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Things to do in Thunder Bay

29 Mar 2016 1:08 PM | Danielle Robichaud

Where to Sleep

The Prince Arthur Hotel, located at 17 Cumberland St. North, is our conference hotel. You’ll be able to book at a conference rate. You will have access to a restaurant, pool, and workout room on site.

If you prefer other accommodations, there are many other hotels and motels a short bus ride or drive away.

Food & Drink


Across from the hotel, Espresso Joya (8 Cumberland St. South) serves locally roasted coffee starting at 7am, as well as baked goods and soups. A few blocks away is The Daily Grind is at 215 Red River Road.  

In the Bay & Algoma Neighbourhood, about a 15 minute walk away, are Calico Coffeehouse at 316 Bay St., The Bean Fiend at 194 Algoma St. South, and Sweet Escape Café & Bakery at 271 Bay St.

Breakfast, Brunch, or Lunch

Within a 5 minute walk of the Prince Arthur Hotel you’ll find Rooster’s Bistro, 32 St. Paul St., Made Fresh!, 269 Red River Road, Lumberjacks, 16 St. Paul  St., and Sweet North Bakery, 10 Court St. South.

The legendary Hoito Restaurant at the Finlandia Club (314 Bay Street) has been serving food since 1918, and its Finnish pancakes are often featured on “Must Do in Thunder Bay” lists. Also in the Bay & Algoma neighbourhood is The Growing Season, 201 Algoma St. South, which serves fresh juices, sandwiches, and salads.


Downtown Port Arthur is home to some fantastic restaurants, many of which have opened in the past five years. All of these are within 15 minutes’ walk of the Prince Arthur Hotel.

Bight Restaurant & Bar in Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park, 2210 Sleeping Giant Parkway, fine dining featuring local ingredients and an amazing view of Lake Superior.

Bliss Café , 87 Cumberland St. North, serves organic, raw, and vegan meals.

Both Hands , 297 Park Avenue, wood-fired pizza, local and organic ingredients.

The Foundry , 242 Red River Road, gastropub and live music venue.

Gargoyles Grille and Ale , 11 Cumberland St. South, for Canadian fusion cuisine and frequent live music.

Lot 66, 66 Court St. South, fine dining and wine bar.

Portside Restaurant & Bar, in the Prince Arthur Hotel, steak and seafood when you don’t want to go outside.

The Prospector ,  27 Cumberland St. South has been a local favourite steakhouse for 25 years.

The Red Lion Smokehouse, 28 Cumberland St. South, features barbecue and an extensive beer list.

The Silver Birch, 28 Cumberland St. North, local and seasonal.

The Sovereign Room, 220 Red River Road, is a gastropub with a focus on local ingredients.

Thai Kitchen, 36 Cumberland St. South, casual and delicious.

Tomlin, 202 Red River Road, fine dining.

Uptown Cut, 252 Algoma St. South, steakhouse and fine dining.  

For Drinks:

Black Pirates Pub, 215 Red River Road, bar and live music.

Breakwater Taphouse on the top floor of the old CN Building at Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park, 2212 Sleeping Giant Parkway. Features local beers and food.

Crocks, 24 Cumberland St. South, bar and live music.

The Foundry,242 Red River Road, gastropub and live music.

On Deck, 54 Cumberland St. North, sports bar with full menu.

The Red Lion Smokehouse, 28 Cumberland St. South, features barbecue and an extensive beer list.

Madhouse, 295 Bay St., bar and grill with a great selection of craft beer.


Close to the hotel:

Clothing stores include The Loop at 2 Court St. South, Mars at 6 Court St. South, and Second Look Consignment at 14 Court St. South.

Check out local and national art at Definitely Superior Art Gallery at 250 Park Ave, Ahnisnabae Art Gallery at 18 Court St. South, Local Colour Art Gallery at 269 Red River Road, and Chenier Fine Arts at 8 Court St. South.

For fun, we also recommend Hill City Comics at 26 Court St. South, New Day Records at 15A St. Paul St, and Hide 5 Leather at 12 St. Paul St.

The Bay & Algoma neighbourhood is about 15 minutes’ walk from the Prince Arthur Hotel, or 5 minutes by bus or car, notable for its Finnish heritage and local and independent businesses. You’ll find gifts and souvenirs, clothing, and food.

The Thunder Bay Country Market runs Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds, a 10 minute drive or 25 minute bus ride from the Prince Arthur Hotel. Features local produce, food, crafts, and artwork.

Things to Do

Attendees of the 2011 AAO Conference would have seen the construction site, but now the Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park is open and has been recognized for its architecture, artwork, and public use. Adjacent to the hotel, enjoy the recreational trails, public art, splash pad, art centre, and views of Lake Superior.

The Prince Arthur Hotel is surrounded by venues for live music. To see what’s going on while you’re here, check out TBShows

Definitely Superior Art Gallery is less than 10 minutes away from the hotel by foot. This is an artist-run gallery showcasing contemporary works and local artists.

The Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame is a heritage facility dedicated to preserving, honouring and displaying the rich sports tradition of the region. The Northwestern Ontario Sports hall of fame is open from 12:00 - 5:00 Tuesday to Saturday. It can be reached in 10 minutes by car or 25 minutes by bus.

The Thunder Bay Museum shows permanent galleries of the city’s and region’s history, and features other temporary and touring exhibits. The Museum is located in Thunder Bay’s other downtown, and can be reached in 10 minutes by car or 25 minutes by bus.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery located on the campus of Confederation College, is about 10 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus. The Art Gallery has a focus on the contemporary artwork of Canadian Aboriginal and Northwestern Ontario artists.  

If you like casinos, then there’s the OLG Casino at 50 Cumberland St. South.

Kakabeka Falls would be Ontario’s largest waterfall if it wasn’t for that other one. A 35 minute drive from the hotel will bring you to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, where you’ll see spectacular views of the falls, learn about local wildlife and geology in the visitor centre, and enjoy a short hike. The boardwalk to the falls is wheelchair accessible.

A bit over an hour East of town you’ll find Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, where you’ll enjoy spectacular views and learn a bit about the region’s unique geology and plant life, and Eagle Canyon Adventures, home of Canada’s longest foot suspension bridge and Canada’s longest, highest, and fastest zip line. Neither is particularly recommended for anyone who is afraid of heights.

The Sleeping Giant you see across Thunder Bay is at the tip of the peninsula that makes up Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. It’ll take about an hour to drive, and then you’ll have your pick of hiking trails, as well as bicycling and wildlife viewing.

There is an assortment of other activities to do in Thunder Bay, check out The City of Thunder Bay’s Tourism Website for more ideas!

Getting Around

Thunder Bay Transit

The Prince Arthur Hotel is close to the Water Street Bus Terminal, so you’ll have access to many bus routes. Thunder Bay Transit is integrated with Google Transit, so you can plan your trips through or visit A limited number of Thunder Bay Transit tickets will be made available to conference attendees on request. Cash fare is $2.65, or you can purchase sets of tickets or a day pass.


Call Diamond Taxi at (807) 622-6001 or Roach’s Taxi at (807) 344-8481.

Car Rental

Rent a car at the Thunder Bay Airport from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National/Alamo, or Hertz.  

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