Northern Ontario, Canada

Paddling on Lake Superior in Thunder Bay Harbour with a great view of the Sleeping Giant
I admit it.  I hadn’t thought of paddling within the city limits of Thunder Bay until last summer when friends invited me on guided kayak tour on the McIntyre River and Lake Superior’s Thunder Bay Harbour.  Now I’m hooked on it. Our group of five paddlers (including two novices) and two guides set out about a mile from the river’s mouth.  Kayaking on this river – which is actually 47.5 km long and drains a watershed of 15,410 hectares -- was kind of surreal:  the waterway was peaceful and calm, as if we were wilderness kayaking somewhere, but peeking over the banks at times you could glimpse shopping malls, parking lots, busy road traffic and electrical towers. Interesting contrast. We…
Looking For Something Different To Do This August? Here Are Your Marching Orders!
August an exciting month at historic fort on beautiful St. Joseph Island! Looking for something different to do this August? Come explore Fort St. Joseph, the national historic site located at the southern-most point of picturesque St. Joseph Island. There are several ways for visitors of all ages and interests to explore this isolated outpost that was once a thriving community of soldiers, Aboriginal people, and fur traders. Feel the breeze off the St. Mary's River as you picnic on site, walk among the ruins of the fort, or explore walking trails within this bird sanctuary. Dress up as a British soldier; view military and cultural artifacts demonstrating the British and First Nation's alliance, and learn about the fur trade.…
Middle Falls - A natural attraction on the PIgeon River at the border south of Thunder Bay
The day we drive to Middle Falls (on the Canada-USA border south of Thunder Bay) the sky is a perfect shade of summer blue dotted with clouds cheerfully white and agreeably fluffy. Highway 61 cuts an undulating path through the rocky landscape and the view changes almost constantly as the sun picks out individual trees on the variable green mountainsides and highlights severe cliff faces of orange and white and gray. The land here, heading south towards the border through the Municipality of Neebing, is rugged and wild. We turn right on to Highway 593 just before 61 makes its final sweep towards the border crossing. Not too far along there is a suggestion of a parking area on the…
The spinner blade is a powerful walleye fishing tool.
Combined with a lively nightcrawler and the common bottom bouncer sinker this structure fishing set up is what the author refers to as the "money rig" because it has been used to win so much money on the professional walleye tournament trails. Fishing 411 host Mark Romanack offers his newest tips when fishing for summer walleye -- try them out on your next fishing trip in Algoma Country! For more information about fishing trips visit www.fishalgoma.net To professional walleye fishermen the bottom bouncer and spinner rig is affectionately referred to as the "money rig". This common walleye presentation has won more money for more tournament anglers than all the other fishing presentations combined! The question is why is the bottom…
Fast, Fun action at the Emo Speedway
The 3/8 Mile Oval at the Emo Speedway has three classes: WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks   The Emo Speedway is bustling with drivers and spectators from May Long Weekend to September. The 3/8 mile high banked, clay oval is located on Colonization Road just off Highway 11/17 in Emo. The track is located 30 km west of Fort Frances, and 52 km east of Rainy River, Ontario. The Emo Speedway runs three classes of cars: the WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks. Steve Arpin actually got his start at the Emo Speedway. Racing at the Emo Speedway The Emo Speedway first opened in 1954 with 13 competitors showing up for the first race. The Speedway has had its ups and…
Large crowds gather in closed off streets in the Bay & Algoma Neighbourhood
Occasionally it’s hard to tell who is officially part of the Valley Fresh Busker’s Festival. The carnival-like atmosphere of this weekend event now held annually in late July in the Bay and Algoma Neighbourhood has become one that you won’t want to miss if planning a summer visit to Thunder Bay. With the streets blocked off for a mix of activities and with the appearance of a few buskers and performers who don’t take their allotted busker “stages,” marked with a sign, they won’t appear on the brochure or map. The result is that sections of the streets look like flash mobs. Which is telling, because in only its second year it has become a huge success? As witnessed by the…
Rural property near the border south of Thunder Bay, unlikely place to find great pizza!
A fairly remote stretch of Highway 61 is not where you’d generally expect to find pizza cooked in an authentic Italian wood-fired brick oven, but that’s exactly where you’ll discover Primavera Pizza 61. Five years ago, Thunder Bay residents Joe and Pina Stefanile purchased the rural property just north of the Pigeon River border crossing and began spending extended weekends there from late spring to early fall, tending their fruit trees. At some point they thought, why not make the kind of pizza we have when we visit Italy? They bought a brick oven, fired it up and today offer 13 different kinds of pizzas. We ordered a Margherita (fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano), a Europa (four cheeses and prosciutto)…
Early morning fog begins to lift as the sun rises over Sylvan Valley
When driving east from Sault Ste. Marie, Highway 638 offers a scenic alternative to the more heavily travelled Highway 17. Spanning 52km from Echo Bay to Bruce Mines, this secondary highway meanders its way through varied terrain, offering a fresh view at every turn. Heading east from Echo Bay, the highway is flanked by vistas of rocky ridges as it dips into the pastoral lowlands of Sylvan Valley before entering a forested stretch north of McCarrel Lake. From here, the road passes by a handful of small farms nestled between tree-covered hills as the route passes through the tiny settlement of Leeburn. The highway then veers south at its intersection with Poplar Dale Road, then passes through some rugged terrain as…
This massive 54" muskie is an example of what can happen when you continue practice CPR
CPR. I’m sure the first thoughts when you see/read this acronym will relate to saving the life of someone in cardiac arrest. You may be trying to remember how many chest compressions vs breaths they are teaching in courses these days because the ratio has changed over the years. Much like attitudes towards killing trophy caliber fish in the wide variety of species available in Sunset Country have changed as well. In the fishing community, CPR stands for Catch, Photo, Release. In the the 22+ seasons I have been at Mylie’s Place Resort on Lake of the Woods in Morson, Ontario, I have witnessed a significant shift in the attitudes of the vast majority of anglers on the water. For…
A live band plays Gargoyle's Grille & Ale, a local bar restaurant on south Cumberland
Nightlife! You will find it in Thunder Bay, the largest metropolitian city in Northwest Ontario. (Grab a copy of the latest edition of The Walleye, an arts and entertainment tabloid printed monthly to let you know what is happening in Thunder Bay.) A Night Out in the Waterfront District Your best bet for a night out with with a variety of choices is the north side Waterfront District, also dubbed Thunder Bay's entertainment district. Here you will find a number of bars and clubs offering not only great food and drinks but live performing acts especially Friday and Saturday nights. A few places open up space for dancing. Thunder Bay has seen a renaissance of a burgeoning music scene that is beginning…
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