Locals Know: North Bay & Surrounding Area

My first photo of North Bay, ever.

I guess you could call me a local. I was born and raised in Sudbury and transplanted to North Bay for post-secondary in 2008. 

Growing up here, I found there were two common threads among young people. First, you have to get a car or your life is over. So much of the north was designed for driving. Second, when you're old enough, you have to move away. My friends and I were guilty of groaning that 'there's nothing to do here'.   

It wasn't until I began work at a local tourism association, that I realized how wrong I was to complain. The moment I began to explore, and see Northeastern Ontario with new eyes, I fell in love with the area - hard.

As cliche as it sounds, there really is so much to do here. You just need the time, and the info.

Hopefully, by sharing some of my favourite places, you'll be inspired to do a little more digging. Who knows you may even fall in love, too.  

North Bay

Sunset North Bay ON 1

The Beach

When I moved to North Bay, the only thing I knew to visit was the beach. North Bay was designed to hug the northeast shore of Lake Nipissing. There are a LOT of sand beaches along the northeast shore.

My favourite beach has to be the one at 100 Memorial Drive. If you walk down the boardwalk past the large playground, there's a more secluded section of waterfront. You'll know you're there when you see a smooth rock island 150 metres from shore and gigantic shady trees in the foreground. You can walk out to the island, never going above your waist. It's a romantic spot to catch the sunset. 

shadfliesFound out the hard way

Weird Occurrence

You may or may not have heard of North Bay's weird unofficial season. It's not a season in the traditional sense. It's not even construction season. It's shadfly season, and it's a sight to see. 

For the month of June, North Bay is over-run by shadflies; otherwise known as the mayflies or fishflies. As gross as it sounds, it's a sight that should be witnessed at least once. They're everywhere, on signs, sidewalks, roads and houses. They don't discriminate or bite. Their purpose is to procreate and replenish the eco-system. 

fishingLake Nosbonsing


If you're into spending an afternoon fishing, Lake Nipissing is an obvious choice. If you're looking for a lesser known lake, with decent fish population, Lake Nosbonsing is a great choice. I spend my time on Lake Nosbonsing, which is a 15 minute drive from North Bay, and has a few municipal docks. There are also operators like Big Moose Camp, who will rent boats & motors.



There's a mall. But, if you're hoping to experience North Bay I suggest shopping downtown. It's ideally located near the beach I mentioned. 

If you do find yourself downtown, consider visiting The FARM (Fashion Art Retail Market). The FARM is boutique-style retail space, backed by a collective of local designers. The owners and artists are on-site, working and creating. They also have their finger on the pulse of North Bay's arts and culture community. So if you're searching, stop by and ask one of the lovely ladies/gentlemen at The FARM.  


A Unique Find

I found The Powassan Treasure Mill by mistake. I was utterly lost in Powassan, ON one day, and saw the store on the side of the road. The name was intriguing, so I stopped.

What you'll find are a ton of unique vintage finds and oddities arranged neatly in the "mill". I suggest making the trip to 265 Memorial Park Drive on a weekend, if you're in the mood for treasure hunting.

serenity-nowDuchesnay Falls

Serenity Now

We've all sought places that quiet the mind. My places tend to be by rocks, trees and water, which are in abundance around North Bay. 

If you're searching for a relaxing spot in North Bay, Duchesnay Falls is the place. It's located off highway 17W, and frequented by many local people, but never overwhelmingly busy. The rushing falls have a way of quieting the busiest mind. 

My favourite spot is a little further away, on Highway 63 just as it reaches the Ottawa River. There's an easy-to-miss backroad on the right, which leads down to a small natural platform overlooking the Ottawa River, and Quebec. You'll know you're there because there's a huge rock in the middle, shielding a small firepit. There's also a large population of Bald Eagles along the river, which adds to the experience.

Did I miss something? I'm interested in hearing your local favourites. Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/northeasternontario

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