The Canadian Geographer
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This research examines geographical accessibility to primary care providers (PCPs) across urban and rural areas of Southwestern Ontario and examines variations in the distribution of PCPs in relation to the senior population (aged 65 years and older). Information about PCP practices was provided by the HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. Population data were obtained from the 2016 Census of Canada. To calculate scores for accessibility to PCPs (i.e., PCPs/10,000 population), we applied the enhanced 2‐step floating catchment area method with distance decay effect within a global service catchment of 30‐minute drive time. A geospatial mapping approach revealed disparities in the distribution of PCPs with a pattern of higher spatial accessibility in or around major urban areas in Southwestern Ontario. Comparative analyses were performed in association with the seniors’ population to identify how accessibility scores were mismatched with the population needs. The outcome of this study will assist researchers and health service planners to better understand the distribution of existing PCPs to address inequalities, particularly in rural areas.