Natural Resources Canada seismologist John Adams said the first quake was 5.2 magnitude and about 18 kilometres northeast of Shawville, Que.
The second quake came 10 minutes later from the same location and registered at 4.1 magnitude, said Adams.
Earlier, the quakes had been reported as originating near Braeside, Ont., about 75 kilometres west of Ottawa. Braeside is the location of the measuring station.
Residents in eastern Ontario and west Quebec said the shaking lasted 30 seconds.
'It was like a massive explosion'
Dan Duggan owns the Pontiac Home Bakery in Shawville, Que.
When the quake hit at 9:43 a.m. ET, he was with staff in the bakery, making sandwiches.
"It was like a massive explosion that went off it just started shaking and the walls of the bakery were moving," said Duggan.
"I thought it was my propane tanks exploding. We were evacuating employees out of the building. It lasted for about 25 seconds and it went on for about another minute," he said.
"I've lived through earthquakes before, but never anything like that."
'I booted it out of the house,' says resident
Fellow Shawville resident Jonathan Essiambre was renovating his home when he felt the rattling.
"It kind of made me a little nervous and I booted it out of the house as quick as I could. It certainly got my heart racing," said Essiambre.
Essiambre said that while his dishes rattled during the quake, he did not see any damage.
Steve Brown in Blacks Corners, Ont. — a town about 50 kilometres southwest of Ottawa — said the floors of his store shook when the quake began.
"You could see everyone was stunned to feel such shaking," said Brown.
Quake felt in Toronto, Cleveland
The quake could be felt as far away as Toronto and Cleveland, Ohio.
CBC producer Brenda Murray was in her 22nd-floor condo in downtown Toronto.
"I was sitting on my couch when it started to shake slightly forward and back. I looked over at a floor lamp, and the shade was moving."
Quakes measuring from 2.5 to 5.4 are often felt, but cause only minor damage. There are about 30,000 in that range around the world each year.