The purpose of this report is to examine Ontario's geographic variation in emergency department (ED) visits for conditions that may be treated in alternative primary care settings. We studied all visits to Ontario EDs in 2002/03 and calculated county-specific age-standardized rates. Overall in Ontario, there were 3174 ED visits per 100 000 population aged 1-74 for conditions that could be treated in alternate primary care settings, but rates varied widely across counties. They were higher in rural counties with rates up to 7-fold higher than the provincial average. Urban counties had lower rates, some were less than one-third of the provincial average. Further research is needed to determine the relationship between ED utilization and primary care capacity.