North of Superior

North of Superior is a 1971 Canadian IMAX film directed by Graeme Ferguson. It is a travelogue of the area of Ontario, north of Lake Superior. It was commissioned for the then-new Ontario Place and was one of the first IMAX films made.

Designed to show off the large size screen and detail of IMAX images, the film continues to be shown in IMAX festivals, and has been exhibited internationally.[1] It used extensive flying scenes that provide an in-flight effect that would become widely imitated in future IMAX films.[2][3]

North of Superior
Directed byGraeme Ferguson
Produced byGraeme Ferguson
CinematographyGraeme Ferguson
Edited byToni Trow
Release date
January 1, 1971 (Canada)
Running time
18 minutes


The film depicts scenes of life in the "North of Superior" area, including fighting forest fires and the work of reforestation afterwards. It also shows the varied geography of the region with numerous aerial shots. The film is 18 minutes long, the length of time a single IMAX reel could hold at the time.[2]

The film used aerial shots while flying over Lake Superior and Ouimet Canyon. The film begins with an aerial shot of flying over water, displayed on a small sub-section of the screen. After a few seconds, the image expands to the full six-storey height of the IMAX screen.[1] The aerial shot, along with the large IMAX screen, induced the "Kinesthetic effect" which meant that viewers would experience the flying sensation due to eye perception over-ruling the inner ear balance.[4] Viewers were warned to close their eyes if they experienced any discomfort.


The film was commissioned for the new Cinesphere, the new and first IMAX theatre that opened at Ontario Place in 1971.[5][6] The film, the first official IMAX film,[2] cost CDN$270,000 to produce.[2] It was produced and directed by the founders of IMAX Corporation, then known as Multiscreen Corporation: Roman Kroitor, Graeme Ferguson, Robert Kerr, and Bill Shaw.[7] As it was one of the first IMAX films, production equipment was invented for the production. One of the cameras used was held together by duct tape. Mounting equipment for the helicopters used in the film had to be custom-made.[1]

In its initial run during the Ontario Place season of 1971, over 1.1 million people viewed the film.[8] The film repeatedly returned to Cinesphere and was one of the last films shown (on the original IMAX projector) at Cinesphere in December 2011, after which Cinesphere and Ontario Place closed for a future redevelopment.[9] As part of the Infuture art festival held at Ontario Place in September 2016, the film was shown again at the Cinesphere. It is considered the most widely seen Canadian IMAX film.[10][11] As part of the Toronto International Film Festival, a pristine 70mm IMAX print of the film was presented yet again at Cinesphere on a newly installed screen. Graeme Ferguson was present for the screening, as was the film's editor, Toni Trow.[12]


Singer/songwriter Bill Houston composed the original song Ojibway Country for the film.[13] The score is credited to Zal Yanovsky.[14]

Thunder Bay native Paul Shaffer, later a well known performer, appears briefly in one scene playing an organ at an outdoor wedding.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Stradiotto, Laura. "Imax festival shines a light". Sudbury Star. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d North of Superior. Canadian Film Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ Wyse, Wyndham (2001). Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film. University of Toronto Press. p. 154.
  4. ^ "The Man Who Invented IMAX: An Interview with Graeme Ferguson csc". Canadian society of cinematographers. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Aitken, Ian, ed. (2011). The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film. Routledge. p. 131.
  6. ^ "Cinesphere - The worlds first permanent Imax film theatre". Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Birth of IMAX". IEEE. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  8. ^ "Imax projector, big screen break into North American market". Financial Post. February 10, 1973. p. 18.
  9. ^ "Cinesphere to go 3D". Toronto Star. January 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "Big Movie Zone -- North of Superior". Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  11. ^ "North of Superior". IMAX. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^ CBC Bio
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

Aguasabon River Rats

The Aguasabon River Rats were a Junior "B" ice hockey team based out of Terrace Bay, Ontario. They played out of the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League (NSHL) and the Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League.

Algoma Avalanche

The Algoma Avalanche were a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Thessalon, Ontario, Canada. They played in the Greater Metro Junior 'A' Hockey League.


Cinesphere is the world's first permanent IMAX movie theatre, located on the grounds of Ontario Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Constructed in 1971, it is the largest IMAX theatre in Ontario. The theatre has both IMAX 70mm and IMAX with Laser projection systems. The theatre is considered a building of heritage value and shows movies each weekend. It is owned by the Government of Ontario, which owns the entire Ontario Place site.

