A short synopsis on North Bay and its surrounding Municipalities. I have made sure to include info for those who have Children. Forgive me for my bias. I am a Callander Girl!
North Bay 
New commers                                         http://www.northbayimmigration.ca/Stats
Population: 64,043 (2014)
Located in the central region of Ontario, (north of Toronto and their heavy traffic)

Approximately;
3.8 hours’ drive north of Toronto
1.5 hours’ drive East of Sudbury
4 hours’ drive West of Ottawa
4 hours’ drive South of Timmons
1-1.5 hours’ drive North to Huntsville and Algonquin Park. (Boasting great summer Camping and New this year skating in groomed winter trails through the winding park.)
 
Overview
North Bay was originally built in the valley alongside the Lakes and Rail lines. It boarders Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake, Four Mile Lake and many other small Lakes. Over the years North Bay has sprawled out and up over the escarpments. It is a very pretty place to live with lots to see and do. North Bay is home to CFB the Armed Forces Base of North Bay and one of the Largest Airport runways north of Toronto. There are several industrial parks and growing industries. North Bay is spread over a vast area and offers the best of both worlds; both urban and rural space.
 
Shopping
Northgate Square Mall along with a smaller Mall in Ferris, lots of Big Box stores and downtown boutique shopping and an Arts Center. Junior World, down town is a great place for Better Children’s Cloths both New and Used.  The Owner is a great client.

Recreation
The waterfront offers a fun park for your children along with a Miniature Train and Carousel Rides. There is a summer restaurant on an old boat with weekend entertainment there. Along with too many Beaches to count. We enjoy having the Laurentian Ski Hill, many arenas, Ball parks, Soccer/Football fields (both artificial and organic), Tennis courts, Golf Clubs, Curling club, Yacht Club and many other clubs. There is a large Public Library, YMCA, Marina and so much more.

Education
Our School system offers a well-diversified cross section of options. Nipissing University, Canadore College with access to nature trails and Duchesnay Falls. Look up the Near North District School Board, the Nipissing Parry Sound Catholic District School Board, the Conseil Scholaire Catholique Franco-Nord and the Conseil Scholaire Public du Nord-Est de L’Ontario.   It has been my experience that the Catholic system has a lot more money than the Public system. 

Churches
There is a huge list of places of warship for North Bay
 http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/living/worship/

Health Care
Our Hospital is called the North Bay Regional Health Center it is newer and an architectural treat to the eye with curved halls for noise reduction, wood and stone accents and walls of windows multiple stories high overlooking courtyards. Surprisingly a pleasant place if you need medical attention. We also have One Kids Place, a major Children’s health center for northern regions.
 
There are too many Amenities and Events to mention!
For more, visit the 
City of North Bay Website!
 
Callander 
 
 
Stats
Population is 3864.
Property Taxes and water are cheaper here compared to North Bay
Only 10-20 minutes South of North Bay.

Overview
Everyone loves Callander! Main Street runs alone a large, breathtaking, sheltered, Bay on Lake Nipissing called Callander Bay. With white sand beaches, amazing sunsets on the water and multiple Parks.   It is a small, friendly, tourist town with a fun atmosphere.  All girls moving to Callander are welcomed into the fictitious “Callander Girls” club LOL.  

Recreation
Many Shoreline Parks include an iconic boat shaped jungle gym, a large children’s park featuring a “Splash Pad”, coupled with an adult area with outdoor gym equipment. Live events in the park are also prominent, making coming to the park, fun for the whole family. The Government dock has a large Gazebo for sun shade as you look out over the water.  You can enjoy Wedding in the Quiet Reflection Park (Memory Tree Park) and white sand Beaches at Sunset Park.  There is a Public Library, Museum, A large Community Hall, and a smaller Community Hall. Skate Park, Marina, and Yacht Club. A Covered outdoor rink, Ball fields, Golf Courses and Cranberry walk/bike trail hooking up to North Bay Kate Pace way too. Unlike North Bay Camp fires are allowed here. (You do need a by permit though). You will also find a huge number of four season Tourist Camps for family recreation and fishing.

Shopping
The down town offers a few Boutiques, Grocery Store, Pharmacy, LCBO, Hotel and Bank. There are two Convenience stores, Gas Stations, Private Gyms, Veterinarian shops and many restaurants.

Health Care
Callander has a Health Care Center for Doctors’ offices and Dentists.

Education
We have Both Catholic and Public grade schools here to grade 8.  The Catholic School features a two track system; one side of the hall as the English track and the other side as the French Emersion track.  With all amenities shared. They also feature a day care attached (Run by the YMCA), all amounting to an awesome concept. High School Students are bussed to North Bay. 


