Gargoyles Grille and Ale
11 S. Cumberland St.
Gargoyles Grille & Ale has established itself as part of the restaurant mix in Thunder Bay’s Waterfront District for the past 11 years, but Doug Morrill has made a conscious effort to diversify its product offering. Gargoyles is not only a place for great food on a visit to Thunder Bay but has an established reputation as a hotspot for live entertainment on weekends and a host for business meetings during the week.
Open for lunch and dinner, Gargoyles offers more choices than the few gastropubs in town. Specials are offered on the first page. These will change. Some examples include caramelized fennel and speck pizza, spicy fish tacos, and for desert, blueberry & raspberry strudels. Starters include specialties like portobello bruschetta, Cajun dusted calamari, shaved beef boats, coconut crusted chicken, spicy black bean tomato mussels. Salads available are maple spinach, Thai chicken salad, and Zorba the Greek, amongst others.
There’s a short list of pizzas that sound very good, like the Sicilian and the margarita Pizza. The lunch menu is fairly standard with burgers and wraps and clubs, yet a bit dressed up. The dinner menu includes the pricier fair of filet mignon, sirloin and shrimp, salmon, chicken, spicy linguine Jambalaya and seafood fettuccini.
They have a very long list of martinis, and over 30 varieties of wine, beers on tap, along with domestic and imported beers.
And yes, the creepy/cute little gargoyles might stare at you from various points within the restaurant amongst the jazzy décor. Gargoyles can seat up to 130 people. They have two rooms especially designed for business presentations and banquet occasions. The room, A Little to Your Left, has become top of mind alternative in Thunder Bay for smaller, comfortable meetings.
Gargoyles Grille & Ale has become known as a venue for live musical entertainment in Thunder Bay. On a raised section of the restaurant, the usual tables are removed for the bands who on weekends perform jazz, blues, and folk music. On occasion, after a long performance at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, a large section of the Thunder Bay Symphony will take over half the restaurant.
Fall colours, the scenic shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is definitely the place to be to run a marathon in September.
Register Now & Save
Register now to take part in the fourth annual "Miles with the Giant" Thunder Bay Marathon to be held on Sunday, September 22, 2013. This outstanding running event features a full marathon of 26.2 miles, a half marathon of 13.1 miles, 10K and 5K races. There is also a marathon-relay team event with the opportunity for teams of five to compete. Register online for your preferred race and save money by entering before July 31.
Looking to book a room, a number of hotels are offering 10 per cent discount for the weekend.
A Boston Marathon Qualifier
The course will combine urban, park and residential settings combined with the beauty of Lake Superior's shoreline. Now in its fourth year, Miles with the Giant is officially a certified Boston Marathon qualifier. Visit www.thunderbaymarathon.com to view the 2013 course map.
Participants also have the option to raise pledges for their favourite charity through the Run for a Reason Charity Pledge Program by simply choosing a charity during the registration process. The participating charities are: Camp Quality, Canadian Diabetes Association, Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
Get Involved with a Great Event
Do you have an interest in Birds? Birding? Or Bird Watching?
If your answer is yes, you will want to plan a trip to the north shore of Lake Superior region to take in the annual Canyon Country Birding Festival in Dorion held each year in late May. The Dorion Birding Festival is your opportunity to spend two great days in Canada's Great Outdoors experiencing bird watching in the majestic setting of Lake Superior and the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.
Dorion is a small community located on the northern shore of Lake Superior, with the Hurkett Cove Conservation Area and Ouimet Canyon fast becoming known as North American hot spots for birding. Dorion is less than an hour's drive east of Thunder Bay where you can connection into Thunder Bay International Airport with Porter Airlines, Westjet, Air Canada and now United Airlines out of Chicago.
This is your opportunity to enjoy two full days of guided birding excursions. Experience an outdoor wilderness experience like no other as you walk the trails and paths at Hurkett Cove, Ouimet Canyon and the Nipigon River Recreation Trail. The Hurkett Cove trails are maintained by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority. Ouimet Canyon is an Ontario park while the Nipigon River Trail connects the towns of Red Rock and Nipigon and is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
2013 will mark the fifth year for the Canyon Country Birding Fesitival, with over 100 species of birds to see. With the help of experienced guides, all with a wealth of local knowledge, you can expect to see a wide variety of birds from eagles, hawks, ruffed grouse to chickadees, woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, and finches plus waterfowl like ducks and geese.
