Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve



       Region/Province/ or State


       Web Address

      Date Founded

   Size (hectares)


       Distinguishing Features

Ancient ridge of granite forming a corridor across the Saint Lawrence River between the Canadian Shield and the Adirondack Mountains

       Main Industries (in terms of employment)

agriculture, silviculture, fishery, mining

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere lies on the central Canadian portion of the Frontenac Arch—a 2,700 sq. km. region from Brockville and Gananoque, extending north of Kingston including Harrowsmith, Verona and Westport. Over the years, however, programs of the Biosphere Network have expanded to work with communities over a much larger region of Frontenac and Leeds-Grenville Counties, and Kingston.


The Frontenac Arch runs northwest-southeast through central and eastern Ontario in Canada, and into northern New York State in the U.S. About 80 km. wide at its narrowest point, the Frontenac Arch wraps around the east end of Lake Ontario, and is about mid way from the cities of Toronto and Montreal; and an hours drive from Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and an hour north of Syracuse, New York.


The Frontenac Arch is the ancient granite bridge from the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains. Its incredibly rich natural environment and history was recognized in 2002 when it became a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, part of a world-wide network of 669 Biosphere Reserves in 120 countries. FAB is dedicated to protecting globally important heritage through sustainable community development.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network (FABN) has a suite of programs to engage the community and encourage it to become a global model for sustainable development. Each FABN program reflects the four pillars of sustainability: nature, livelihood, wellbeing and culture. In this next decade, we intend to further our work within the community by expanding our programs to cover and include all sectors.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere, as designated by UNESCO, is a globally significant and unique treasure, and yet widespread knowledge of its identity and the role of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network remains a challenge. Going forward, we will meet the identity challenge by engaging local residents, all levels of governments and other organizations in this region in collaborative programs and projects to build a sustainable community.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territories. With gratitude and respect we acknowledge the significant contributions Indigenous Peoples have, and continue to make, on these lands.