COVID-19 has got us all stuck in the house and our travel plans are a mess, so we've put together some fun, DIY, at-home ways to pre-experience your future trip to Thunder Bay today, from your couch.

Subscribe to this page and come back often as we are constantly updating with additional content for you to keep visiting Thunder Bay from home..

Tours and Exhibits

Explore Thunder Bay's long and storied past through various online historical exhibits or get down to street level in our region's National Parks from the comfort of your home.

Thunder Bay Museum

The Thunder Bay Museum located in the former Fort William Police Station recently launched a 360/VR virtual tour, where you can explore the museum from anywhere. The museum website also has a great collection of web exhibits where you can begin to learn the histories of Port Arthur and Fort William and discover some of their most prominent and influential residents. 

Also, for the next little while the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society and the Lakehead University Department of History are offering a live webinar series called Hump Day History. Learn from the experts, take a virtual tour and have the ability to ask live questions - Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

Fort William Historical ParkFort William Historical Park

 Fort William Historical Park is considered to be the largest living history attraction in North America and is a Canadian Signature Experience. A must-visit when you get here, you can take a virtual tour from home. First start by watching the short film - Hinge of an Empire - to learn about the importance Fort William had in the development of the Canadian fur trade and connecting Western Canada with the world. Once you've watched the film, "visit" any or all of the buildings at FWHP on the virtual tour.

Thunder Bay City Archives

City Archives preserves, promotes and makes public the City's corporate history and has since the early days of Port Arthur and Fort William - this means they have an incredible collection of materials. A massive collection of historic photos has been digitized and published on the City Archives Flickr page and they are constantly adding more.

They also offer an extensive collection of web exhibits exploring 125 years of transit, the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Fort William, the various City Halls that have existed over the decades, the history of the parks department and some of the over 100 city parks in Thunder Bay and so much more.

Golf Thunder Bay 

Get prepped for golf season with a birds-eye view of the course. Check out these awesome drone videos of Strathcona and Chapples Golf Courses

Parks Canada Virtual Tours

Thunder Bay is the gateway to the epic outdoor adventures found in Northwest Ontario and some of the best adventures are found in the region's national parks and conservation areas. You can hike through Pukaskwa National Park or get on a boat in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area from Google Street View.

Other Online Exhibits and Tours

To learn more about the exceptional sports history in Thunder Bay check out the online photo exhibit from the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, or get an overview of the experience to be had at the Founders' Museum in this short video tour, or see real-time tracking of all the ships in port and throughout the Great Lakes (and the world) on the Port of Thunder Bay's Vessel Tracker.

Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

Eat and Drink

Thunder Bay has a well-known food scene and many of our local favourites are available to be shipped to your home including Heartbeat Hot SauceBay Meats JerkyChocolate CowWolfhead Coffee (in Canada only) and Sleeping Giant Brewing Company (in Ontario only). If you are in Ontario, note that SGBC can include many other favourite tbay-made products in your beer shipment including Shumka Dust, and Tomlin 360 Mustard.

DIY Taste of tbay

Head to the kitchen and try your hand at making Hoito Pancakes or Prospector Hot Buns, two Thunder Bay favourites, on your own.

Shop for Souvenirs 50th Anniversary Souvenir Hat

Grab your tbay souvenirs before you even leave home. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary since the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Fort William to create the City of Thunder Bay and to commemorate the occasion. a special '50' logo was designed to represent the two cities becoming one. Limited edition 50 logo snapback souvenir hats were created and are being sold through local clothing company Lost Art. 

Listen

Thunder Bay, and Port Arthur and Fort William before it, has always been known for a music scene that punches above its weight so to speak. This city in Northwestern Ontario, hundreds of 

kilometres away from the next city is where Hugh LeCaine, inventor of the first music synthesizer and pioneer of electronic music was born, where Paul Shaffer was born, where Neil Young crafted his sound and met Stephen Stills, where The Guess Who played small clubs. It is also where Crocks n Rolls (just Crocks today) became an unexpected hub of Canadian rock music in the 90s hosting many of whom were on the cusp of becoming or already were some of biggest Canadian bands of all time - the Tragically Hip, Sarah McLachlin and many more. Throughout the years, many Thunder Bay-born artists have made their way to the pop charts from Bobby Curtola and Myrna Lorrie back in the day to Coleman Hell and The Honest Heart Collective today.

Listen to the #visittbayfromhome playlist for just a sampling of the music that has come from Thunder Bay over the years and some of the bands that are playing here live today - well, not today obviously, but when this is over.

When you get here be sure to take in a performance from the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, for now you can stream one of their albums on Spotify.

Watch

Get a sneak peak of the city and it's attractions by watching some of the travel shows that have featured Thunder Bay and area in recent years: try this first segment of The Rick Mercer Report, or the second segment of the of the Rick Mercer ReportThe Amazing Race Canada or Travelscope.

Then check out some of the short films made by award-winning film director Goh Iromoto in partnership with Tourism Thunder Bay and Ontario Tourism delving into the life-changing, outdoor experiences in Northwest Ontario - The CanoeWe Belong to It and Pull.

There are also some classic short films highlighting the incredible outdoors in the area - Bill Mason's Song of the Paddle (winner of the Canadian Film Award for Best Cinematogrpahy in a Documentary) and North of Superior, one of the first IMAX films ever made, which was restored and rereleased in HD in 2017.

Or this incredible video made by local cinematographer Damien Gilbert from Epica Pictures. 

If you're looking for more traditional movies and not travel shows and short films then you should definitely start with A Race for Ties - Canada's First Ever Amateur Feature Film directed by Dorthea Mitchell.

Fun for the Kids

Trying to keep the kids busy during the pandemic or later this year on the flight to Thunder Bay just got easier with these free printable Thunder Bay Colouring Pages from tbaywithkids.ca

Plan your next IRL tbay adventure 2020 Experience Guide

Order a free copy of the 2020 Thunder Bay Experience Magazine (it happens to be a special 50th anniversary edition) and use our website to get inspired for your next visit. During the pandemic our visitor centres are closed to the public but our friendly, knowledgable visitor counsellors are still answering phone calls and emails during regular business hours so reach out and ask any questions you may have or to request additional information.

Toll-free: 1-800-MOST-FUN (667-8386)
Email: visit@thunderbay.ca

Fun Facts to Know Before You Go

Some say we have an accent and some unique vocabulary. We definitely invented some pretty cool things and almost won the Stanley Cup. If you haven't already figured it out, Thunder Bay is an interesting place. Test yourself - how many of these fun facts did you know?

 

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