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  • Overview

    Thunder Bay is in the heart of First Nations land and is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, serving as the western terminus for the St Lawrence Seaway. The seaway is the system of locks, channels and canals that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Along with being an important system of waterways for international trade, it's a playground for recreational boating activities.

    This rugged, northern region is home to Lake Superior, the largest of North America's Great Lakes and a hugely popular attraction. Visitors travel to this vast expanse of water to enjoy its striking shoreline and surrounding wilderness. Nature-lovers will relish immersing themselves in Thunder Bay's lakes and rivers, wandering its forests, and exploring its deep chasms, plunging waterfalls and towering granite cliffs.

    Fort William Historical Park

    Visitors can travel back to 1816 at Fort William Historical Park, an authentic duplicate of the North West Company's inland headquarters. Located at Thunder Bay, this company was a major player in the fur trade, once a massive industry and an indelible part of Canada's colourful past. The fort brings this history to life through recreations of the characters, sounds, sights and smells that would have existed almost two centuries ago. The sprawling 250-acre site contains more than 57 heritage structures and more modern buildings, which visitors are free to explore. Visitors can also enjoy overnight experiences, education programmes, artisan workshops, conferences, banquets and festivals.

    Address: 1350 King Rd
    Website: www.fwhp.ca
    Ontario fur trade Ontario fur trade Don Pugh
    Amethyst Mine

    Amethyst is Ontario's official gemstone, and is just one of the many natural gifts unearthed on the north shore of Lake Superior. The semi-precious stones native to this area come in various beautiful shades, such as Precious Purple and Thunder Bay Lavender. Visitors can mine their own at the Panorama Mine, 35 miles (56km) east of Thunder Bay, which contains the largest amethyst deposit in Canada. All visitors need is a bucket and spade to enjoy a fun mining experience.

    Address: East Loon Road
    Amethyst Amethyst Zopilote0
    Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

    Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is set on a rugged peninsula near Thunder Bay, where keen hikers can tackle trails running to the tops of granite cliffs and opening onto spectacular views of Lake Superior. These excursions aren't reserved just for sunny weather; winter travellers explore these routes on skis or snowshoes. The park also supports an exceptional mix of plant life, with two rare orchids, the Adder's Mouth and the Striped Orchid, growing in its southern parts. In fact, 24 types of orchid grow in the park, as do ferns, while wildlife includes more than 200 species of bird, white-tailed deer, red foxes, porcupines, moose, bears, wolves and lynx.

    Address: Thunder Bay
    View of Sleeping Giant View of Sleeping Giant Graham M Fawcett
    Lake Superior

    Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America, and the biggest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. Ontario shares this vast expanse of water with the American states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The lake's rugged shoreline and beautiful wilderness landscapes make for great hiking, while the lake itself presents endless opportunities for all manner of watersports, fishing and boating.

    Address: Ontario, Canada
    Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario Tony Webster

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Thunder Bay's humid continental climate produces hot summers and cold winters. However, Lake Superior influences conditions and gives the city cooler summers and warmer winters than other places in the region.

    The best time to visit is from June to September, when temperatures are warmer. The average high temperature in summer is around 73.4°F (23°C). The hottest month is July, while January is the coldest, when temperatures can dip to -2.2°F (-19°C). Winters can be bitterly cold for visitors not used to extreme temperatures.

    Thunder Bay International Airport
    Location: The airport is located three miles (5km) from Thunder Bay city centre.
    Time: GMT -5 (GMT-4 from the first Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
    Getting to the city: The airport is serviced by local buses, on line #3 Memorial - Airport. Taxi services at the airport are provided on-demand by Roach's Yellow Taxis.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Taxi services at the airport are provided on-demand by Roach's Yellow Taxi.
    Facilities: Airport facilities include wifi, shopping, a restaurant, a lounge and security services.
    Parking Long-term and short-term parking are available at the airport's 500-plus bays.

    Thunder Bay has a large fleet of fully wheelchair accessible buses that service the city and surrounds. The local council has also transformed the city into a pleasant place to walk or bike, meaning locals and visitors can enjoy an extensive network of cycle lanes, recreational trails, wide sidewalks and active living corridors. Taxi services are available and drivers will find ample parking.

    Ontario boasts about 330 parks, attracting more than 10 million visitors annually. Many of these picturesque areas are clustered near Thunder Bay and around the massive Lake Superior, offering travellers a number of exciting opportunities for outdoor recreation. Lake Nipigon and the township of the same name are close to Thunder Bay, and are also a hub for outdoor pursuits such as hiking, camping and water sports.

    The region has some cultural diversions too. The Amethyst Mine Panorama is a huge favourite, allowing visitors the chance to poke around for souvenirs in one of the largest amethyst deposits in the world. The Fort William Historical Park is a living history attraction that recreates the days of the North West Company and the Canadian fur trade, while the Magnus Theatre is the premium performance venue.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination