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Top 5 things to do in Thunder Bay

Updated on January 14, 2014


Thunder Bay is a great place to be. The air is fresh, the pace isn't too fast (or too slow), and there's so many cool places to see. In this article, I'm going to cover my favorite things to do in Thunder Bay.

For those of you who don't know where Thunder Bay is, it's located on Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world, in the heart of Ontario, Canada. We're within a few hours of many different cities, and our neighbors to the south. We're surrounded by beautiful landscapes, and many bodies of water. The image shown above is the view from Hillcrest Park, a local landmark, and the best view of the "Sleeping Giant" off in the distance.

Now that you know a little bit more about Thunder Bay, let's get started!

Get a persian

Now when you hear that, what do you think of? Is he telling me to get a rug? Or a cat? In Thunder Bay, persians are a hot-selling food item that you can't find anywhere else. It's basically a cinnamon roll, with a sweet pink icing on it (made from strawberries or raspberries).

I am a huge fan of persians. And you can get them almost everywhere in Thunder Bay. They are always very reasonably priced. Once you try one, you'll agree that they are definitely one of the best parts of Thunder Bay.

marina park thunder bay:
Marina Park, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

get directions

Go for a walk at the lakefront

Thunder Bay has been blessed by Lake Superior, and you can only truly experience it's majesty from up close. Marina Park, or Prince Arthur's Landing, as it is now called, is a truly beautiful experience for all to enjoy. The city of Thunder Bay has been putting a lot of effort into the waterfront in the last few years, and it shows.

The city has built several different attractions at the waterfront to encourage people to visit. They have erected a museum to showcase the history of Thunder Bay's waterfront area, and Lake Superior. As well as local businesses that were vital to the growth of Thunder Bay as a whole. Multiple "history markers" have been set up along a very scenic route through the marina, each of them detailing something important about Thunder Bay's culture, business, or the waterfront itself. A park has been built for those with children, as well as the splash pad (a miniature water play area that doubles as a skating rink in the winter). There are a plethora of events that take place here every year as well.

Get a coney burger

I do enjoy eating, and that's why I can't stress this one enough. A local confectionery, named one of the wonders of Thunder Bay, is another hot spot for some great local food. They don't have an extremely large menu, but their convenient location, great taste, and very reasonable prices make them a great idea.

McKellar Confectionery serves coney burgers and coney dogs. Sure you can get this elsewhere, but it doesn't compare to theirs. I'm not exactly sure what they do differently, but it hits the spot every time. This local family-owned business is something you have to try!

mount mckay:
Mount McKay, Ontario P7J, Canada

get directions

Head up to Mount McKay

Mount McKay is a great spot to go for some great hiking, and a pretty amazing view of the city. If you're a hiker, bring a lunch and make use of the picnic area to take a quick break and enjoy the view. The sheer beauty of the area is enough to make you want to stop and "take it all in".

If aerial views and skylines are more your thing, head up to the top and enjoy the view. Bring the kids and enjoy a picnic in the picnic area with an amazingly scenic view, they'll surely remember it for the rest of their lives. If you enjoy the outdoors, and a good hike, I definitely recommend it.

silver harbour thunder bay:
Silver Harbour, Shuniah, ON, Canada

get directions

Go for a hike at Silver Harbour

Silver Harbor is a beautiful conservation area (one of many in Thunder Bay) located off of Lakeshore drive. It features a large field area with built-in BBQ pits, a boat launch, cliff diving, and a one-of-a-kind view of Lake Superior. This is also a prime spot for ice fishing during the winter.

There's no greater sight for an ice-fisher than pulling up to your destination, all packed and ready to fish, and seeing ice-huts on the lake as far as the eye can see. You've got your hut, your lunch, your gear, and a buddy or two, you're ready to bring home the bacon -er- fish. If ice fishing isn't exciting enough for you, perhaps a quick hike and an even quicker drop into fresh water is more your speed.

For the adrenaline junkie, the brief hike up the small cliff is the gateway to a great time, and some great pictures. Bring your friends (and your camera) and make a day out of it. The surrounding area is beautiful, and if you have a canoe or kayak, you can head out on the lake for a nice relaxing ride around the surrounding islands. So no matter what you're in to, This amazing place is sure to have something for you.

Final thoughts

When it comes down to it, Thunder Bay is a great place to live. The cost of living here isn't nearly as high as it is elsewhere (but it's coming close!) so that's a definite plus as it takes a lot of stress off. But hands down these are my 5 favorite things to do here. There are so many more things to do here, but I'll save that for another day. Be sure to check all these out if you're ever in town, you won't regret it.

As always, stay excellent.


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    • Anselome profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Anselmo 

      5 years ago from Thunder Bay

      That name sounds familiar, I can't quite place it though. You should still come see the city some time. They've been doing a lot of updating at the lakefront and it looks really nice.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ross Patterson.

    • Anselome profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Anselmo 

      5 years ago from Thunder Bay

      Susan, what's his name? Thunder Bay isn't overly large, I may know him :P

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've yet to make it Thunder Bay but have always wanted to. I worked for a guy in Mississauga that was from Thunder Bay and he was always talking about what a beautiful place it was and how much he missed living there. I often wonder if he ever moved back.

    • Anselome profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Anselmo 

      5 years ago from Thunder Bay

      While I can't take credit for the photos, I won't disagree they are beautiful!

      It is a nice place to be, lots around to see!

    • Anselome profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Anselmo 

      5 years ago from Thunder Bay

      Thanks Paul. That's quite a drive but it's a beautiful one. Ontario is absolutely gorgeous with all sorts of forestation, rock formations and lakes. Just make sure you're awake if you choose to drive because it gets pretty curvy in some areas!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sounds a lovely place to travel. Good pointers here and the photos are so beautiful

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is a great hub. I'm originally from southeastern Wisconsin, but didn't really hear about Thunder Bay until I started to regularly fly from Detroit to Tokyo. In monitoring the flight path, I noticed that the plane always went over Thunder Bay. The next time I'm in the States in July or August I'm very tempted to try to drive up to Thunder Bay from Wisconsin. Voted up and sharing with followers.

    • Anselome profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Anselmo 

      5 years ago from Thunder Bay

      @Tri - I know you did pal ;)

      @LillyGrillzit - Please do visit someday, it's a wonderful place. It is the love child of a smaller town with a big city. There's just enough small-town friendliness without the issues arising from knowing everyone.

      @epigramman - I do enjoy food, and yes we do have a Tim Horton's eh! Whereabouts are you located? That Ice Cream sounds like a great idea for a warm day and foot-long hotdogs are just great all-year round.

    • epigramman profile image


      5 years ago

      Good morning Steve from your fellow Canadian at lake erie time ontario canada 4:34am and what a lovely and interesting hub tribute this is.

      Especially the food part, lol, because every region has its own specialty like here where I live - the famous Hewitt's dairy in Hagersville with their ice cream and the foot long hot dog at the Arbor in Port Dover and because I live 100 feet away from the lake I love walking along my beach and the lakeshore road. Do you have Tim Horton's up there too, no doubt, eh? lol

      So nice to meet you my friend and sending warm wishes your way from Colin and his cats

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      5 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you for writing about Thunder Bay. I have added it to my bucket list of places to visit. Write on.

    • profile image

      Tri Ho 

      5 years ago

      Great article! I lived in Thunder Bay for 2 years. I really enjoyed the environment and the people there.


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