Sustainability Spotlight: 6 Ways to Go Green When Visiting North Bay

From sustainable accommodations to fabulous farm-to-table meals, North Bay has plenty of options for a trip that's better for the planet and better for you.

The city of North Bay, Ontario is known for its freshwater lakes—including Lake Nipissing, covering an impressive 873 square kilometres—and surrounding boreal forest and rocky landscape. And, it’s easy for travellers wanting to protect this natural beauty to make some eco-friendly choices by supporting environmentally conscious accommodations, attractions and businesses. Plus, with a number of  EV charging stations throughout the city, travellers can feel good about getting here—and getting around.

Check out these greener options and plan your sustainable visit to North Bay today.

Find Sustainable Accommodations in North Bay

a sandy beach at sunset, with green trees, a small wooden cabin, a wooden deck, and white wooden chairs  on it. A hotel room with a view of a lake.
The Finch Beach Resort on Lake Nipissing is an eco-lover's getaway. // Photo credit Vanessa Tiganelli. Homewood Suites by Hilton North Bay offers waterfront views and environmentally-friendly amenities.

Love the beach life? The Finch Beach Resort is a fun getaway. Choose from four self-catering cottages on the shores of Lake Nipissing, all with access to a private beach and complimentary activities like kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing and lawn games, and the eco-friendly local bath products are a nice touch too. 

For something urban, consider the Best Western North Bay Hotel & Conference Centre which is ranked as a “gold” when it comes to the TripAdvisor GreenLeader designation. Another lakeshore hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton North Bay, operates with a sustainable focus under its Clean the World initiative—bath & body amenities are offered in bulk format rather than single-use, and conference offerings include carafes and glasses instead of bottled water. Motion sensor thermostats ensure energy conservation when rooms are not in use.

Enjoy North Bay's Local Flavours and Farm-To-Table Dining

a metal bakery shelf filled completely with differently-shaped loaves of artisanal bread.
The Culture Club offers to-die-for fresh artisanal breads.

If you’re passionate about supporting small and artisanal, The Culture Club is a perfect destination. This micro bakery has fresh-baked breads as well as a selection of quality products from other small producers. For fast, fresh fare, try gd2go which has an impressive array of vegetarian or vegan fare, with options for those who have lactose, gluten or other sensitivities. In Callander, the 1886 Lake House Bistro is a local favourite for events like their summertime farm-to-table garden dinner, offering four courses made with locally sourced ingredients, or local wine and local cheese tastings. Cyclists can also get a taste of the region's local produce and pastries on the popular Farm Stand Tour which includes a stop at Wasi Farms.

Explore With North Bay's Forest Trails and Outdoor Events

Kate Pace Way; a two-lane paved bike trail cutting through lush green forest on both sides.
Get a dose of beautiful by following the Kate Pace Way.

Biking is a great and green way to get around North Bay, thanks to its trails. One appealing option is the Spirit of the Bay bike route, designed to highlight the area’s creative spaces and cultural identity. Cycle along the lake, check out a performance and meet makers at a local studio. You can also explore the picturesque nearby community of Callander by biking from North Bay along the south shore of Lake Nipissing via Kate Pace Way. Visitors looking for a bit more drama can explore the city's Education Centre Trails and visit the spectacular Duchesnay Falls. Or, do a self-guided walking tour of downtown and the waterfront with Heritage Site Self-Guided Tours to get a sense of the area’s culture and history.  

A short drive from the city is the Canadian Ecology Centre located in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park on the Mattawa River, 30 minutes east of North Bay. It's the perfect spot for a day trip—hike, fat bike, snowshoe or cross-country ski on the beautiful boreal forest trails. Be sure to check out their various themed events throughout the year, including Earth Day, wilderness first aid, forest therapy, stargazing and women’s weekends.

Listen to North Bay's Remarkable Ecosystem

Several people walking on a boardwalk through conservation area, some holding or looking through binoculars. They are surrounded by tall marsh grasses with green forest in the distance.
Try bird watching at Laurier Woods Conservation Area. // Photo credit City of North Bay.

Laurier Woods Conservation Area is a 250-acre urban forest in the heart of the city. For a fun tour, download the Forest Talk Radio App to listen to while strolling the white and orange trail. This humorous spin on talk radio is a show hosted by fungus (yes, fungus) and the callers are the trees, sharing their stories. Or, unplug and take in all the sights and sounds of the area, which includes a provincially significant wetland, upland forest and rocky outcrops that are home to a variety of birds and animals. There are more than 10 km of trails. Another great podcast is It Happened Downtown, which is an audio tour of North Bay’s downtown and waterfront, featuring stories told by locals. Enjoy it while taking a walk or kicking back and relaxing in one of the city’s green spaces.

Discover North Bay's Gardening Spirit

A person wearing gloves. a sunhat and carrying a bucket, walking down a brick walkway in a beautiful waterfront garden under a blue sky. A young girl enjoying the North Bay waterfront heritage gardens
North Bay's waterfront is enriched by a plethora of gorgeous gardens tended by volunteers. // Photos credit: North Bay Heritage Gardeners.

Did you know there are 50 beautiful gardens along the North Bay waterfront? Maintained by more than 200 volunteers, these gardens provide blooms for pollinators and offer lots of visual interest and colour. Visit North Bay Heritage Gardeners to learn more. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie is another lakeside location with some lovely gardens for spiritual connection and contemplation, including a Zen garden, Quiet garden and a labyrinth for walking meditation. Contact them to learn more about a visit.

Shop North Bay's Local Fare and Flavours

Baskets of red strawberries on a table at a farmers' market, shoppers paying for their produce in the background.
Visit the North Bay Farmers’ Market for a huge selection of locally-made produce and products.

The North Bay Farmers’ Market is open year-round (it moves into the main and lower level of the Kennedy Building on McIntyre West during the winter). There, you can buy fresh local produce, pies, pastries, breads, jams, honey, jewelry, soaps, pottery and more, all grown or crafted in North Bay and the surrounding area. In fact, it’s the only market in Northern Ontario that requires its producers to be MyPick Verified, which means that products are definitely local, not just from Ontario. Need a mall fix? Northgate Shopping Centre off Hwy 11 is home to a range of stores and services in a building that is BOMA Best certified, which means it fulfils requirements for sustainability and efficiency. The FARM, which stands for “fashion art retail market” is on North Bay’s Main Street downtown. It carries a selection of local goods and also has a refillery on site where you can refill home and beauty product bottles or pick up low-waste items like shampoo bars, beeswax wraps and reusable food bags. Oak & Willow is another local vendor that offers eco-friendly and low-waste products—just check out their website and arrange a local pickup. October's Meta is new shop downtown focusing on self-care and the power of personal spiritual connection. Grab a beverage at the in-house Teapothecary or shop the certified fair-trade, eco-friendly wellness products on offer from a number of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+-owned brands. Visitors can also lounge and relax on the upcycled and vintage furniture. 

North Bay Welcomes Eco-Conscious Visitors  

This northern gem offers an appealing mix of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, delicious food and interesting venues, and you can easily make sure your visit includes sustainable, greener options. Visit Sustainable Tourism in North Baya for more information and to help plan your trip. 

About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at

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