North Bay is located approximately 210 miles (337.96 kilometers) north of Toronto, and differs in geography from Southern Ontario in that North Bay is situated on the Canadian Shield. This gives rise to a different and more rugged landscape.
North Bay is geographically unique in that it straddles both the Ottawa River watershed to the east and the Great Lakes Basin to the west. The city's urban core is located between Lake Nipissing and the smaller Trout Lake.
North Bay, critically situated at the junctions of Highway 11 and Highway 17, remains a major transportation center for Northern Ontario. It is the southern terminus of the Ontario Northland Railway, and is served by the Jack Garland Airport.
The area of North Bay contains a number of ancient volcanic pipes, including the Manitou Islands and Callander Bay and many exposed dykes and five named batholiths (Timber Lake, Mulock, West Arm, Powassan and Bonfield).
The climate in North Bay is common to most places in Northern Ontario. North Bay tends to be a less humid climate than that found in Southern Ontario due somewhat to the distance from the Great Lakes and less warm than some other locations in Northern Ontario due to cooling from Lake Nipissing. On May 31st, 2002, a tornado caused minor damage near the city. Two more tornadoes touched down on Lake Nipissing on August 20th, 2009. This storm was a part of a chain of tornadoes that caused large amounts of damage in other parts of Ontario. The weather box below shows climate normals for the airport, at an elevation of 358 m, but the majority of the city, including the downtown core, sits at an elevation of 201 m.