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Getaways for Winterphobes: North Bay

In-house made spaghetti and meatballs at Tiny Italy.

Move Over Winter – North Bay is Epic, Inside & Out!

Let’s face it – winter may be a beautiful, magical time of year, but it’s not everyone’s favourite season. Our winters here in Northeastern Ontario are particularly known for piles of fluffy snow, crispy mornings and clear days – perfect for getting active outside. But if downhill skiing or snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing (you get the picture) aren’t your thing, what’s a winterphobe to do?

Explore and indulge in an urban getaway!

Northeastern Ontario – while renowned for nature and outdoors experiences – is also a quickly developing urban region in its own right. The City of North Bay, cozied up on the shores of Lake Nipissing is a prime example. If you’re visiting family for the holidays, or are looking for a new urban getaway, Ontario’s “Gateway to the North” should be on your short list of “must-visit” locations.

What to Do

Check ahead of your trip at their performances listing and find time to visit the historical Capitol Centre. Located in the heart of downtown North Bay, the Capitol Centre is a hub for arts and entertainment in the city. Get in the holiday spirit by attending a performance of the North Bay Symphony Orchestra, or take the kids for something different and unexpected. Dating back to 1929, this theatre is full of history and also features a gallery exhibit.

Whether booking comedians, famous astronauts, '90s popstars or children's acts, the Capitol Centre has a knack for appealing to the varied and diverse audiences of the city. Highlight events for the winter season include

  • Toopy & Binoo – Fun and Games (December 7)
  • Christmas Dreams with the North Bay Symphony Orchestra (December 10)
  • Natalie McMaster – Celtic Family Christmas (December 18)
  • Leanne Womack (January 11)
  • The Tea Party (February 18)
  • Australia’s Thunder From Down Under (March 29)

Before hitting your performance, bundle up and stroll through the downtown streets with a coffee or hot beverage. Window shop, or pop inside and warm up as you choose from a collection of gift shops, cafes, bookstores, galleries, local food vendors and more. Christmas is the perfect time to head downtown as snow is (often) on the ground and shops are pulling out all the stops for the holidays.

A photo posted by The Outland Supply Co. (@outlandsupplyco) on

We love downtown North Bay – read more about it here!

Museum enthusiasts will be happy to choose from a spread of local options and learn about the city. Museums and heritage centres to explore in North Bay include the Discovery North Bay Museum, the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defense, and the Callander Bay Heritage Museum

Where to Eat

If you came to visit the Callander Bay Heritage Museum, don’t leave the village without pulling in at Tiny Italy. Enjoy fresh paninis, daily specials and take a selection of in-house made biscotti for the road. This little Italian eaterie pumps out BIG, authentic flavour.

Read our profile of Tiny Italy here.

Back in the city, take your dinner at Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen. Yes, you read that right – a brewhouse. Northeastern Ontario may not have the thriving craft beer scene as our southern neighbors (yet), but it's up and coming, and our brewers know how to produce a fresh, frosty pint! Enjoy a pub vibe with a full menu while you savour regional brews such as Temagami Amber Ale and Nipissing Lager.

A third and final option to consider is the Opera Bakery Cafe, featuring delicate treats made from scratch, specialty coffees, custom cakes, and a simple but delicious lunch menu. If you pick up something from this bakery, you won't have to worry about what to bring for dessert to family dinner!

Where to Stay

If you aren't staying with family, you may be looking for lodging. Luckily, your choices are plentiful in North Bay with a range of choices in key locations.

Adani Bed & Breakfast is open year-round – a beautiful modern home situated on the shores of Lake Nipissing. Take in views of the waterfront from the property, or take a cruise down to the nearby Champlain Park. Simple touches from bilingual owner, Danielle, make it feel like home. Spa treatments are available, elevating the experience to a pampered getaway.

Travelling with a group, or looking for traditional style accommodations? Find the right hotel to suit your needs from our list of operators!

Arrivals & Departures

Easily accessible at the intersection of Highways 17 and 11, North Bay is a quick drive away from major Ontario city centres of Ottawa, Toronto and Sudbury.

Coming from further away? North Bay is easily accessed by air as well. You’ll want YYB – North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport, serviced by major airlines Porter and Air Canada as well as northern specialists Bearskin Airlines. With multiple flights scheduled each day to and from per Toronto, picking up a budget-friendly connecting flight is a breeze. 

To make moving around the city simple, book an airport pick-up with Stars Limousine Service. This company will also help you book a scenic tour of the city or get to and from your special event. Stars Limousine knows the area, so let them take you around! 


In case You’re Not a Winterphobe…

In case you aren’t a winterphobe, and just like good food and fun things to do, we’ve got you covered! Lake Nipissing is known for great fishing so if you’re looking to get out on the ice, North Bay is a good choice. There are also three great ski/snowboard hills to choose from within a two-hour drive if you feel like a truly active adventure. 

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