern Ontario in 2071-2100, summers will warm by 3 to 5°C and winters by 4 to 9°C compared to 1971- 2000. [1]



  • An increase in precipitation / water content could increase the occurrence of flooding, and the risk of harm to life and property – due to the spring melt. 
  • Extreme precipitation events and infrastructure of all kinds will be vulnerable to conditions such as stormwater and waste water infrastructure overwhelmed, impacting water quality, water quantity and ecosystem. [2]
  • Melting/freezing phases in winter and spring seasons can cause potholes, drivers would need to either avoid the potholes, deal with construction or take the damage (and associated cost of car repairs). 



  • Summers could be hotter & drier, and the increase in demand for cooling systems (AC/fridge/freezers/fans, etc.) could place an added burden and demand on the energy grid.  
  • Without adequate energy infrastructure improvements, you could see parts of the energy grid go offline and, in some cases, complete power outages in communities. 
  • Health risks from increased occurrences of heat warnings can expose vulnerable populations of elder residents to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.   
  • Prolonged periods of high temperatures could also exacerbate the effects of drought-like conditions for agriculture leading to premature deaths, crop failures, water shortages & forest fires. 
  • Increased risk of diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus and other dangerous diseases transmitted from mosquitos, ticks and other vectors 
  • Beach contamination can occur as a result of extreme precipitation events, typically characterized by high bacteria counts linked to ear, nose and throat infections. [2] 



  • Longer growing season for agriculture as warm summer temperature extends into the fall season.  
  • Dramatic weather patterns will cause damage to infrastructure, increase power outages and impact health and safety of residents.  

Increased risk of diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus transmitted by mosquitos, ticks and other vectors due to rising summer temperatures, shorter winters, ecological changes, increased human exposure and faster maturation cycles for pathogens. Hotter temperatures will result in increased chances of wildfires, especially when paired with sudden heavy rainfalls as they tend to drain away or evaporate quickly because the ground cannot absorb large quantities of water at once, causing forests to dry out between storms.  


The highs and lows of temperature and precipitation events will lengthen and happen more often. (Consecutive days without precipitation and/or happening more often) 


All considered, Northern Canada is predicted to be one of the most impacted places on earth – given the effects of climate change. 


Altogether, it is safer and cheaper to prepare for climate change than ignore its predicted effects.




  • Size: 226.72km2 
  • Population: 1013 
  • Population Density / square km: 4.5 

Key Information


  • The main community, Manitowaning (the first European settlement on Manitoulin Island), is nestled in a bay on Lake Huron.  
  • Manitowaning is a service centre for the Eastern portion of Manitoulin Island and the community has commercial and recreational services.  
  • The township also has lots of agricultural land. 


  • Size: 209.64km2 
  • Population: 603 
  • Population Density / square km: 2.9 

Key Information


  • The Township of Billings is formed from Billings Township and the Eastern half of adjacent Allan Township.  
  • The extensive lake frontage explains the residence distribution, and the large portion of seasonal residences. 
  • The Harbour at Kagawong is directly south of the Benjamin Islands cruising grounds on the North Channel.
  • The main industries are tourism and service industries with some agriculture. 
  • Manitoulin Secondary School is located in the Township.  
  • One of Manitoulin Island’s premier tourist sites, Bridal Veil Falls can also be found in the Hamlet of Kagawong. 

Burpee & Mills

  • Size: 218.49km2 
  • Population: 343  
  • Population Density / square km: 1.6 

Key Information


  • The Township contains the communities of Poplar, Elizabeth Bay, Burpee and Evansville. 
  • The main industries are agriculture, tourism, logging, and a large aquaculture company. 

Central Manitoulin

  • Size: 431.11km2 
  • Population: 2084 
  • Population Density / square km: 4.8 

Key Information


  • The Municipality of Central Manitoulin includes the villages and hamlets of Mindemoya, Providence Bay, Spring Bay, Sandfield and Big Lake.  
  • Central Manitoulin has farmland and a unique sandy beach in Providence Bay.  
  • Mindemoya is the economic and service centre for the central part of the island.  
  • This includes retail outlets, a hospital, and a public school, plus islandwide resources and support services for individuals living with disabilities and families in general. 
  • A small wind farm with two windmills is located between Mindemoya and Spring Bay. 

Gore Bay

  • Size: 5.23km2
  • Population: 867 
  • Population Density / square km: 165.7 

Key Information


  • Located on the North Shore of Manitoulin Island on a bay surrounded by two bluffs. Gore Bay is the centre of economic activity for the western end of Manitoulin Island with shopping and recreational amenities.  
  • Additionally, Gore Bay has a nursing home, public school, airport, full-service marina, medical clinic, Manitoulin courthouse, and an airport.  
  • Manitoulin Transport is a North American-wide trucking company that provides distribution services across Canada, and has its main office located in Gore Bay. Split Rail Brewery is also located in Gore Bay. 

