Identification of an All Season Corridor from Pickle Lake to the Ring of Fire Deposits In Northern Ontario Using GIS
This report set out to determine the best location for a corridor connecting Pickle Lake to the Ring of Fire Deposits in Northern Ontario using a GIS based model. This corridor would facilitate the extraction of the resources located in this area while also servicing the surrounding remote communities. Complexity was added to the analysis by incorporating 3 different viewpoints, being environmental, social and economic for the locations of the pathway. Under these viewpoints, 7 variables were determined to affect the corridor siting. These included wetlands, habitat and streams for environmental, slope and mineral claim locations for economic, and towns and First Nation reserves for social. Layers associated with these variables were obtained and integrated into GIS for analysis. First for the Multi-Criteria Evaluation, these factors were weighted using an Analytical Hierarchy Process with a different scheme used for the different viewpoints. With these three different cost surfaces a Least Cost Pathway was run to find the different corridors for each viewpoint. Altogether the 3 corridors were found to be very similar following the same paths and having relatively consistent lengths. The environmental viewpoint was most impacted by wetlands and habitat, while the social corridor was pulled towards towns and first nation reserves. The economic pathway was the longest and had increased proximity to mineral claims. Upon analysis of these different routes, the social viewpoint was selected as the best, although all were similar meaning choosing one over the other will have minimal effect. Finally, strengths and limitations of the project were evaluated and influenced decision making throughout. Moving forward work could be completed on incorporating more in depth variables while also assigning a cost to the road. This would help accredited the proposed corridor location.