Cinesphere's is a 35 metres (115 ft) wide triodetic-domed structure, akin to a geodesic dome, with a 62-foot (18.9 m) outer radius, and a 56-foot (17.1 m) inner radius, supported by prefabricated steel and aluminium alloy tubes. Eberhard Zeidler, who also designed the "Pods" of Ontario Place, also designed Cinesphere. Its screen is 80 feet (24 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) high. Its seating capacity was originally 752, but this was reduced after a renovation for 3D projection in 2011 to 614. The building is surrounded by a moat, and the entrance area is through doorways on the east side connected to the Ontario Place pod bridges and staircases to the Ontario Place West Island. Exiting is done through doorways leading to ramps over the moat to the West Island. The seating is stadium-style seating with no obstructions. The Cinesphere is wheelchair accessible.

Graeme Ferguson's North of Superior was the first film commissioned for and screened at Cinesphere at its May 1971 grand opening. In 1991, the sound system was upgraded adding digital capabilities. In 2011, the original projection system was replaced with an IMAX GT 3D system and new NEXIOS playback system. In celebration of its 40th Anniversary in 2011, the theatre closed for six months to undergo extensive renovations. On February 1, 2012, the Government of Ontario announced that Cinesphere would close while Ontario Place is under renovation. On July 31, 2014, the Government of Ontario announced plans to revitalize the area as an urban park with the Cinesphere and pods retained. During the renovations, the theatre was used as a testbed for IMAX's new laser projection system. In 2014, the Government of Ontario designated Cinesphere as a structure of Cultural Heritage Value.

In 2017, a new projection system "IMAX with Laser" was installed in addition to its 70mm film projector. In September 2017, Cinesphere temporarily re-opened for special screenings of Dunkirk (2017) and North of Superior (1971) as part of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. In October 2017, the Government of Ontario announced that it would reopen as a permanent theatre. It reopened on November 3, 2017.

Hearst Elans

The Hearst Elans were a Canadian Junior ice hockey team from Hearst, Ontario. They played in the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League. In 1998 and 1999 they competed in the Western Canada Junior B Championships, the Keystone Cup, winning Bronze in 1998.

Keystone Cup

The Keystone Cup is the Junior B ice hockey championship and trophy for Western Canada. The championship is the culmination of the champions of 12 hockey leagues in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northwestern Ontario.

There is no national championship for Junior B hockey in Canada, but similar championships are held in Southern Ontario (Sutherland Cup), Ottawa District (Barkley Cup), Quebec (Coupe Dodge), and Atlantic Canada (Don Johnson Memorial Cup)—leaving five teams at the end of each year with a shared claim to being the best Junior B team in Canada.

Lake View and Collamer Railroad

The Lake View and Collamer Railroad opened on May 1, 1875 on the east side of Cleveland.

The railroad extended from near the intersection of Becker Avenue and Superior Street, where it connected to the Superior Street Railway, in Cleveland to Euclid Village, a distance of 6.86 miles. About 2.5 miles of the Lake View and Collamer Railroad was inside the city of Cleveland where it ran parallel to and a short distance north of Superior Street. The remainder of the railroad ran north-east to Euclid, parallel to Euclid Avenue.

Lakehead Junior Hockey League

The Lakehead Junior Hockey League is a Canadian Junior ice hockey league in Northwestern Ontario, sanctioned by Hockey Northwestern Ontario and Hockey Canada. An earlier edition of this league existed in the 1970s.

The Thunder Bay-based league has produced one Keystone Cup Western Canada Junior "B" champion and six Brewers Cup Western Canada Junior "C" champions.

List of Serbian neighborhoods

This is a list of historical and traditional city neighborhoods or quarters with a significant Serbian population.

North of Superior Junior B Hockey League

The North of Superior Junior B Hockey League (NSHL) is a defunct Junior ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada, sanctioned by Hockey Canada. The league used to be a part of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.

North of Superior Ojibwe dialect

North of Superior is a dialect of the Ojibwe language spoken on the north shore of Lake Superior in the area east of Lake Nipigon to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Communities include (east to west) Pic Mobert, Pic Heron, Pays Plat, Long Lac, Aroland, Rocky Bay, and Lake Helen, all in Ontario.

Northern Ontario Hockey Association

The Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) is minor and junior level ice hockey governing body. The NOHA is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada. The major league run by the NOHA is the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League. There used to be a Junior "B" league called the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League, but it went defunct in 2004. There was also a NOHA Jr. B League, but it became the NOJHL in 1978. The International Junior B Hockey League existed for many years as well.

The NOHA was founded in 1919 and that same year became affiliated with the Ontario Hockey Association. Decades later, that affiliation was broken but both now operate under the Ontario Hockey Federation.

