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Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 in Canada, Eat, Home, North America

Ode to Home: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Ode to Home: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

I come from a small town. A small town in the Middle of Canada. With a Population of 120.000. A town that most people in Canada don’t know it exists. Tourists don’t often visit, and when they do, it is only as a place to stop for the night before they continue 715KM West to Winnipeg or 1400KM East to Toronto.

Thunder Bay Ontario

Thunder Bay. Right on the tip of the wolf shaped Lake Superior.

But I think my home town deserves some recognition. Sure the city isn’t much to offer, there are almost no museums, only 4 bars, 1 auditorium, and a couple of starbucks. But hey – My Thunder Bay isn’t good as a “City” – but it IS great as an Outdoor destination.

With Lake Superior on One side,

Small mountains hugging the other 3 sides, and Millions of fresh water lakes dotting the surrounding. We have to find SOMETHING to do right? And we (the residents and former residents) HAVE.

Thunder Bay activities depend GREATLY on the season. Since we have SNOW for 6 months out of the year. You can’t really go for a dip in a private swimming hole. And we really only have decent summer weather for 3 months of the year. The in between seasons are also freezing cold – there just happens to be no Snow.

So Seasonal Activity Guide

Summer

  • Climb Mt. McKay for a leisurely hike with panoramic views of the city.
  • Go to the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and Climb the Chimney Trail
    Sleeping Giant,is a formation of mesas and sil...

  • Be a part of the Drunkinental
    Cup – Backyard Curling
  • See the Fort William Historical Park and reenact some Fur trading and chill in a wigwam circa 1815
  • Take a drive to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park. See the waterfalls and take a dip (and by dip I mean, wait til you sweat, run in the water and dive under, run out, wrap in your towel and shiver until the sun re-heats you. Takes approximately 20 minutes. Stimulating isnt it?)
  • Visit Ouimet or Eagle Canyon. Amazing suspension bridges with Phenomenal views
  • Go dig up your own amethyst in the Amethyst Mine Panorama
  • Take a canoe ride in Quetico Provincial Park. Maybe partake in a multi-day portage.

Winter

  • Go snowboarding at Loch Lomond (There is another hill, but since I grew up in Fort William, I am loyal to Loch Lomond)
  • Take part in the Sibley Ski Tour in March. Beginners welcome!
  • Play laser tag and arcade games at Ron’s Virtual World. This may not seem as fun to you when you realize the place is small – but with all the childhood memories associated to this – I cant help but make it a suggestion
  • Get out of the snow and into the heat! Go to Kanga’s Saunas for a private sauna room!
  • Make some Thunder Bay friends and head out to their camp: experience ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowball fights (You are NEVER too old for snowball fights – just dress warmly – maybe ask to borrow some attire!)

One of the BIGGEST problems to tourists is: Thunder Bay is not a tourist transportation friendly location. Our public bus system is not convenient and really doesn’t get you anywhere under 1 hour. You cannot walk to most destinations unless you’re planning to make a day of it. And you could bike – but you’d have to of brought it yourself, and hope that the notoriously terrible bad driving of my townfolk don’t hit you. :)

So make a friend, We are a friendly bunch, and have them drive you around all day! We all own cars since its the only mode of transportation that is convenient.

And an extra point: In Thunder Bay, bad traffic is when we hit a red light turning left off the Harbour Expressway. That is the ONLY traffic we have. So be happy.

Since I am lazy and am not a good cook by ANYBODYS standards. I often eat out while I am in town! So where do I go?

  • The Persian Man! This is a Thunder Bay unique specialty. It is similar to a cinnamon danish which has pink icing on top. YOU MUST TRY ONE.  $
  • The Hoiti– Finnish Breakfast! (Thunder Bay has a HUGE finnish population but this place has a massive lineup on the weekends – TOTALLY worth the wait!) $

    Doors to The Hoito Restaurant - August 2006

    Doors to the Hoito. Warms my Heart

  • Wasabi (538 Arthur St) or The Sushi Bowl (Red River Road) are the two Sushi spots in Town which are delicious! $$$
  • Gargoyles (11 Cumberland St) – EAT THE MUSHROOM BRUSHETTA! $$$
  • Organic Garden Cafe (415 Fort William Road) – Vegetarian and Vegan Cafe that is to die for. Funny Hours (Tue-Thur 12-6pm, Fri 12-8pm) $$
  • Naxos (610 Arthur St) – Greek Food owned by my friends Family $$$
  • Thai Kitchen ( 36 Cumberland St) – Thai Food in the middle of nowhere?? You betcha! $$
  • 5 Forks (1072 Oliver Rd) – Fancier Place with Yummy Selection $$$$
  • 3 Mangoes (2624 Victoria Ave) – Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese Food $$

$ = 0-10 CAD  |  $$ = 10-20 CAD  |  $$$ = 20-40 CAD  |  $$$$ = 40+

So this is my Home. It is pretty cool! Once you get over the freezing cold winters and the snow….oh wait….thats all of Canada. So once you accept Canada as it is – There are A LOT of ways to Enjoy it. So if you EVER find yourself in my tiny town – Don’t frown that you’re stuck there – Enjoy what it DOES offer! :)