Alongside the northwestern shore of Gitchi Gumee or Lake Superior, the most important Nice Lake in North America is town of Thunder Bay, Ontario. There are such a lot of enjoyable issues to do in Thunder Bay, whether or not exploring one of many close by provincial parks, purchasing the market, or visiting an artwork gallery in its downtown space.
Extra than simply that, it’s a incredible space to spend a weekend getaway in Ontario, because it’s surrounded by pure magnificence, many out of doors actions, a wealthy fur commerce historical past, artwork and alternatives to dive deep into studying about or celebrating with our indigenous buddies. We’re very enthusiastic about this! So, let’s bounce into the most effective issues to do in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Getting To Thunder Bay, Ontario
When you planning a weekend getaway, the quickest option to get to Thunder Bay is by airplane. You possibly can fly straight from Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport or Billy Bishop Toronto Metropolis Airport to Thunder Bay Worldwide Airport in about 2 hours.
The prepare journey from Toronto to Thunder Bay takes roughly 24 hours, whereas the bus/automotive journey takes roughly 17 hours. If you’re from the east, you may take the Trans-Canada Freeway (Freeway 17) from Sault Ste. Marie. From the west, you may take Freeway 11 or Freeway 17 from Kenora.
Thunder Bay ON’s Historical past
- Earlier than European explorers and settlers arrived, the Anishinaabe had lived right here for 1000’s of years.
- Within the seventeenth century, French fur merchants established a buying and selling put up within the area. The British took management of the realm within the late 18th century, and it grew to become an necessary hub for the fur commerce.
- The title of this metropolis is taken from the massive thunderstorms situated on the northern finish of Lake Superior, identified in 18th-century French maps as Baie du Tonnerre, or Bay of Thunder.
- Within the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Thunder Bay (then often known as Port Arthur and Fort William) grew quickly as a transportation and industrial heart, due to its location on the head of the Nice Lakes and the event of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
What to Do in Thunder Bay, ON?
There are such a lot of sensible Thunder Bay sights, so it may initially appear a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a number of the greatest locations to go to in Thunder Bay, whether or not you’re a historical past buff or an out of doors lover.
Go to Downtown Thunder Bay
The downtown space is among the fastest-growing spots in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada. Downtown is a superb place, from stylish boutiques to distinctive eateries. The Items & Co Market is a superb spot, which options 25 native small companies in a 20,000 sq. ft. house. This consists of meals, homeware, artwork, and clothes, making it the best place to get a memento or reward.
Talking of meals, as we talked about on the high, there are additionally some terrific eating places round right here.
Rooster’s Bistro presents an expansive breakfast menu, wraps, burgers, and salads. Mixed with glorious Northern hospitality and quite a lot of Rooster memorabilia.
We had a terrific expertise and a fantastic dialog with the house owners, Dani Thunder and Tony Labbe, right here at In Widespread. The whole lot is hand-crafted, components are foraged, and their cocktails are dangerously good. In Widespread, charcuterie boards and a captivating vibe.
We advocate the Sesame Ginger Scorching Bowl (roasted rooster, grains, kale, avocado, sunnyside-up egg and sriracha), Sleeping Big Brewing (SGB) Stout BBQ Hen (mozza, cheddar, feta, prosciutto) and the Strawberry Margarita.
Lakehead Beer Firm & Tomlin Subdivision
scrumptious beers in the identical house as deep dish, Detroit-style pizza. The Buffalo Fried Hen Pizza with Fried Hen, Buffalo Sauce, Bacon, Cheddar and Blues Cheese Dressing is insane 😉
Prospector Steak Home
In search of a extra filling dinner as a substitute? Take a look at Prospector Steak Home, which presents every kind of scrumptious grilled meat. A Thunder Bay staple, Prospector Steakhouse has been serving up the well-known Prime Rib, prime cuts of steak, and limitless salad bar for many years.
The steak is excellent, aged and reduce in-house from their specialty Prime Ribs, that are prized for his or her marbling and fats content material. Extremely really helpful by proprietor and beef guru Leo Hockenhull. May I counsel the Prime Rib, Common Minimize (8oz) with their Blueberry Wheat Beer?
Don’t refill on the limitless, contemporary, selfmade bread rolls.
Strive Native Delicacies
Two very distinctive delicacies in Thunder Bay are really pleasant. Don’t fear; they’re not like haggis however as a substitute are two candy treats.
