A Night Out in Thunder Bay

The Club and Bar Scene

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

The Foundry

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 to rival the heydays of the exploding 1980s, due to some great new local bands and the result of young people opening up new businesses, with many of these establishments opening around 4 pm to cater to the evening crowds looking for an entertaining night out. Better known local eating (and drinking) establishments in the Waterfront District include The Madhouse, The Foundry, Crocks, Tony & Adams, El TresThe Prospector, The Sovereign Room (aka The Sov), Tomlin Restaurant, The Waterhouse, In Common, Red Lion Smokehouse and Bight Restraurant + Bar down on the Lake Superior waterfront at Prince Arthur’s Landing.

Other Notable Bars & Clubs

Cheers The Village Pub is becoming a popular spot on the south side in the Westfort area while Beaux Daddy’s Grillhouse, out Highway 61 in the old Uncle Frank’s Supperclub location brings in live local talent  to perform on weekends. The Neebing, further south on Highway 61, continues its tradition of hosting live bands around special occassins like St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween or New Year’s Eve.

Great locales for dancing to music with live bands include Black Pirate’s Pub, Crocks, The Apollo Bar and Grill, The Outpost at Lakehead University, and The Rockhouse.

Madhouse bar

Touring Acts

Touring bands make it a point to stop in Thunder Bay, as we’re the biggest venue between Winnipeg and Toronto. Clubs and restaurants like Crocks, the Apollo, the Foundry, and The Outpost get some great new and popular bands like Hollerado and the Sheepdogs, along with many of the old guys from 80s who are still touring. Bigger acts, like Tom Cochrane, Nelly Furtado, Bruce Coburn, perform at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium and the mega stars like Bryan Adams perform at the Fort William Gardens. One day the city will get its grand multiplex, which will be a draw for more big acts.

Great Local Talent

Our city showcases a surprising amount of local talent. We have great bands and many individual talents, many who are recording albums and touring the province and beyond. A few like Coleman Hell are winning awards for their albums, hitting high on the music charts.

Young people show up at fairly late at the clubs when the dancing really gets into gear. Dining and dancing also takes place at many fundraising events that start earlier that take place throughout the year at various halls, legions, and clubs. For specific events, pick up a copy of The Walleye or check out local listings in the local paper, The Chronicle Journal.

About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at www.duncanweller.com. His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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