Gordon-Barrie Island

  • Size: 267.77km2
  • Population: 490
  • Population Density / square km1.8 

Key Information


  • The Municipality of Gordon-Barrie Island was established in 2009 with the amalgamation of the municipalities of Gordon and Barrie Island.  
  • The roots of both places date back to the late 1800’s.  
  • Geographical features include a limestone cobble shore on the North Shore of Manitoulin Island, rolling pastures, and inland lakes. 


  • Size: 496.09km2
  • Population: 2712 
  • Population Density / square km: 5.5 

Key Information


  • NEMI consists of the Town of Little Current, the village of Sheguiandah, MacGregor Bay Islands, and surrounding farmland.  
  • Little Current is the gateway to Manitoulin, where the swing bridge crosses the North Channel. 
  • Little Current is the largest community on the island with the largest hospital and marina.  
  • The tourism industry, service sector, health facilities and farming-led operations are the main economic drivers here.  


  • Size: 132.69km2
  • Population: 436 
  • Population Density / square km: 3.3 

Key Information


  • The Township has two villages, Tehkummah and South Baymouth 
  • The two main industries are agriculture and tourism.  
  • Tourists can access the Township via the Harbour located in South Baymouth 
  • The ChiCheemaun ferry connects the Island to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. 

Cockburn Island

  • Size: 171.04km2
  • Population: 0 
  • Population Density / square km0 

Key Information


  • Cockburn Island comprises a Township of the same name.  
  • The Island is not populated year-round and so the Township’s offices are located on the mainland within the Town of Thessalon, in Algoma District. 

Aundeck Omni Kaning

  • Population: 370 

Key Information


  • Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation is located on the north channel of Manitoulin and on the eastern end of Manitoulin Island.  
  • There are two ways to get onto Manitoulin Island to Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation.  
  • One is the Little Current Swing Bridge or the Chi-Cheemaun. 


  • Population: 885 

Key Information


  • Formerly known as West Bay, they recently changed the name to M’Chigeeng (pronounced shihgeeng), which means “village enclosed by stepped cliffs”. The date when the name change occurred was not found.  
  • It is the second-largest reserve on Manitoulin and became settled in the middle of the 19th century when natives from Wikwemikong relocated there and have since flourished. 
  • M’Chigeeng is home of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF). OCF represents 60 First Nation communities, approx. 15,000 people from Sault Ste. Marie east to North Bay and south to Parry Sound, except Wikwemikong. 
  • Their mandate is to preserve and promote the heritage, customs, and language of the three fires people – Odawa, Patawani, and Ojibwe. 


  • Population: 135 

Key Information


  • Sheguiandah First Nations is part of the Great Spirit Circle Trail.  
  • It was a prosperous village with busy industries: a sawmill, box and barrel works, sash and door factory, flour mill, cheese factory and the Island’s only woollen mill.  
  • The native settlement of Sheguiandah had remained near where it had been for 10,000 years. 
  • Issues with colonization and forceful eviction from settlements and land plot rights, Manitowaning’s residents joined Sheguiandah settlement in 1867 and formed a village of 129 residents. 


  • Population: 140 

Key Information


  • Sheshegwaning First Nation (SFN) is located on the northern shoreline of Manitoulin Island, approximately 112 kilometres west of Little Current.  
  • Accessible year-round by a hard-top road, the land base of Sheshegwaning is 10,124 acres.  
  • The people of Sheshegwaning are of the Odawa Nation of Anishnaabek 
  • The official languages of Sheshegwaning are Nishnaabemwin and English. 

Atikameksheng Anishnawbek (Whitefish River)

  • Population: 455 

Key Information


  • Whitefish River is located on Birch Island between Manitoulin Island and Espanola in the Lacloche area. 


  • Population: 2450 

Key Information


  • Located on the eastern peninsula of Manitoulin Island, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory is home to the largest Anishnaabek community on the Island.  
  • Wiikwemikong includes Manitoulin Island Unceded Indian Reserve, Point Grondine and South Bay which was amalgamated in 1968.  
  • These lands are the homelands of the Peoples of the Three Fires Confederacy: the Odawa, Ojibway, and Potawatomi. 


  • Population: 55 

Key Information


  • Zhiibaahaasing First Nations was formerly known as Cockburn Island First Nation and is located on the Northwest area of Manitoulin Island, Zhiibaahaasing means “The Place Where Water Passes Between Two Lands.”  
  • Translated, it means “the narrows.” It refers to a body of water called the narrows between Manitoulin Island and Cockburn Island. 

Unorganized Township West-End

  • Size: 407.67km2 
  • Population: 169 
  • Population density/square km: 0.4 

Key Information


  • The unorganized West End of Manitoulin Island contains Silver Water and Meldrum Bay areas and comprises the geographic townships of Robinson and Dawson, which have separate local service boards.