For more, visit the Municipality of Callander website!
East Ferris
Stats
Population is 4,512 
East Ferris covers a large area and is only 17-35 minutes east and south east of North Bay. You can access Corbeil on HWY 17, E. and Astorville on HWY 11,S. past Callander.
East Ferris encompasses two towns;
Corbeil and Astorville. Both communities boarder on Lake Nosbonsing, with Corbeil also bordering on Trout Lake on the other side of Hwy 17, E.  

Recreation
Astorville has more amenities than Corbeil. However the two towns feel more like one, with shared amenities and a great sense of community. They have an awesome Arena with a Curling Rink and Community Center above, as well as a library and gym. The community in both areas is largely bilingual.Outdoor living is alive and well with basketball, baseball fields, an outdoor rink, Boat Launches, Public Beach, nature trails, kids parks, sport fields and Four-wheeler, Snow mobile and Skeet clubs. One of the most popular events is a week long Winter Carnival with family hockey and broomball tournaments, community meals including their famous Sea Pie and a well-attended community dance close to Valentine’s Day.

Shopping
For Convenience there is a grocery store/LCBO and building supply, feed store, gas stations, and convenience stores. FYI… No restaurants though.  

Education
There is also a new Catholic French school being built in Astorville. Corbeil has an English Public School.  High School Students are bussed to North Bay.  Elementary students can be bussed to Callander or North Bay as well.


For more, visit the Municipality of East Ferris website!
 
Bonfield
Stats
Population 2016 people
30-40 minutes from North Bay by way of HWY 17, E. Just before Rutherglen and then Mattawa.  

Overview
A small community also bordering on Lake Nosbonsing. It includes a lot of farm land.

All Amenities
Covered outdoor rink, library and Kiddies Park. They also have a Race Track.
Bonfield has a small French Catholic School
There is a convenience stores, hardware store, gas station, restaurants on HWY Snowmobile/Atv repair and rental shop and an LCBO.


For more, visit the  Municipality of Bonfield  website!
 
Mattawa
Stats
Population is 2,023
Mattawa is approximately 45-50 minutes from North Bay on HWY 17, E

Overview and Recreation
It is a small town nestled alongside two Rivers.
Mattawa has its own Hospital! a Public School, Arena/community hall, parks, OPP detachment and a ski hill.  They also have a provincial Park and Eco Center.

Education
Mattawa has two high schools (Catholic and Public) and two elementary (Public and Catholic)

Shopping
There is a lot of down town Boutique shopping, Grocery store, LCBO, Bank, Restaurants, Building supply and more.


For more, visit the Municipality of Mattawa website!
 
Powassan
Stats
 Population of 3,378
25 minutes south of North Bay on HWY 11S

Overview
Powasson is mainly an English farming community. Very friendly town with an older beautiful down town area.  

Recreation
Some recreational events include Maple syrup festival and two Fall Fairs. Amenities for kids are an Arena, outdoor Pool, outdoor Basketball Courts, Kiddies Park, beach access on a large Hydro Dam-made pond and a Sports field.

Other Amenities
Amenities include Grocery store, Boutiques, Restaurants, Home hardware store, Pharmacy.

Healthcare
Medical Center and Clinic.


For more, visit the Municipality of Powassan website!
 
Nipissing
Stats
Population of 1,704
The Township of Nipissing is located south of North Bay on Highway 11.

Overview
Most of the Township is zoned as a recreational and rural area and hosts cottage and residential housing. A great place to retire on the water for a reasonable price! It encompasses part of Lake Nipissing, Ruth Lake, Wolf Lake and McQuaby Lake.

Recreation
Beaches, community center, fitness center and outdoor rink.


For more, visit the Municipality of Nipissing website!
Redbridge/ Phelps
Stats
Population Unknown.
Unorganized Township.
This community is about 25 -30 minutes from North Bay

Overview and Highlights
Taxes are cheaper but very few services. They do have some amenities.
A recreation center, Soccer/Baseball field, library open by volunteer’s only.
Small older Public school. High school students are bussed to North Bay.


For more, visit the Municipality of Phelps website!
 
Sturgeon Falls
Stats
Population of 6672 people
West of North Bay by 30-35 minutes on HWY. 17,E.

Overview
Slogan: Joie de Vivre!!! “The Joy of Life” A predominantly French farming community with lots of amenities. Sturgeon Falls boarders Lake Nipissing and the Sturgeon River and Dam/Falls.  They are famous for their Chip Stands and Bakery.  There are also Fiddle and Step Dancing competitions/festivals every summer that draw a huge crowd. They are a drive through town (the Highway is the main drag) from North Bay through to Sudbury.

Recreation
Indoor Pool with Water Slide plus Arena and Rec Center under one roof, Sports fields, marina, ski trails, live music.

Shopping
There is relatively lots of shopping for a small community and an awesome Bakery.

Education
This community has two grade schools One French Catholic and one English Public and two high school one French Catholic and one French Public High School.

Health Care
Has its own Hospital!


For more, visit the Municipality of West Nipissing website!