​​​​What are Geographic Names?

Geographic names are names of places. They include the names of natural features such as rivers and lakes as well as administrative entities such as townships, counties and provincial parks.

The GeoNames Ontario database is the official registry of all Ontario geographic names and has about 57,000 entries in English and French. The geographic names have been approved by the appropriate authorities, such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Geographic Names Board, provincial park authorities or municipalities.

Each entry in the database constitutes a record and refers to a single, separate geographic entity. Some geographic names appear on two or more records; they may have different equivalents in the other language, or they may have the same equivalent but refer to separate entities with different geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude). For example, the name "Thunder Bay" appears on seven records, with various French equivalents.

For more information, please consult the following pages:

For questions and comments on geographic names, please contact:

Parcel Mapping and Georeferencing Unit
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Robinson Place, 2nd Floor N​
300 Water Street
Peterborough, Ontario  K9J 8M5

Telephone: 705 761-6859
Fax: 705 755-2149​
E-mail: geographicnames@ontario.ca