The town of Thunder Bay is the most populated city in Northwestern Ontario, settled by about 107,000 residents. Logging and agriculture have been supplanted by research and information technology. Thunder Bay is home to the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. It's also home to Lakehead University and Confederation College. As modern as it may be, the town still functions much as it always has in days past, as a major port city and seat of history.
Nearby Fort William Historical Park invites visitors to step into the past at a living history museum, staged as a 19th-century fur trading post as it would have appeared in 1816. Visitors can wander through a village with over 40 structures, populated by historical re-enactors, from French and Scottish fur traders to natives of the Ojibwe tribe.
Whether you plan to spend time on the waters of Lake Superior, visit for business, or step into the past at a living history exhibit, your visit to Thunder Bay, Ontario, is sure to be memorable.
When should you visit Thunder Bay, ON?
Thunder Bay experiences a humid continental climate, much influenced by nearby Lake Superior. Summertime is mild, in the mid to upper 60s, while winters can be milder by Canadian standards, in the negative teens. Despite the cold weather, Thunder Bay does not receive as much precipitation as nearby Michigan due to the regional weather patterns imposed by the Great Lakes.
The mild summers are perfect for people who prefer cooler summers for hikes, fishing, and outdoor activity. Meanwhile, the cool winters are ideal for outdoor hockey and cross-country skiing. The formal gardens at The Centennial Botanical Conservatory are wonderful in spring and summer, and in winter months, the tropical arboretum offers a warm indoor escape.
Thunder Bay presents a full calendar of annual events that are family-friendly, even throughout the cold winter months. Winter fun days invite people to snowshoe, paint snow, build snow sculptures, dog sled, or cook outdoors, then warm up with an indoor craft activity. Warmer weather heralds outdoor movie and concert season, and the annual June Kite Festival at Chippewa Park. The biggest celebration of all comes in early July, when Thunder Bay celebrates Canada Day on the waterfront with the area's biggest fireworks celebration.
Each summer, visitors and history buffs come from far and wide for the "Great Rendezvous" at Fort William Historical Park, which is a recreation of the annual meeting of company fur traders that once took place here. Participants from across the US and Canada register to camp for the weekend and take part in the reenactment. The Fort's amphitheater hosts events throughout the year, from hockey in the winter to camping in the summer. If you are planning to visit this event, be sure to book your Thunder Bay, Ontario, hotel accommodations early!
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Thunder Bay, ON:
Thunder Bay by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Thunder Bay, ON. You can use these charts to determine the best dates to book in Thunder Bay during the year.
Where are the best luxury hotels in Thunder Bay, ON?
The beauty of nature is the chief amenity you can hope to enjoy in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the Best Western Plus Nor'wester Hotel and Conference Centre in Thunder Bay capitalizes on that fact. The sprawling hotel feels rustic, yet refined, with a wood-paneled, cabin-like feel, unfurling across its grounds with wide windows and spectacular mountain views. In the warmer months, guests can sit under the stars on the expansive patio, and in the colder months, the large indoor pool, spa tub, and sauna beckon.
The Best Western Plus Nor'wester Hotel and Conference Centre is equipped to host events of all kinds, from graduation parties and wedding receptions to business events. It's equally convenient to town and favorite recreation spots like Fort William Historical Park and Loch Lomond Ski Area.
Guest rooms at the Best Western Plus Nor'wester Hotel and Conference Centre are superbly equipped to meet all your needs, including free toiletries, an in-room coffee and tea maker, iron and ironing board, and even a hair dryer. You can catch up on e-mail with free wireless internet or turn on the flat-screen television to watch the cable programming. Local calls are also free. Room service is available during limited hours, but you can also step into Cliffhanger Restaurant downstairs, serving up international cuisine. Breakfast is served daily as well, for a fee.
What affordable hotels are near Thunder Bay, Ontario?
3 Star Average Prices: $103.50
Days Inn by Wyndham Thunder Bay North continually impresses guests with its well-kept, modern property and exceptional service. An affordable nightly rate includes guest access to a fitness center on-site, plus a free daily breakfast served in the sunny atrium downstairs. As you dine on hot and cold breakfast favorites, you can enjoy the view through the arch-shaped windows, including a charming outdoor patio, seating area, and trellis that frames the woodland beyond.
Guest rooms and suites at the Days Inn by Wyndham Thunder Bay North are decorated in soothing tones of gray, brown, and cream, almost blending into the rocky landscape outside. You'll find upscale accents here, such as French doors and kitchenettes in select layouts, as well as pull-out couches to accommodate larger parties of friends or children.