Northwest Ontario

This is Ontario wilderness at its finest.  

Northwest Ontario is home to several of Canada’s best provincial parks. It’s where you’ll find abundant ultimate freshwater fishing and hunting, backcountry paddling, camping and hiking, wildlife and nature viewing.  

Two main urban centres serve as gateways to unparalleled outdoor adventure and offer unique local culture and genuine northern hospitality.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Northwest Ontario, scroll down or visit the region's tourism websites. 

Sunset Country

Superior Country

Tourism Thunder Bay

Where is Northwest Ontario?

The largest region in Ontario by far, Northwest Ontario stretches from the Minnesota border and north shore of Lake Superior, west to Manitoba and north to the northernmost point in the province at the saltwater shoreline of Hudson Bay. 

In the west, Kenora sits on the edge of Lake of the Woods, a legendary interconnected lake system in the area known as Sunset Country. Southeast, the city of Thunder Bay is nestled on Lake Superior’s north shore, under the shadow of the fabled Sleeping Giant, part of Superior Country. 

Places to Visit in Northwest Ontario

Two key cities in Northwest Ontario are Thunder Bay and Kenora. 

Thunder Bay, Canada’s ‘Gateway to the West’ has the largest Finnish population per capita outside of Finland and the only Finnish cultural centre (Finnish Labour Temple) in Canada.  

Things to Do in Northwest Ontario

More than a dozen epic provincial parks populate this region, including Sleeping Giant, Ouimet CanyonWabakimi, Woodland CaribouPakwash and Neys, as well as Pukaskwa National Park

Angling in this region is so epic, there’s even a museum dedicated to it: the Northern Ontario Sportfishing Centre in Sioux Narrows is the only facility of its kind in the world. Fish for walleye, bass, pike, muskie, perch, crappie, whitefish and trout on one of the hundreds of thousands of freshwater lakes and rivers, some only accessible by float plane. At over 100 km long and wide, Lake of the woods is a fishing mecca.

Hunt for big game like bear, deer and moose, as well as small game and waterfowl. The backcountry hiking and paddling opportunities are endless. Thrill seekers will relish rock climbing and ice climbing challenges or crossing a swaying suspension bridge at Eagle Canyon or White River. Enjoy the beauty of Kakabeka Falls (the Niagara of the North), a majestic bald eagle on Lake of the Woods aboard the MS Kenora, or the awesome spectacle of the Northern Lights whirling across a starry sky. 

History buffs will love Thunder Bay’s Fort William Historical Park, one of the largest living reconstructed heritage sites in North America, and owned and operated by the Rainy River First Nations, Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre is a significant site that showcases Ojibwe history and culture. 

Northwest Ontario’s signature pastry is the Thunder Bay Persian, a deep-fried cinnamon bun with pink fruity flavoured icing that originated at Bennett’s Bakery in the 1940s and remains an institution to this day. 

From luxury hotels, convenient motels, cozy housekeeping cottages, fully equipped houseboats, family friendly resorts to complete American plan lodges and outposts, a full range of accommodations ensure outdoor and urban adventure is at your doorstep.  

Last updated: April 30, 2021

Skip photo gallery

Explore More of Ontario Through Our Visitors

Tag your photos with #DiscoverON to inspire others.

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.