Vermilion River (Sudbury District)

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Vermilion River
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region Northeastern Ontario
Part of Lake Huron drainage basin
 - left Whitson River
 - right Onaping River, Nelson River, Rapid River, Roberts River
Source Unnamed lake
 - elevation 425 m (1,394 ft)
 - coordinates 47°07′35″N 81°18′55″W / 47.12639°N 81.31528°W / 47.12639; -81.31528
Mouth Spanish River
 - elevation 195 m (640 ft)
 - coordinates 46°15′37″N 81°41′11″W / 46.26028°N 81.68639°W / 46.26028; -81.68639Coordinates: 46°15′37″N 81°41′11″W / 46.26028°N 81.68639°W / 46.26028; -81.68639
Length 200 km (124 mi)
Location of the mouth of the Vermilion River in Ontario

The Vermilion River is a river in the Lake Huron drainage basin in Sudbury District and Greater Sudbury in Northeastern Ontario, Canada.


The river begins at an unnamed lake in Unorganized Sudbury, Sudbury District, about 4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi) northwest of the settlement of McKees Camp and the McKee's Camp railway station, and heads north to Tramp Lake where it meets the Canadian National Railway (CN) transcontinental main line, served by the Via Rail The Canadian passenger train. The river then turns southeast through Thor Lake and begins a long stretch paralleled by the CN line. It heads through Post Lake and past the settlement of Laforest to reach Baseline Lake and the settlement of Raphoe. The Vermilion River enters Greater Sudbury near the settlement of Sellwood, takes in the right tributary Roberts River at the settlement of Milnet where it also meets Sudbury Municipal Road 84 (formerly Ontario Highway 545), turns south, and reaches the community of Capreol, where the river and railway line part. The river heads west, takes in the right tributary Rapid River, passes over the Kettle Rapids, takes in the right tributary Nelson River, turns southwest, passes the community of Rayside-Balfour and takes in the right tributary Onaping River near the community of Onaping Falls. It is crossed by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) transcontinental main line, served by the Via Rail Sudbury – White River train passenger train and enters Vermilion Lake at the middle of the north side. The river exits the lake at the east over the Domtar Stobie Dam,[1] takes in the left tributary Whitson River, loops southeast then heads south, passes over McFadden Falls, Cascade Falls and Duncan Chute, is crossed by Ontario Highway 17 and reaches McCharles Lake east of the community of Whitefish, and from which point the river forms the boundary between Greater Sudbury and the Whitefish Lake 6 Indian reserve. At Rat Lake, the river then heads west then southwest, over the Vale Inco Lorne Falls Power Station and dam,[2] enters Nairn and Hyman township in Sudbury District at Wabagishik Lake, and reaches its mouth at the Spanish River, in the geographic township of Foster in Unorganized Sudbury just east of the town limit of Espanola, which flows to the North Channel on Lake Huron.

River modifications[edit]

The Stobie dam as well as other structures on the tributary Onaping River are used to regulate water flow for hydroelectricity production at Lorne station as well as at other generating stations on the Spanish River.[3]



The Lorne Falls Dam, now owned by Vale Inco, was originally developed by the Lorne Power Company in 1909.[4]


  • Blake Creek (right)
  • Muskawin Creek (left)
  • McCharles Lake
    • Fairbank Creek (right)
  • Levey Creek (left)
  • Gordon Creek (right)
  • Whitson River (left)
  • McKenzie Creek (left)
  • Vermilion Lake
    • Cameron Creek (right)
  • Sandcherry Creek (right)
  • Nelson River (right)
  • Rapid River (right)
  • Grassy Creek (left)
  • Wisner Creek (right)
  • Hutton Creek (right)
  • Roberts River (right)
  • Bessie Creek (left)
  • Lonely Creek (left)
  • Burnish Creek (right)
  • Helen Creek (left)
  • Coonie Creek (left)
  • Pilon Creek (left)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dams and Power Generation". J.L. Richards. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  2. ^ "Lorne Falls Power Station". urbexObsession. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  3. ^ Spanish River Valley Signature Site, section 4.6 "Watershed", pp 18–19, and section 7.4 "Water Resource Use", pp. 38–39
  4. ^ Manore, Jean (1999). Cross-currents: hydroelectricity and the engineering of northern Ontario. Waterloo, Ont: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-88920-317-4. OCLC 40534047. 

External links[edit]

  • Map showing Vermillion river drainage basin and tributary drainage basins in and around Greater Sudbury