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Schreiber is a township of about 1000 people (2021) in Northern Ontario, near the northernmost point on Lake Superior and the main exposure of the Gunflint chert. (Chert is a hard, dark, opaque rock composed of silica with a fine-grained texture. It occurs as nodules (flint) or, less often, in massive beds.)



The town was named after Sir Collingwood Schreiber, a railway engineer, founding member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, and deputy minister of Railways and Canals 1892-1905.

The town is near the main exposure of the Gunflint chert, which contains rare single-celled proterozoic fossils.



The settlement was founded in 1883 as a construction camp for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Steamships loaded with supplies for building the railway would dock at what was then known as "Isbester's Landing", named for railway contractor James Isbester, who in partnership with Robert Gillespie Reid was responsible for building many of the railway bridges along the north shore of Lake Superior. Isbester's Landing grew from construction camp to railway division point. A station, roundhouse, car shops, icehouse and stock yard soon followed.

The town was renamed Schreiber in 1887. The CPR moved the divisional office from White River to Schreiber in 1912, and thereafter remained as one of the town's biggest employers. The town's economy is also sustained by a pulp mill in Terrace Bay, which is 15 minutes away.

During World War II, Schreiber was the site of one of the four work camps established for Japanese-Canadian internees. Several Prisoner-of-War camps for Axis soldiers, sailors and air force personnel were also built nearby.

Many immigrants soon came to Schreiber with a large proportion finding jobs on the railroad. A large percentage of these immigrants were from Italy. Many others came from Poland, Finland, Scotland, Ireland, and other countries in Europe as well as other parts of Canada.

Get in


By car


Schreiber has Highway 17 (Trans-Canada Highway) passing through it.

By bus


Get around



  • Schreiber Rail Array Museum, 608 Winnipeg Street, +1 807 824-2278, . Summer: M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 10AM-5PM. A museum about trains that's in a train. It highlights the community’s background as the oldest railway community on the north shore of Lake Superior. It displays CP Rail antiques, documents and treasures. By donation.


  • Passing close to the town is the Casques Isles Trail, a scenic pathway along Lake Superior that forms part of the Voyageur Hiking Trail.
  • Visit the Schreiber Beach. From the downtown area, pass through the CPR underpass and turn right immediately following the underpass.
  • Schreiber Channel One of North America’s most diverse, best preserved and internationally known collections of micro-fossils within Precambrian rock is found in the Schreiber Channel. This nature reserve is southwest of Schreiber. Hike along the shore of Lake Superior and look for a group of unusual concentric rings embedded in the rock. The rings vary in colour and size, with the largest more than three feet in diameter. They are clearly visible over a couple hundred square yards of bedrock that slopes down to the lake. These circles are called "stromatolites".
  • Schreiber Beach provides access to Mount Gwynne through a rugged 2- to 4-hour hike that leads to a breath-taking 360° view of the area.




  • 1 The Golden Rail, 40 Highway 17, +1 807 823-0257. 11:30AM-8PM. Fast food - burgers, fries, poutine, and "appetizers" - sold from a roadside chip wagon.
  • 2 Filane's, 99 Ontario Street at Highway 17, +1 807 824-2223. Daily 5-9PM. A pleasant Italian-Canadian restaurant with steaks, pastas, pizzas (one is enough for two people), and other Italian dishes. Mains from $15.
  • 3 Hungry Moose, 111 Kingsway at Rongie Lake Motel, +1 807 824-2424. W-Sa 11:30AM-8PM. Fried foods, and pizza.
  • 4 Breeze Bakery & Catering, 307 Scotia Street, +1 807 824-2233. Tu-F 7AM-2PM, Sa 9AM-3PM. Cakes, breads, sandwiches.
  • 5 Robins Donuts & Deli, KFC Express, and Pizza Hut Express, 65 Kingsway (Highway 17) (at the Villa Bianca Inn), +1 807 824-1111.




  • 1 The Cosiana Inn, 315 Ethel St, +1 807 824-2782, toll-free: +1-800-361-8595. 18 rooms. Cable TV, Coffee makers in rooms, kitchenette units available (fridge and stove).
  • 2 Nor-West Motel, 59 Highway 17, +1 807 824-2501. 10 rooms.
  • 3 Birch Grove Housekeeping Motel, 316 Walker St, +1 807-824-2800. 12 rooms.
  • 4 Sunset Motel, 15 ON-17, +1 807 824-2850.
  • 5 Villa Bianca Inn, 65 Kingsway (Highway 17), +1 807 824-2172, . Various fast food outlets attached. From $79.
  • 6 The Voy, Highway 17, +1 807 824 2002. Renovated, modern rooms. Cafe, laundromat, convenience store. From $120.



Go next

Routes through Schreiber
Thunder BayNipigon  W  E  MarathonSault Ste Marie

This city travel guide to Schreiber is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.