North of Superior & Sunset Country
Sleeping Giant Loppet, Thunder Bay
Photograph Courtesy City of Thunder Bay
Situated in the heart of Canada and covering an area of over 60,000 square miles, few places in the world can rival the untamed majesty of northwestern Ontario. Deep, mysterious boreal forests, populated by black bears, moose, and deer, dominate the landscape and serve as the perfect natural backdrop to the immeasurable beauty and unyielding grandeur of Lake Superior. Aboriginal roots run deep in northern Ontario and the First Nation's rich cultural heritage has a palpable, enduring and affecting presence throughout the region.
Thunder Bay is the first stop for many visitors to northern Ontario. A bustling city of over 120,000 inhabitants, Thunder Bay is situated on Lake Superior's north shore. Discovered in the 15th century, the city has a rich and colorful history. Its fur trade played a significant role in shaping the modern culture of the region, and visitors can experience living history at Fort William Historical Park, the world's largest reconstructed fur trade post.
Thunder Bay is also a gateway to outdoor adventure, including hiking, sailing, cycling, or kayaking. For a more secluded getaway, escape to one of the region's fly-in angling lodges, remote camps accessible only by air and featuring some of Canada's finest fishing for walleye, large northern pike, jumbo perch, and white fish.
Culinary enthusiasts will enjoy local cuisine as diverse as the population, including homemade Finnish pancakes at The Hoito, Dutch gouda at Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, locally gown fruits and vegetables, organic meat, and local delicacies like the mysterious Persian. Or, if you prefer your food a little more au natural, treat yourself to a sizzling hot shorelunch, one of the cornerstones of the Canadian fishing experience—freshly caught fish prepared, cooked, and eaten right at the lakeside.
Take in northern Ontario's magnificent vistas and towering cliffs on Lake Superior's iconic North Shore Scenic Drive, a meandering 575 miles of shoreline that stretches from Sault Ste Marie to Duluth, Minnesota, passing through Thunder Bay. On one side of the highway, waterfalls carve their path through an ancient web of creeks and gorges before reaching their final destination. Lake Superior, the vast inland sea, dominates the view on the other side. Take the time to stop at one of many scenic lookouts, historic sites, and wilderness provincial parks along the way. In the sleepy fishing towns and quaint villages nestled peacefully amid the rugged elegance of the Canadian Shield and the lake's secluded beaches, the welcome is always warm and friendly.
Whether you come to lose yourself, or find yourself, northern Ontario has it all.
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