The Persian is a tasty fried pastry just like a donut. It’s an oval form, and it’s topped with raspberry icing. The Persian Man is the most effective place to go to, which makes a speciality of these.
Subsequent, we have now Finnish pancakes, that are ultra-thin, buttery, and crispy, very similar to a crepe. Apparently sufficient, Thunder Bay is dwelling to one of many largest Finnish populations outdoors of Finland and has settled right here because the 1870s. Hoito and Niva’s are two glorious spots to get these, in addition to wherever in “Little Finland.”
Make sure you strive the well-known “Persian” pastry, distinctive to Thunder Bay, Ontario. It’s an oval-shaped fried pastry with pink berry icing that’s been an area delicacy for many years.
The recipe is a carefully guarded secret, however the icing is believed to be the important thing ingredient that makes it irresistible. Some locals talked about that they like to freeze them after which take pleasure in them later as wanted.
The Hoito Restaurant
The Hoito Restaurant is understood for its scrumptious Finnish pancakes. Established in 1918, the restaurant was situated within the historic Finnish Labour Temple and has been co-operatively owned and operated for nearly 100 years.
Nevertheless, in keeping with locals, a hearth has closed the restaurant, and so they have a short lived pop-up arrange within the Thunder Bay Nation Market, which we’ll discuss shortly.
Go Procuring at Wonderful Markets
One other sensible factor to do in Thunder Bay is purchasing, as there are a lot of superior boutiques and meals stalls. Let’s begin at Thunder Bay Nation Market, held on Saturdays from 08:00 till 13:00 and Wednesdays from 15:30 till 18:30. Right here; you will get jewelry, candles, jams, artwork, honey, baked items, and contemporary produce.
In search of some scrumptious dairy merchandise? I’ve two sensible choices. First, I’ve the Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, which makes a speciality of Gouda cheese in numerous flavours and maturities. Second, I’ve Slate River Dairy, which makes cheese, butter, milk, yogurt, and beef merchandise.
Study In regards to the Fur Commerce at Fort William Historic Park
Since opening in 1973, Fort William Historic Park has supplied Canadians and vacationers a captivating look again to the nation’s early historical past. This makes visiting the park a fantastic Thunder Bay exercise, as you may study all about fur buying and selling, the First Nations folks, and early European settlers.
This can be a dwelling historical past website, so it’s an informative option to educate your self in regards to the space’s previous, together with the Anishinaabe folks’s position within the fur commerce. To make this expertise much more worthwhile, locals costume up in interval costumes to supply an interpretive expertise of each day life within the 1800s.
Examine Out the Alexander Henry Museum Ship
Take an journey into the previous on the Alexander Henry Museum Ship. This icebreaker was a lighthouse provide ship that operated from 1958 till 1985. Named after a Thunder Bay fur dealer, this ship served an necessary position within the space’s historical past and is now a superb floating museum.
You possibly can study all in regards to the historical past of transport within the space and Lake Superior. Plus, with their guided excursions, you’ll certainly decide up all kinds of stuff you didn’t find out about Thunder Bay.
Be Mesmerised on the Thunder Bay Museum
Thunder Bay is an fascinating place to be, and that’s no extra obvious than on the Thunder Bay Museum. What’s extra, it’s acquired one thing for everybody, from an exhibit on town’s musical previous to the images of John Forde, a fur dealer from between 1890 and 1910.
It’s acquired three flooring of displays, together with seasonal, travelling, and momentary displays on the second ground. The primary and important ground incorporates the Peter McKellar Gallery, which particulars the ten,000-year historical past of individuals within the Thunder Bay area.
This consists of every kind of artifacts and historic gadgets, akin to Ojibwe and Cree beadwork, fur commerce relics, gadgets from Silver Islet, one of many continent’s most worthwhile silver mines, and even recreations of each day life up to now.
Admission is $3 per individual, which is hardly something for one of many high issues to do whereas in Thunder Bay.
Examine Out Thunder Bay Artwork Gallery
When you contemplate your self an artwork lover, then a high factor to do in Thunder Bay, Canada, is go to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Why’s this, it’s possible you’ll ask? It’s the most important public gallery between Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg, that includes work from numerous regional, nationwide, and worldwide artists.
Furthermore, it’s acquired a everlasting assortment of work, drawings, pictures, sculptures, and beadwork. It even has some fantastic crafts from many Canadian artists, together with a number of Indigenous artists from Turtle Island, Thunder Bay, and Northwestern Ontario.
