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The train station in White River.

White River (population 841) is a township located in Ontariomarker, Canadamarker, on the intersection of Highway 17 and Highway 631. It was originally set up as a rail town on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. In 1961, it was finally made accessible by car via Highway 17 of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The forest industry was the largest employer until 2007, when the Domtar mill shut down.

The township is perhaps best known for being the home of Winnie the Pooh. In August 1914, a trapped Black Bear cub named Winnie was sold to Captain Harry Colebourn in White River, who named it after his hometown, Winnipegmarker. Over the years, the animal became the basis for the popular literary character.

White River is the western terminus of the Lake Superior passenger train, which travels from Sudburymarker.


White River advertises itself as "The Coldest Spot in Canada" with recorded temperatures as low as - 72oF (- 58 °C). However, this is a myth as the coldest temperature in Canada has been recorded in Snag, Yukonmarker, at - 62.8 °C on 3 February 1947. Even in Ontario, the coldest place is Iroquois Fallsmarker at - 58.3 °C (23 January 1935), which is the lowest temperature reported in Eastern Canada too. White River's reputation for coldest area is probably based on the fact that for many years its reported temperature was deemed "the coldest in the nation today" from the handful of stations reporting daily temperature extremes in newspapers and on radio, climatological stations data being only available monthly to Environment Canada.

Its official weather station (closed in 1976) was located in a frost hollow but most residential areas have good air drainage and do not see temperatures much below -40o. Gardeners can keep their flowers alive into October and grow non-boreal species such as silver maple.


  • Population in 2006: 841 (2001 to 2006 population change: -15.3 %)
  • Population in 2001: 993
  • Population in 1996: 1022
  • Population in 1991: 948

Private dwellings, excluding seasonal cottages: 355 (total: 443)

Mother tongue:
  • English as first language: 78 %
  • French as first language: 16 %
  • English and French as first language: 1 %
  • Other as first language: 5 %


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