A North Bay Art Tour

Take a day to immerse yourself in the many types of creative works and talent that make North Bay stand out—with this laid-back itinerary.
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Set on the shores of Lake Nipissing, North Bay is a picturesque city, so it’s no surprise that it holds some of the most vibrant artsy spots around. We’ve got a great itinerary planned out for you, from gallery hopping to the best cafes for quick breaks, so all you have to do is enjoy! 

Here's an easy walking itinerary with most spots a 15-minute walk from the next (the longest is 30). 

First Stop: Breakfast

Try Twiggs Coffee Roasters to start the day off right.

Before heading off to explore, you’ve got to fuel yourself with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Twiggs Coffee Roasters serves up a mean breakfast, with choices from a corned beef hash fry up to french toast and pancakes (drizzled with maple syrup), too. 

For a lighter option, they offer a fresh juice and smoothie bar along with fresh fruit salad with granola and yogurt. Most importantly, Twiggs specializes in serving the freshest coffee around, so prepare yourself for the day ahead with exquisite espressos and luscious lattes.

For Sunny Days: Go to Sweetman’s Garden 

Sweetman's Garden will rejuvenate you.

Not too far from Twiggs is Sweetman’s Garden, a local secret. This hidden gem holds serious history and features beautiful flowers and art installations. 

In 1962, Murray Sweetman began to grow his garden in his backyard along the Canadian National Railway (CNR) line. During that time, property owners along the train line were encouraged to plant gardens in their backyards to offer a view for the passenger trains that went by. Over time, Murray’s garden grew to the length of four properties and passenger trains began stopping so that riders could take in the beautiful view. 

Having outlived the train line itself, the gardens have blossomed and become an attraction in their own right. Located on the corner of Cormack and McIntyre West, this gorgeous garden is a must-visit for its sweet history and perfect picture backdrops.

Whatever Time of Year at Whitewater Gallery

Experience some of North Bay's top creative endeavours at the Whitewater Gallery.

Just a short six-minute walk from Twiggs (or a ten-minute walk from Sweetman’s Garden) is the Whitewater Gallery. This not-for-profit artist-run center is dedicated to supporting artistic practices that prioritize risk and innovation. 

The gallery works to promote public interest in art by producing public art exhibitions and offering a forum for artists to exhibit or perform their work through participation. They have previously held exhibitions like ‘Invaders’ which looks at the impact of colonization and poses the question, ‘Who are the Invaders?’. 

Have Some Food for Thought at WKP Kennedy Gallery

The WKP Kennedy Gallery affords you the opportunity to view some of the finest art of the day.

Located right next door within the Capitol Centre, the WKP Kennedy non-profit Public Art Gallery holds some of the finest historical and contemporary art pieces from artists in the northern, Canadian, and International visual arts space. The gallery is split into two spaces that share exhibitions, showcase local artists, and encourage community-based and educational gatherings. With public art activities and projects, the WKP Kennedy Gallery offers a forum for creative expression and development.

Arts and Crafts at The Farm

The goods at The Farm are absolutely not to be missed—and it's the perfect place to find unique gifts. 

The Farm is a fashion and art retail market forming a collective of emerging and established designers who aim to support local and wider Canadian talent. Celebrating the craftsmanship of all handmade products in a boutique-style retail space, stop by The Farm to get your hands on some unique handmade and artsy items!

A Quick Refresher at The Culture Club

The Culture Club: Specialty home-baked goodness that really hits the spot.

For a quick pick-me-up pitstop, head to The Culture Club on Main Street. The slightly obscure location will give you the sense that you’ve uncovered a secret spot in the heart of North Bay. (You’ll need to turn down an alleyway beside Michelle’s Framemaker & Gallery—another great place to stop on your art tour.) This micro-bakery is known for its breads and sandwiches, so we’d recommend grabbing a loaf of sourdough along with your afternoon coffee.

Get Inked at Black Iron Tattoo

If you're looking to get a new piece done, North Bay is home to some very talented tattoo artists. // Black Iron Tattoo

If you’re feeling super adventurous and have been inspired by all the art pieces from the day, then perhaps a tattoo parlour is a must. Black Iron Tattoo is a well-known tattoo parlour in North Bay with some of the most talented artists in the city. If you’ve been debating the idea of getting a tattoo, Black Iron is just the place to make it happen. Just be sure to avoid the sun if you plan on heading to one of North Bay’s beaches once you’re inked!

End the Day: Capitol Centre

Taking in a show at the historic Capitol Centre is the perfect way to cap off an evening.

The Capitol Centre is the city’s entertainment hub featuring live comedy shows, musicals, and concerts. This historic theatre was built in the 1920s and is a well-preserved staple part of the community. Having hosted well-known acts like Barenaked Ladies, Sloan, and the Second City comedy act, this centre packs in a lot of what this Northeastern Ontario town has to offer in the arts scene—especially if you’re looking for something to do at night in North Bay.

 If you're ready for food either before or after the show, try Raven & Republic, just a few minutes from Capitol Centre. They offer craft beers, cocktails, decadent house-made dishes, live entertainment and a whole lotta character.

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