Feeling impressed? You possibly can join an artwork class or a tour, that are glorious methods to immerse your self in artwork. Lastly, they’ve free parking, wheelchair accessible, and admission is $5 per individual (aside from Wednesdays when it’s free).
Go to Pigeon River Provincial Park
Thunder Bay is a perfect spot for hikers and out of doors lovers. That’s as a result of it’s close to numerous provincial parks with many mountaineering trails and out of doors areas.
One such park is Pigeon River Provincial Park, discovered simply earlier than the US-Canada border. It’s about 45 minutes outdoors Thunder Bay, so it’s not too far of a drive for some beautiful vistas, enjoyable mountaineering trails, and scenic waterfalls.
For a hike with all three of these, I like to recommend the Excessive Falls Path, which takes you alongside an outdated logging highway with some picturesque views of the Pigeon River to Excessive Falls, a 92-foot-high waterfall. When you’re on the lookout for a extra informal hike, Boardwalk Path is an easy 1150-foot route.
Stroll By way of the Thunder Bay Waterfront
One other cool Thunder Bay factor to do is to take a look at the waterfront space, particularly on a heat, sunny day. There are a great deal of strolling trails, boardwalks, and a public park. Marina Park is true on the shores of Lake Superior and has views of the Sleeping Big and the Thunder Bay Lighthouse.
There may be additionally a bunch of public artwork on show, particularly at Prince Arthur’s Touchdown. This public house is an idyllic place to be, because it’s acquired a surprising backyard, a marina and is near many eateries.
Go Crusing On Lake Superior
Going to Thunder Bay with out doing one thing on Lake Superior can be a serious missed alternative. So don’t miss out, and be a part of a category with Sail Thunder Bay. They provide newbie courses for kids and adults and are a incredible option to study new abilities.
It’s undoubtedly suggested to do that in the summertime, because the courses occur between July and August. A four-week course prices $275 per individual, so it’s not the most cost effective. Nevertheless, it’s properly value it.
Unwind at Quetico Provincial Park
A bit additional out of Thunder Bay (round a 1.5-hour drive) is Quetico Provincial Park, famend for its rugged magnificence. Extra particularly, it’s an internationally-acclaimed wilderness vacation spot for paddlers, providing many routes.
That’s not all, because it has over 35 kilometres of mountaineering trails, backcountry campsites, year-round cabins and RV campgrounds. So, there’s a little bit of every part to do right here, plus some spectacular views on this 460,000-hectare house with over 2,000 lakes.
Hike Up Anemki Wajiw (Mount McKay)
A must-visit Thunder Bay vacationer attraction is Anemki Wajiw, which towers over town. Situated on the lands of the Anishinabek Nation, the title interprets to Thunder Mountain, which I can get behind because it’s so majestic.
You possibly can hike to the viewing level at 500 ft, the place there’s a lookout with vistas of Thunder Bay, Lake Superior, and the encompassing countryside. You possibly can both cease right here for a picnic to go to the realm’s monuments and memorials, or you may proceed on the mountaineering path to the highest of the mountain. Both method, you’ve acquired a spectacular option to witness this space’s magnificence.
Take within the Views at Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park
Simply an hour from Thunder Bay is the majestic Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, which has a spectacular 150-metre-wide canyon. Ouimet Canyon is unquestionably the spotlight of the day-only park, because it’s over 3 kilometres lengthy and 107 metres deep – it’s a geologic phenomenon.
You possibly can look out on the canyon from the 2 lookout platforms. These are linked by a path and boardwalk, that are comparatively simple to stroll throughout. Apart from mountaineering, this park is a superb spot for birding, as on the raised boardwalk, you will get near the forest cover to see a number of the migratory and endemic chicken species.
Get Your Coronary heart Pumping at Eagle Canyon Adventures
About an hour from Thunder Bay is Eagle Canyon, dwelling to Canada’s longest suspension bridge. This is among the greatest issues to do in Thunder Bay for a fun-filled time, as you may absorb pleasant canyon views from the bridge. That’s not all they provide, as they’ve a half-a-mile-long zipline that reaches speeds of over 45 mph.
Subsequent are some picturesque mountaineering trails in case you’re not eager on thrill-seeking actions. Admission prices $22 per individual for the doorway payment and a further $60 for the zipline.
Tip: Whereas it’s fairly steep off the beginning, it takes 5 minutes to get to the primary bridge and one other 5 minutes to get to the second bridge.