Parks Canada Connection
While at Hurkett Cove and on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail, you will enjoy magnificent views of the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area as part of your birding experience. Parks Canada staff will be on hand as partners in the festival to explain the significance of the preserving the absolutely breathtaking vistas and resources offered by the Lake Superior waters that has been labeled "the world's largest freshwater protected area".
Get Up with the Birds
The 2013 Festival introduces new options for birders. Those who are "up with the birds", have a chance to say good morning to them! These early birders are offered a hike at Hurkett Cove Conservation Area at 6 a.m. on the Saturday morning prior to the official opening of the Festival. Guides will be on hand at the Cove to lead the hike. The early birds are responsible for their own transportation, are asked to return to the Dorion Community Centre by 8 a.m. for Registration and a delicious breakfast. They will then join the rest of the birders for an official introduction and start to the day.
For more information you may visit www.dorionbirdfest.ca
The inaugural United Airlines' flight from the Windy City landed at the Thunder Bay International Airport bringing in new vistors to much fanfare on Valentine's Day evening February 14, 2013. The Canadair CRJ regional 50-seat jet landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule as passengers and United Airlines officials were met with gifts from the city and airport, not to mention a three-piece band. Local media – Thunder Bay Television and TB Newswatch were on hand to cover the event and the potential for tourism opportunities with the connection to the large Chicago market.
Air travel time is about one hour 30 minutes, so visitors from the Chicago Midwest region can cut out the long 20 hour drive to Northwest Ontario to enjoy the outstanding water and wilderness experiences that await here in the heart of Canada. Whether it is fishing, hunting, kayaking, hiking or mountain biking in the summer or "snow better" experiences like skiing, snowmobiling or ice fishing in the winter, Thunder Bay is your gateway to exciting outdoor experiences offered in Sunset Country and the North Superior region.
United Airlines offers daily non-stop flights to Thunder Bay seven-days a week. Book your ticket for departure from Chicago O'Hare Airport at 6:30 p.m., with arrival in Thunder Bay at 9:10 in the evening. The option for daily return flights to Chicago are 6:00 a.m. with arrival at O'Hare Airport at 6:35 a.m., note the change from Eastern to Central time. The flights operate seven days a week Monday to Friday.
Worry Free Travel
Book your business or leisure travel with United Airlines and you will find the connection will make your trip to Thunder Bay and Northwest Ontario worry free. You can rent a vehicle for travel into the region with all major rental car companies – operating out of Thunder Bay Airport. If you plan to overnight in Thunder Bay, you will find a choice of hotels close by the airport along with a varied selection of excellent dining experiences at your hotel, a short walk or a few minutes by car.
Over 30 travel media writers, photographers and videographers visited Thunder Bay last summer between May and October. These travel journalists came to capture stores and features on what our Northern Ontario city has to the offer for tourism focusing on experiential touring and great outdoor adventures within the Lake Superior region.
Paul Pepe, Tourism Manager for the City of Thunder Bay still excited by the number of new travel media requests, referred to as FAM (Familiarization) Tours, that are comming into the Tourism Thunder Bay office for this comming travel season.
“Travel media tells stories in more detail and authenticity than an advertisement does and ends up costing much less than purchasing comparable advertising space,” said Pepe, noting the cost of advertising to target potential visitors in bordering Midwest States, Southern Ontario and Manitoba.
“These journalists have discovered us through a number of sources and tourism partners and we've connected with them to create unique itineraries that they'll showcase in web, print and television,” says Pepe who just jumps at the opportunity to tour these travel journalists around the city while promoting travel opportunities in the region to Nipigon, Red Rock, Rossport, Terrace Bay or near by Kakabeka Falls.
Monica Prelle takes picture prior to float plane tour with Wilderness North.
National & International Features
Here are some of the national and international stories that have been posted or printed about Thunder Bay and the north of Superior region last summer.
- The National Post ran a travel feature entitled “Road Trips – The Scenic Routes” on July 21, 2012 that highlighted the trip along rugged northern shore of Lake Superior as one of Canada’s five great routes.
- Matador Network, a massive travel website, posted a great feature on California writer Monica Prelle hiking the Sleeping Giant or kayaking the world’s biggest lake.
- Karin Fronde, a blogger on the K &K Adventure site wrote about her Epic Adventures to Thunder Bay and was so impressed with her visit that the headline for one of features read, “Can we move to Thunder Bay".
Great Story Ideas Await!
Tourism Thunder Bay is always willing to ensure the travel journalist’s story requests are met covering all the key things to see and do in Thunder Bay, while balancing the fact these people are also visitors looking to be entertained. It’s about putting the city’s best foot forward.
