Residents of Southern Ontario looking to get away for the weekend tend to pile in the car, spend a few hours in traffic and then a few more driving, only to reach a destination that is filled with people also trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
In roughly the same amount of time it would take you to get out of Toronto by car, you could already be in Thunder Bay – sailing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, or just eating, relaxing, and enjoying the diverse arts and culture scene in the Northwest’s major centre.
But Thunder Bay is a 15-hour drive from Toronto?! How can I go for just a weekend?
While the traditional weekend getaway often involves piling everyone into the car and driving for a few hours, spending the weekend in Thunder Bay starts on one of the 16 daily flights from the GTA to the Lakehead.
For those in the heart of Toronto, Porter Airlines offers six daily flights from Billy Bishop Airport and WestJet and Air Canada combined offer 10 flights a day from Pearson. The flight itself is about 1.5 hours and the Thunder Bay International Airport (the fifth-busiest airport in all of Ontario) is right in the city and accessible by public transit.
But flying is expensive!!
In the past, flight costs to Thunder Bay could be prohibitively expensive, but increased competition, more daily flights, and a trend in the industry overall have combined to cause flight prices drop dramatically. Today, the average round-trip flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay is about the cost of a decent dinner for two (approx.. $250 including taxes and fees).
So it’s cheap, easy and fast to get there, but what is there to do in Thunder Bay?!
Thunder Bay is one of Canada’s Greatest Outdoor Cities. On the shores of Lake Superior and in a region containing 150,000 lakes and rivers, Thunder Bay is home to all things water: fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, rowing, swimming and more.
The city also has hundreds of kilometres of walking, hiking, cycling and mountain biking trails within city limits.
Not an outdoorsy person? No worries, Thunder Bay is still the perfect weekend getaway. Throughout the summer months there is a festival literally every week, and the food scene in the city is award-winning and rivals anything found in major centres.
Thunder Bay was once the inland headquarters of the North West Company (the only major competitor of the Hudson’s Bay Company), and today you can step back in time and experience for yourself what life was like in the North in the 19th century at this living history museum. Hundreds of actors and interpreters who never break character operate this 200-acre replica site with 57 buildings. The residents of Fort William will be excited to meet someone from Fort York (Toronto). FWHP is considered one of Canada’s top attractions; especially in the year we celebrate #Canada150, discover how this part of the province was integral to the development of the country as we know it.
Note that as Thunder Bay is a regional hub, accommodation options can run low in the summer months. Be sure to book your room in advance.
Enjoy your Thunder Bay-cation!!