Respect the View at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
Kakabeka Falls is the second-highest vertical waterfall in Ontario, at over 40 metres. Also referred to as the Niagara of the North, this waterfall is an impressive sight and a incredible place to go to in Thunder Bay.
Fortunately for everybody, it’s additionally a straightforward spot to get to. It is because it’s wheelchair accessible and begins from the car parking zone. Moreover, it has a viewing platform, a pedestrian bridge, and views of the Kaministiquia River and the gorge under. This makes it simple to get that excellent social media shot or take pleasure in idyllic landscapes.
Different mountaineering trails, akin to the two.5-kilometre-looped Little Falls Path, descend into the gorge. Some longer trails embody the 4-kilometre Poplar Level Path, the 4.5-kilometre Beaver Meadows Path, and the three.5-kilometre River Terrace Path.
Go Climbing at Sleeping Big Provincial Park
Probably the most common issues to see in Thunder Bay is Sleeping Big Provincial Park. Okay, so it’s not in Thunder Bay itself, however because it’s just one.25 hours away, it’s value visiting.
The extraordinary Sleeping Big formation is mendacity on the rugged Sibley Peninsula. It’s a surprising sight that may be seen from town and is an iconic Thunder Bay landmark.
Past this, the park has a 100+ kilometre path community, together with the Prime of the Big path, a 22-kilometre round-trip hike that takes six to 10 hours. It’s a tougher hike, however the views are value it.
Strive Your Luck at Gateway On line casino
Are you on the lookout for a enjoyable night time or need to splash some further money? Head to Gateway On line casino, which has all of the classics, like Blackjack, Texas Maintain ’em, Mississippi Stud Poker, and Roulette.
Apart from these video games, additionally they have e-tables and over 450 slot machines. Moreover, they sometimes maintain occasions the place you may take pleasure in reside music. That’s not all they provide. In addition they have a $5 breakfast and a $7.77 lunch menu.
Go to Terry Fox Monument
Subsequent up for sightseeing in Thunder Bay, we have now the long-lasting Terry Fox Monument. This can be a monument that was made to recollect his memorable actions. Who was Terry Fox, it’s possible you’ll ask? He was an athlete and most cancers survivor who went on a cross-Canada run within the Eighties to boost consciousness and cash for most cancers analysis.
Sadly, after 143 days and reaching Thunder Bay, he found that his most cancers had returned, and his run concluded. Nevertheless, his efforts won’t ever be forgotten. In Thunder Bay, a nine-foot-tall bronze statue was erected in his honour, and you may go to it now. It’s open from 09:00 till 17:00 all week.
Go to Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village
Need one other look into Thunder Bay’s historical past? Pay a go to to the Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village. It’s a village that consists of 12 buildings that depict life within the late 1800s up till the Nineteen Forties.
Every constructing incorporates artifacts and objects from the 1800s, and all buildings, from the city corridor to the church, are historic buildings from the realm. Take a stroll again into the previous for a novel perception into how our frequent ancestors lived. It’s open between Might and September on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 12:00 till 16:30. Admission is donation primarily based, so in case you can contribute to assist this museum proceed.
Go Snowboarding at Loch Lomond
Now a high winter exercise in Thunder Bay is snowboarding, and one of many greatest locations to go to in Ontario throughout winter is Loch Lomond. It’s one of many greatest ski resorts in Ontario, with three chairlifts, a snow tubing facility, snowshoe trails, and cross-country ski trails.
It’s additionally only a 15-minute drive from Thunder Bay, and with runs of as much as 2.5 kilometres, it’s stuffed with enjoyable. There are additionally slopes for inexperienced persons, and tools rental is on the market for much less critical skiers.
Even higher, in summer season, the hills get remodeled into mountain biking and mountaineering trails, so it will get year-round utilization.
Ultimate Ideas on Thunder Bay Sightseeing
Thunder Bay is filled with issues to do and locations to go to, whether or not you’re keen to drive three hours or take a small stroll. Whether or not to thrill in gorgeous views of Ontario or strive a freshly-baked Persian, there’s additionally some enjoyable on this charming metropolis.
What’s extra, Thunder Bay is filled with character, historical past, and thrilling sights that may curiosity historical past buffs, artwork lovers, and out of doors adventurers. All you must do now’s guide a visit right here as a result of I’ve supplied you with all of the explanation why. It’s one of many greatest highway journeys from Toronto.