A tranquil evening sail on Lake Superior with Sail Lake Superior, a tour of the new waterfront at Prince Arthur’s Landing, the fur trade at Fort William Historical Park, Thunder Bay’s vibrant growing culinary scene, the spectacular view from Mount McKay, a aerial tour with Wilderness North or a visit to the Terry Fox Monument are usually some part of an itinerary developed for the writers by Tourism Thunder Bay.
Contact at Tourism Thunder Bay, if you would like more information about FAM tour opportunities to tell great stories about adventues to Thunder Bay and north shore of Lake Superior region.
Thunder Bay residents are finding it easy to be a tourist in their backyard this summer.
Visitors to Thunder Bay and local residents are findng that Thunder Bay’s new waterfront development at Prince Arthur’s Landing has much to offer. The lure of Lake Superior and all the new infrastructure in the revamped Marina Park has made the waterfront a must stop to show visiting friends and relatives what Thunder Bay has to offer.
The City of Thunder Bay has added many new elements to the water front for everyone to enjoy.The splash pad next to the new Water Garden Pavilion was a hit with youngsters and families when it opened last summer, and is once again expected.to draw people to the Lake Superior shore again this summer.
The splash pad that converts to an outdoor rink in the winter was equally as popular for skating this winter. The skateboard / BMX park, located near the splash pad, is open all year round and the expertly designed facility provides thrills for the younger generatiion..
Make sure you stop by the newly open Bight Restaurant and enjoy a fantastic meal on the waterfront. Walk the many trails along the waterfront and take a look at the new pieces of art designed to show local heritage and innovation.
Favourite Place To Be
“It is my hands-down favourite place to be to read, relax, walk with a friend or unwind”, writes Robin Bowles in her Letter to the Editor in the Chronicle Journal, Thunder Bay’s daily newspaper on Saturday August 25, 2012.
“I was there on a Wednesday, it was a hub of activity, I saw families coming from the splash pad, towels draped around their wet bodies, cooled off and content. I watched little children, fingers pointed, mouths open in amazement, as they observed the waterfowl in the pond.
There was an elderly couple eating ice cream while relaxing in the new and exciting seating areas, taking in the magnificence of Lake Superior. I noticed many friends using the walking trails to exercise and catch up.
At the skateboard park, there were at least 30 teenagers and young children sharing the same space, with the teenagers seeming to be consciously aware that they were role models for the little people. All the while, things were being put in place for the Superior Youth Festival to be held that evening."
Thunder Bay's new waterfront at Prince Arthur's Landing is a great place to be for people of all ages.
Captain Greg Heroux and his staff operate sailing tours and charters from Pier 1 at the newly re-developed marina at Prince Arthur’s Landing. There is a Lake Superior adventure waiting whether it is a two hour tour of Thunder Bay harbour, a visit to famed Isle Royale or a multi-day excursion beyond the Sleeping Giant.
Here’s what you can expect based on what visitors have had to say about their great lake sailing experience with Sail Superior.
Outdoor Adventure, Stories & More
"Captain Greg Heroux is not only a gracious host but his stories and history of Thunder Bay and other sailing adventures made for an enjoyable evening feeling the cool breeze on the waters of Lake Superior. A must do when visiting Thunder Bay on a hot summer night". - Janice from Wichita, Kansas
"We went for five day sailing excursion aboard “Frodo” with Captain Greg of SailSuperior.com that proved very memorable. Our trip off the beaten track took us from Thunder Bay across the open Lake Superior waters to Isle Royale, to explore its coves, fjords and islets by sailboat. Every night we would anchor at a diifferent (but equally beautiful) spot."
"We were very happy with our captain, who is not only a consummate professional, but also turned out to be a very interesting and knowledgeable travel companion." - Bernard from Boston, Massachusetts
"My husband and I have gone two years in a row to celebrate his birthday on Sail Superior's sunset cruise and it is still the only thing my husband looks forward to for his birthday. Originally from a big city, moving to Thunder Bay, it remains one of our most memorable experiences. We brought sushi aboard and wine, and sat at the front of a beautiful sailboat, hand in hand watching the waves go by and the sun go down. A must do in Thunder Bay!!" - June from Thunder Bay, Ontario
“Had an excellent time sailing this afternoon with Captain Greg. Could not have asked for a better afternoon. Greg shared the history of the harbour as well as some interesting facts about Thunder Bay. It was a wonderful experience for us tourists!! It is definitely worth the money and a great experience.” - Jeff from Brantford, Ontario
Chippewa Park is your destination family fun and outdoor relaxation on your visit to Thunder Bay this summer. Join the many families who come to stay and play at this beautiful parkland on the rustic shore of Lake Superior all within city limits.