Northern Wildcats

The Northern Wildcats were a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based out of Longlac, Ontario. They played out of the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League.

Longlac Merchants 1996 - 1998

Northern Wildcats 1998 - 2002

Ojibwe dialects

The Ojibwe language is spoken in a series of dialects occupying adjacent territories, forming a language complex in which mutual intelligibility between adjacent dialects may be comparatively high but declines between some non-adjacent dialects. Mutual intelligibility between some non-adjacent dialects, notably Ottawa, Severn Ojibwe, and Algonquin, is low enough that they could be considered distinct languages. There is no single dialect that is considered the most prestigious or most prominent, and no standard writing system that covers all dialects. The relative autonomy of the regional dialects of Ojibwe is associated with an absence of linguistic or political unity among Ojibwe-speaking groups.

The general name for the language in Ojibwe is /anɪʃɪnaːpeːmowɪn/, written in one common orthography as Anishinaabemowin and as ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᒧᐎᓐ in 'Eastern' syllabics, with local pronunciation and spelling variants, and in some cases distinctive local names for particular dialects. The dialects of Ojibwe are spoken in Canada from western Québec, through Ontario, Manitoba and parts of Saskatchewan, with outlying communities in Alberta and British Columbia, and in the United States from Michigan through Wisconsin and Minnesota, with a number of communities in North Dakota and Montana, as well as migrant groups in Kansas and Oklahoma. The dialects of Ojibwe are divided into distinctive northern and southern groups, with intervening transition dialects that have a mixture of features from the adjacent dialects.

This article lays out the general structure of Ojibwe dialectology, with links to separate articles on each dialect. The Potawatomi language is closely related to Ojibwe; information is at Ojibwe language: Relationship of Ojibwe and Potawatomi. An Ojibwe pidgin language is discussed at Ojibwe language: Broken Ogghibbeway, and the use of various dialects of Ojibwe as lingua franca is at Ojibwe language: Lingua franca. Ojibwe borrowed words are found in Menominee and Michif; for discussion see Ojibwe language: Ojibwe influence on other languages.

Ouimet Canyon

Ouimet Canyon is a large gorge in the municipality of Dorion, Thunder Bay District in northwestern Ontario, Canada, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) northeast of the city of Thunder Bay. The gorge is 100 metres (330 ft) deep, 150 metres (490 ft) wide and 2,000 metres (2.0 km; 1.2 mi) long, protected as part of Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park.

There is a walkway consisting of boardwalks and trails, which leads to viewing platforms overlooking the canyon. Visitors to the canyon should remain on the marked trails for their own safety. Also in the Ouimet Canyon area, there are rare alpine flowers that are considered especially beautiful and arctic plants normally found one thousand kilometres further north. The canyon is shown in the IMAX film North of Superior.

The canyon was named after the former railway station of Ouimet, today an unincorporated place and railway point, located nearby on the Canadian Pacific Railway line. The station itself was named after the Canadian Minister of Public Works from 1892 to 1896, Joseph-Aldric Ouimet.

Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, a day-use park with no camping facilities, covers an area of 7.77 square kilometres (3.00 sq mi) around the canyon.

Silver King Mine

The Silver King Mine is an inactive silver mine located near Superior, Arizona in the United States. The richest silver mine in Arizona, it produced an estimated US$42 million worth of silver ore between 1875 and 1900.The mine is located on four patented claims in Comstock Wash, about 1 mile west of Kings Crown Peak and about 3 miles north of Superior, in sec. 24, T1S, R12E.

Thessalon Flyers

The Thessalon Flyers were a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Thessalon, Ontario, Canada. This defunct hockey team was a part of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, North of Superior Junior B Hockey League, and the International Junior B Hockey League.

Thunder Bay Northern Hawks

The Thunder Bay Northern Hawks are a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They play in the Lakehead Junior Hockey League, formerly the Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League.

The Northern Hawks are 10-time Thunder Bay Junior B and Northern Ontario Junior B champions. Thunder Bay are the 2018 Keystone Cup Western Canadian Junior B champions and were runners-up in 2012.

Wawa Travellers

The Wawa Travellers were a Junior "B" team based out of Wawa, Ontario. They played out of the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League.

William Ryan Trophy

The William Ryan Trophy is a Canadian ice hockey series to determine the Northwestern Ontario seed of the Keystone Cup - the Western Canada Junior "B" Hockey championship. Hockey Northwestern Ontario sanctioned league winners play-off for the trophy.

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