Established in 1976 by francophone researchers from Laurentian, the Institut Franco-Ontarien's objectives are to produce research and publications, organize colloquia and conferences and gather documentation on the various aspects Franco-Ontarian population. The institute’s research projects are funded through grants and contracts. Its main orientations over the recent years are education, health, third age, and culture and society.
Since 1978, the institute has published the Revue du Nouvel Ontario, conference proceedings and reports; it has an established collaboration with Prise de Parole publishing house to help produce books and periodicals on Francophones in Ontario. It assists the J.N. Desmarais library in maintaining the Franco-Ontarian collection. Its members come from across Ontario and from outside the province as well. Every year they elect a board of directors.