Your Summer Getaway
Chippewa Park is the perfect summer getaway with an amazing view of the Sleeping Giant, amusement rides, a wildlife park, plus kilometres of trails and beaches to walk.
The park is one of 124 parks managed by the City of Thunder Bay's Parks Division. It has been a favourite with city residents and visitors since it opened in 1921 with events held through out the summer.
There have been many upgrades to the park in recent years. Much of the Park’s initial charm has been retained through the preservation of the original dance hall and pavilion which act as a focal point for special events including private functions like weddings and reunions. Contact the City Park’s Division to book your event.
The 27 acres of parkland located off Chippewa Road in the south east end of the city offers many outdoor recreational opportunities from swiming, hiking, cycling and kayaking.
The amusement rides have been around the park since the 1920’s and continue to be a hit with the kids. Rides like the merry-go-round, tilt-a-whirl and bumper cars operate daily through the summer (July and August) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Prices are very reason ranging from $1.75. to $3.00.
The Wildlife Park is a must to see featuring animals and birds native to Northwestern Ontario. Admission ranges from $2.50 to a $1. The park is wheelchair accessible with elevated walkway for great viewing of the wildlife and fauna in the park.
Camping at Chippewa
Chippewa Park offers a number of options for camping on the scenic shores of Lake Superior. You can rent a log cabin, park your RV or pitch a tent. Opportunities for camping begin the May Long Weekend and runs through the Labour Day weekend. For more information, call the Chippewa Hotline (807) 625-CHIP (2447) or visit the City of Thunder Bay website.
Summer Events and Festivals
Chippewa Park with it sprawl of parkland of the shore of Lake Superior is a perfect place for summer events and entertainment.
Come out every Sunday in July and August for the Sundays in the Park Concerts. Great local entertainment for the whole family on the Tbaytel Family Stage.
The City of Thunder Bay hosts their annual Kite Festival in the wide open spaces of endless parkland each year at the end of May. And you won’t want to miss, Benny Birch’s Birthday Party, an annual fundraising event held each year in early June.
The Friends of Chippewa Park celebrates the Park with Chippewa Fun Day in late June, with activities for the whole family to take part in.
The Lake Superior Coast is a world class travel corridor. Those who have made the trip from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie are sure to agree with the description of this Great Lake coast and its attraction to draw visitors. This is what you see when you visit the towns on the north shore like Red Rock, Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Marathon, White River and Wawa.
'The Legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitchigoomee ...' Gordon Lightfoot
“No one in modern time has captured the mystery and legend of Lake Superior more powerfully nor more simply than Gordon Lightfoot in his epic song about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in November 1975.
Superior is immense in size, the largest by area freshwater body of water in the world and is often referred to as an inland sea.
Natural & Rugged
The scenery along Superior’s north shore in particular is stunning where the Pre Cambrian shield meets the waters of Superior in an endless array of 1000 foot cliffs crashing into water that is so clear it is possible to see 30 meters deep. With its pebble beaches, and tide like water movements where Mother Nature can make river water flow upstream and where storms can churn waves to 30 feet high as they did on November10 1975 simply add an element of magic and mystery to the majesty of the setting.
Superior has sand beaches that reach off into the horizon and it is a land of unending vistas from high rock perches and canyons and tunnels bored through rock to let the trains and cars of modern time find better purchase as they travel its rugged shore. The Lake Superior shoreline also has a number of peninsulas and island archipealagos noted for their remoteness, scenic quality and ecological values.
Land of Story & Legend
Superior is a land of story and legend from paleo Indian pictograph sites to the series of mesas and sills that make up the Sleeping Giant and the legend of Nanabijou who protects Thunder Bay and was voted by the Canadian public as the most popular Natural Wonder in Canada.
The natural splendour and rugged beauty of Superior's north shore have enchanted visitors for generations. Many have undertaken efforts to share the beauty of the area with the world and protect it for future generations. Early artists travelling with explorers such as LaVerendrye and later with the fur traders of the Northwest Company captured the rugged beauty of the Superior shore, then as the area became accessible to ground transportation the Group of Seven artists, in the 1920’s, captured the beauty of the Superior North Shore in their paintings.
At its simplest Lake Superior is the point in North America where the gentle plains of the Midwest meet the ruggedness of the Canadian Shield and forever where East shall meet West.
Except from paper written on the Lake Superior Heritage Coast by Dale Ashbee and Ian Mettam.