View of the Moose River at sunrise

There are only a few communities in Ontario that are more remote than Moosonee. Others, such as Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Peawanuck, and Fort Severn can be reached only by air or by boat. Moosonee is the northernmost community in Ontario that can be reached by rail. In fact, the train is the only overland surface route to Moosonee – there are no roads to Moosonee!

Polar Bear Express

There are two trains that travel regularly between Cochrane and Moosonee. Most visitors take the inappropriately named Polar Bear Express.

Moosonee sign

Moosonee is a thriving town of 2000 people. On an island across the Moose River is the town of Moose Factory, with another 2000 people, mainly Cree. Moose Factory is the oldest community in Ontario, founded by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1673. Moosonee was established in 1903 by the Revillon Freres (now known as Revlon) in competition with the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Black bear at dump

Like in many northern communities, one of the most popular sources of entertainment is the dump. At dusk, many townspeople and tourists visit the dump to watch black bear feeding on the garbage. We saw five bears that evening!