Two callers to ABC7 reported feeling the quake -- one in River North and one near Park Ridge.
Kitty Kurth who works in the 400-block of North Wabash says she noticed it.
"Something started moving and it wasn't the usual shaking when trucks go by and it was more of an undulating wavelength movement and I thought, you know, I've been in earthquakes before and this feels just like an earthquake," said Kitty Kurth.
Kurth says she felt the earthquake for only about five to ten seconds. She also noticed a floor fan swaying in her office.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The midday quake was felt in Canada and in a number of U.S. states, including Michigan, Vermont and parts of upstate New York.
The USGS said the quake occurred at a depth of about 12 miles. The quake occurred at 12:41 p.m. CDT.
The quake lasted for about 30 seconds, rattling downtown buildings and homes in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as government offices across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec.
Several buildings in Toronto and the Ottawa region were evacuated.
Chris Cornell, 46, who works in downtown Toronto, said desks and furniture shook as he sat at his desk in a finance office.
In Michigan, residents from suburban Detroit to Port Huron and Saginaw reported feeling the earthquake.
In New York state, people from Buffalo to Albany and north to Massena on the St. Lawrence River said pets were startled and plates rattled when the quake hit.
David French, 53-year-old state worker from Cicero, New York, said he was at his computer inside his home near Syracuse when he felt his chair shake.
"I thought the chair was breaking or something," he said. "I looked over and my filing cabinet was moving."
The quake prompted several calls to state police in the Adirondacks area.
"A little shake, nothing too big," is how Trooper Mark Revette described the temblor. "It happens. We get a couple of these a year."
Kellie Tassone, 40, was at home on Oneida Lake in Cicero.
"My dog picked his head up just before it happened and kind of looked at me," she said. Then the sliding door started to rattle "and the house was shaking."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.