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The river flows northeast from lakes west of Lake Nipigon to Ogoki, where it joins the Albany River which empties into James Bay. The river is 480 kilometres (300 mi) long. In 1943, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, now the Ontario Power Generation, diverted a large part of the upper Ogoki to flow into Lake Nipigon and so to the Great Lakes. This diversion was intended to increase water flow at a hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls, downstream of Lake Erie.
The Ogoki Reservoir north of Lake Nipigon formed by a dam at Waboose Rapids is 70 kilometres (43 mi) long and covers an area of approximately 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi).
The river was part of a canoe route from Hudson Bay to Lake Superior: James Bay, Albany River, Ogoki River, portage, Ombabika River, Lake Nipigon, Lake Superior.
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