Inspiration and creativity come easily in Thunder Bay; everywhere you go, the unique work of our artists and artisans is close by. Galleries, personal studios and quirky shops – there are many ways to discover Thunder Bay’s fine art and crafts.
Begin your adventure at Up Shot Coffeehouse for a cup of locally roasted coffee and pick up a variety of artisanal pastries to eat on your way to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
Thunder Bay Art Gallery is the largest public gallery between Sault Ste. Marie and Winnipeg. The Gallery’s Permanent Collection includes over 1600 works, the vast majority of which are traditional Woodland art, making it one of the most significant collections of Indigenous art in Canada. The Gallery presents more than 20 exhibitions by regional, national, and international artists every year. The Gallery also offers educational tours and workshops, special events, art classes for all ages, and a unique gift shop. Next we will head to the Waterfront for our next stop of the tour.
Located on the Waterfront at Prince Arthur’s Landing, the Baggage Building Arts Centre showcases local talent including everything from fine art to music, books, clothing, and gift items. The Arts Centre also hosts a variety of exhibits, demonstrations, working artists and community activities.
When finished the Arts Centre tour, head over to The Red Lion Smokehouse for lunch, where everything is home made & home smoked. All their food is made in-house with fresh ingredients – locally sourced whenever possible. The menu is a mix of classic British Pub favourites with a smokehouse twist.
Now that you are satiated, it’s time to continue on our tour up the street to the Definitely Superior Art Gallery.
The Definitely Superior (Defsup) Art Gallery is Northwest Ontario’s leading-edge artist-run centre for the contemporary arts. It operates as an alternative to both the commercial art galleries and to the larger, mainstream public galleries. Local citizens and visitors can experience multi-disciplinary activities such as artist workshops and lectures, film and video screenings, media arts installations, performance art, experimental sound/audio, music and literacy events.
Our last tour stop for the day brings us to Gallery 33.
Gallery 33 is dedicated to supporting a diverse artistic talent. They have a large collection of paintings, sculptures, photography, and jewelry and offer workshops for aspiring artists.
Before heading to the hotel, enjoy dinner at one of Thunder Bay’s fine restaurants. Tomlin alongside local producers to create fresh and eclectic plates with an emphasis on sharing at the table.
Finish the day by enjoying a relaxing evening in quiet elegance at the Courthouse Hotel. The Courthouse Hotel is a boutique hotel catering to visitors looking for something a little extra special. With it’s Beaux Arts architectural façade, the stunning views of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant it’s the perfect way to relax after a fulfilling day.
Fuel up your day with a pretzel and coffee from Sweet North Bakery. The bakery offers up delicious baked goods and home-style food made fast but with high quality, using whole food ingredients and featuring regional flavours while never using artificial flavours or preservatives.
Once re-fueled and energized, walk next door to find the next two art galleries of our tour.
Home to local artists, The Creative is also a space for the curious to explore their creative side through painting parties, classes and workshops.
Owned and operated by Louise Thomas, the Ahnisnabae Art Gallery is dedicated to the memory of her late husband, artist Roy Thomas, and carries on his legacy and dreams by showcasing his works, as well as those of several other local artists.
Up the street on Park Avenue you will find our next tour stop, Chenier Fine Arts.
Chenier Fine Arts showcases a diverse selection of original art by regional and international artists. Mediums include paintings, mixed media, original prints, sculpture, wheel thrown stoneware & hand-built paper clay vessels.
Head back at the waterfront, on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior, for the most amazing views of the Sleeping Giant – Thunder Bay’s iconic landmark while enjoying lunch on Bight’s patio. At Bight, expect a dynamic cocktail menu crafted with in-house ingredients, an eclectic wine list with hand selected bottles and a menu that reflects a passion for real food made to order with the freshest of ingredients.
While here, take a walk along the waterfront to enjoy the Prince Arthur’s Landing Public Art Walking Tour. Over a dozen works by local, regional and national writers are distributed throughout the park, providing moments for pause and reflection. The 13 written art installations embody the spirit, history geography and culture of Northwestern Ontario.