Ontario Supporting Tourism Industry in the Northwest

Ontario Supporting Tourism Industry in the Northwest

Province investing over $800,000 to upgrade Turtle Portage Marine Railway on Lake of the Woods

January 24, 2022

Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  3. Related Topics

Kenora – The Ontario government is supporting the Northwestern tourism industry and the local economy by investing over $800,000 to revitalize the Turtle Portage Marine Railway on Lake of the Woods. This important marine railway provides a shortcut for users to move their boats between Whitefish Bay and Sabaskong Bay on Lake of the Woods instead of travelling 145 km by boat around the Aulneau Peninsula.

“Lake of the Woods is a vital part of tourism in the Northwest, attracting cottagers and visitors who come to enjoy the many recreational opportunities the area has to offer,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Turtle Portage is an iconic landmark on Lake of the Woods and that’s why our government is proud to ensure that boaters can safely use this overland crossing for many years to come.”

The Turtle Portage Marine Railway will be upgraded to improve its functionality, safety, and reliability, allowing for more recreational boating opportunities on the lake.

Off-site assembly activities are already underway and on-site construction will begin as soon as conditions improve in the Spring. The crossing will be ready for boaters to use by Summer, 2022. Locals and tourists will benefit from continued access to the Turtle Portage Marine Crossing between Whitefish Bay and Sabaskong Bay on Lake of the Woods.


“I know a lot of people like to use Turtle Portage. Sabaskong Bay and Whitefish Bay are very different waters and locals as well as guests like the ability to fish both in the same day. I believe it’s an important historical tradition that is an asset to our region and should be maintained.”

– Wayne Helliar
Owner and operator, Helliar’s Resort, Nestor Falls

“I find the Turtle Portage ramp vital to the economies that I live in (Morson and Sioux Narrows). I own and operate Gill’s Morson Marina, and Gill’s Trading Post, and I know I have people that enjoy coming and using our facilities and services after portaging either direction.”

– Terry Gill
Owner Operator Gill’s Marina (Morson) and Gill’s Trading Post (Sioux Narrows)

“Historically, Turtle Portage has been a critical piece of transportation infrastructure for the eastern parts of Lake of the Woods. We are pleased to learn of the significant investment being made by the provincial government so that it will continue to operate with considerable improvements, ensuring that our waterways will remain open and safe for the residents and visitors of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls to travel.”

– Norbert Dufresne
Mayor, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls

Related Topics

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more

Travel and Recreation

Learn more about hunting and fishing, provincial parks, festivals and events, and visiting Ontario. Learn more