Sturgeon Falls, Ont, urban area, population 6672 (2011c), 6383 (2006c). Sturgeon Falls is located five km up the Sturgeon River from Lake Nipissing. Sturgeon Falls was incorporated as a town in 1895. After a failed court challenge aimed at maintaining a separate identity (1997), it is now the administrative centre for the provincially-mandated town of West Nipissing (incorporated 1990).
Long a site of Indigenous activity, and known to European fur traders since the 17th century, town growth awaited the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1882. Earliest to arrive were English Canadians from Simcoe and Muskoka; their numbers were engulfed by lumber and pulp-and-paper workers, the pulp industry beginning 1884.
Closure of the Abitibi Power & Paper, Ltd, plant in 1912 caused a considerable English exodus; the town became 75-80% French speaking, and an early voice for French-language rights and culture in Ontario. Cardboard recycling, tourism, outdoor recreation and local agricultural supply provide economic sustenance in the still largely francophone and Roman Catholic community.