Getaways for Winterphobes: North Bay

Move Over Winter – North Bay is Epic, Inside & Out!

Let’s face it – winter may be a beautiful, magical time of year, but it’s not everyone’s favourite season. Our winters here in Northeastern Ontario are particularly known for piles of fluffy snow, crispy mornings and clear days – perfect for getting active outside. But if downhill skiing or snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing (you get the picture) aren’t your thing, what’s a winterphobe to do?

Explore and indulge in an urban getaway!

Northeastern Ontario – while renowned for nature and outdoors experiences – is also a quickly developing urban region in its own right. The City of North Bay, cozied up on the shores of Lake Nipissing is a prime example. If you’re visiting family for the holidays, or are looking for a new urban getaway, Ontario’s “Gateway to the North” should be on your short list of “must-visit” locations.

What to Do

Check ahead of your trip at their performances listing and find time to visit the historical Capitol Centre (150 Main St E). Located in the heart of downtown North Bay, the Capitol Centre is a hub for arts and entertainment in the city. Get in the holiday spirit by attending a performance of the North Bay Symphony Orchestra, or take the kids for something different and unexpected. Dating back to 1929, this theatre is full of history and also features a gallery exhibit.

Whether booking comedians, famous astronauts, '90s popstars or children's acts, the Capitol Centre has a knack for appealing to the varied and diverse audiences of the city.

Before hitting your performance, bundle up and stroll through the downtown streets with a coffee or hot beverage. Window shop, or pop inside and warm up as you choose from a collection of gift shops, cafes, bookstores, galleries, local food vendors and more. 

We love downtown North Bay – read more about it here!

Museum enthusiasts will be happy to choose from a spread of local options and learn about the city. Museums and heritage centres to explore in North Bay include the Discovery North Bay Museum (100 Ferguson St), the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defense (33 Manston Crescent), and the Callander Bay Heritage Museum (107 Lansdowne St E). 

Where to Eat

If you came to visit the Callander Bay Heritage Museum, don’t leave the village without pulling in at Tiny Italy (6 Main St S, Callander). Enjoy fresh paninis, daily specials and take a selection of in-house made biscotti for the road. This little Italian eaterie pumps out BIG, authentic flavour.

Back in the city, take your dinner at Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen (300 Wyld St). Yes, you read that right – a brewhouse. Northeastern Ontario is developing a thriving craft beer scene of our own, and our brewers know how to produce a fresh, frosty pint! Enjoy a pub vibe with a full menu while you savour regional brews such as Temagami Amber Ale and Nipissing Lager.

A third and final option to consider is the Opera Bakery Cafe (164 Main St W), featuring delicate treats made from scratch, specialty coffees, custom cakes, and a simple but delicious lunch menu. If you pick up something from this bakery, you won't have to worry about what to bring for dessert to family dinner!

Where to Stay

If you aren't staying with family, you may be looking for lodging. Find the right location to suit your needs from our list of operators!

Arrivals & Departures

Easily accessible at the intersection of Highways 17 and 11, North Bay is a quick drive away from major Ontario city centres of Ottawa, Toronto, and Sudbury.

Coming from further away? North Bay is easily accessed by air as well. You’ll want YYB – North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport, serviced by major airlines Porter and Air Canada as well as northern specialists, Bearskin Airlines. With multiple flights scheduled each day to and from per Toronto, picking up a budget-friendly connecting flight is a breeze. 

To make moving around the city simple, book an airport pick-up with Stars Limousine Service. This company will also help you book a scenic tour of the city or get to and from your special event. Stars Limousine knows the area, so let them take you around! 


In case You’re Not a Winterphobe…

In case you aren’t a winterphobe, and just like good food and fun things to do, we’ve got you covered! Lake Nipissing is known for great fishing so if you’re looking to get out on the ice, North Bay is a good choice. There are also three great ski/snowboard hills to choose from within a two-hour drive if you feel like a truly active adventure. 

About Jordan Nicksy

Jordan is a writer, digital marketer, amateur photographer, and experiences severe wanderlust. After backpacking parts of Southeast Asia, she knew she wanted to work in travel and tourism, and joined Northeastern Ontario Tourism. She is passionate about food & culinary arts, history, spending time outdoors, photography, and travel.

Recommended Articles

Fish for one of the World's Rarest Species of Trout

Found only in 12 remote Ontario lakes–and nowhere else in the world–the aurora trout is a special fish.

Join the Ice Fishing Village on Lake Nipissing

A complete guide to huts & bungalows you can rent around North Bay and Callander Bay.

Complete Guide to Moosonee & Moose Factory Island

12 essential experiences for visitors.

Northern Lights in Northeastern Ontario

Where to see Northern Lights In Canada: Northeas5 Great Spots in The Seven to Find the Aurora Borealis tern Ontario

Spectres of the Past: A Ghost Town Field Trip

Follow this trail of abandoned communities on a road trip through the history of Northeastern Ontario

Lake Nipissing Fishing Hot Spots

Nipissing is one massive lake with plenty of fishing opportunities to keep anglers exploring.

Ontario's Secret Lagoon

Discover paradise just outside of Sudbury

The Northern Lights Trip Planner

3 trip ideas for an illuminating experience in Ontario

The Lake Nipissing Loop

From french bakeries to trading posts, museums to winter hiking—add this epic weekend road trip to your bucket list

Cochrane: Wonderfully Unexpected

One of Canada's top 50 small towns!

Explore the Northeastern Towns of Ontario

Best Things to Do in Kirkland Lake: The Town that Gold Built

Check out a self-guided gold mine tour, a northern chateau museum, and get some beach time!

Mountain Lions, Foxes and Bears, Oh My!

Tracking Footprints in Northeastern Ontario

An Insider's Guide to Manitoulin Island

12 communities, sights, hikes and experiences that most first-time visitors miss!

Get inspired to get outside in Cochrane

Exploring Trails, Tails and Ales in Polar Bear Country

Manitoulin Island Camping and RVing Guide

Have you explored the world's largest freshwater island yet?

11 Best Things to Do in Kapuskasing, Ontario

Gourmet cheese, hammocks in the park, and Canadian-Szechuan cuisine await in this historic lumber town

Increase Your Odds

Visitors to the region often wonder, how do I see the Northern Lights?

Ice Fishing is All About Making Memories (and Catching World Class Fish!)

Check out the best ice hunt rentals in Northeastern Ontario.

Northeastern Ontario Powwow Guide

Culture, community, food, dancing, music, tradition, and regalia—it's Powwow season!