NPI Programs

There is no evidence-based research without data.

Northern Policy Institute is making data more accessible for everyone, to increase the capacity of communities in Northern Ontario, and those outside the region, to make evidence-based decisions on investments, programs, regulations, and other policy decisions affecting Ontario’s North. Check out the data and map tools we have made available below to start digging deeper into Ontario’s northern regions. 

logo-community-accounts-small is an open access online information system with data from 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016. This portal allows users to custom generate a limitless number of tables and illustrative graphics, organized by geography and data topic within a system of distinct accounts. Free to use and explore the online resource uses four different interactive tools, including well-being indicators, community profiles, tables and charts, and maps. These tools provide users with information on topics such as income, education, health, and employment, and can answer questions such as:

  • How does employment in one region compare to Ontario and the rest of Canada?
  • How do people rate their mental health throughout Northern Ontario?
  • How do education levels in one community compare to another?

Level: Beginner – Advanced 

Potential Users: Economic development officials, municipal planners, Tribal Councils, University and College students and professors, business owners, healthcare professionals, policy makers

Can be used for: Generating quick and easy reports and charts on well-being indicators in your community that can be used for research papers, policy development, funding proposals and more.

Go to Community Accounts



Sometimes, decision makers need even more evidence and raw data at the very lowest level that may not be available to the general public. Northern Policy Institute is a consortium lead for access to statistical data in Northern Ontario through the Community Data Program, led by the Canadian Council on Social Development. This group purchase plan reduces the cost for decision makers and analysts to secure data beyond that which is released free by providers like Statistics Canada. By becoming a member at a minimum cost, you are given access to municipal, provincial, and federal data sets, through a secure website which connects you to online data products available for download.

Intermediate – Advanced

Potential Users: Economic development officers, policy makers, data graduate students, research organizations, planning companies, Municipalities, First Nations, immigration officials

Can be used for: Digging deeper into multiple sources of raw data to make evidence-based decisions when community planning.

Click here to start exploring

logo-north-by-numbers-small is a free, online GIS tool that allows users to view Northern Ontario census data between the years of 2000 to 2011 in the form of an easy-to-use interactive map. This tool lets you choose your desired topic, variable, year, and geography to research exactly what matters to you. 

Level: Beginner

Potential Users: Students, authors, researchers

Can be used for: Getting quick geographic snapshots to be used in research papers, presentations, community profiles and more.

Click here to start exploring


Northern Ontario Boundary Map

The Northern Ontario Boundary Map provides users with the ability to explore the many community, administrative, and service provider boundaries in the northern regions of Ontario. The interactive geographic information system map is a project of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board - Your Local Planning Council and Northern Policy Institute. 

Level: Beginner

Potential Users: Students, authors, researchers, Municipalities, First Nations, social planning organizations

Can be used for: Research papers, reports, proposals, presentations

Click here to start exploring 


Northern Ontario Infrastructure Map 

Northern Ontario infrastructure is now just a click away. The Northern Ontario Infrastructure map is an interactive tool that displays various infrastructure assets within Northern Ontario. The tool contains two dozen layers of displayable content, ranging from rail and road transportation networks to rest area facilities, population figures, and even carriers found at regional airports.

Level: Beginner 

Potential Users: Planning companies, Municipalizes, First Nations, government officials, transportation officials, City Police, OPP, rail organizations, tourism organizations, healthcare officials

Can be used for: Research papers, presentations, transportation planning, city planning, Identifying the strengths and gaps in Northern Ontario’s infrastructure, etc.

Click here to start exploring

In addition to NPI, there are any number of organizations collecting, producing, and using measures of economic, social, and environmental sustainability in Northern Ontario. We invite those in need of particular data to contact us so that we can ask the experts known to us if the data exists already or whether it can be collected going forward. We similarly invite those who collect or have data about Northern Ontario to let us know what they have and we invite them to allow us to share it with others in or interested in the North. We make this invitation to anyone doing direct measurement, primary interviewing (polls and surveys), or secondary (targeted or drill down) analysis of larger data sets.

Learn More: 

Data / GIS Resources
GIS Courses and Training
Data Courses and Training