Thunder Bay, a city of about 109 000, is located in Northwestern Ontario – positioning it in central Canada. Nordic sports are popular in this region as so many area residents are descendants of Scandinavian immigrant families. Their passion for Nordic sport was the catalyst that brought the World Nordic Ski Championships to Thunder Bay and North America for the first time in 1995. A lasting legacy of these Championships is the Nordic Spirit that lingers in the hearts of more than 2000 volunteers often found at large events such as Ski Nationals. Their sense of community and commitment to the development of young athletes is what has impressed every NTDC athlete since it’s inception in the early 1990’s.
The City of Thunder Bay is located on the Northwest shore of Lake Superior, approximately 60 kilometres north from the US (Minnesota) border. It is the largest city between Winnipeg and Sudbury and is the regional centre for Northwestern Ontario.
As a regional centre, Thunder Bay enjoys major highway, rail and air access. Thunder Bay International Airport is one of Ontario’s busiest. The deepwater port of Thunder Bay is one of Canada’s largest ports with 55 kilometres of shoreline and 9 million metric tonnes annual throughput.
Thunder Bay’s economic history is rooted in the fur trade, when the area served as a major meeting and staging area. Today, although Thunder Bay’s economy still has a strong resource base (forestry, mining, tourism) the city has diversified economic activity considerably.
Lakehead University and Confederation College provide excellent post secondary education opportunities. A new state of the art hospital, cancer centre, and medical school will provide excellent health services when fully implemented.
For more information about the City of Thunder Bay, visit www.thunderbay.ca
Transportation and Weather
Thunder Bay is blessed with a multitude of maintained ski areas within the city limits and a short drive from the downtown core. From the meticulously maintained and impressive Lappe and Kamview Nordic Centres to the more humble Tapiola and Centennial Park trail systems, Thunder Bay offers unrivalled possibilities for skiing and training.
Lappe Nordic Ski Centre is located 20 min outside of Thunder Bay in Lappe, Ontario. Lappe offers a challenging network of trails and routinely plays host to major events such as the Canadian National Championships. The provincial Ontario Cup series comes to Thunder Bay annually. Lappe also puts on a range of local events (Pancake Run, Run and Ski, etc…) as well as the notorious 24-Hour Relay, famously started by one of NTDC’s Finnish Coaches. This event now serves as a fundraiser for both NTDC Thunder Bay and Lappe Nordic Ski Club.
The Kamview Nordic Ski Centre is located 15 min south of Thunder Bay in Neebing, Ontario. The undulating terrain and the famous “Lookout” make it a great place for training. Kamview is also home of the Fresh Air Trail Running Series throughout the summer and the Royal Bank of Canada Sleeping Giant Sprints.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, set in the shadow of “The Giant” offers spectacular views in the summer as well as over 50 km of well maintained ski trails in the winter. The park also plays host of the famous Sleeping Giant Loppet.
Kakabeka Fall Provincial Park also is home to shorter series groomed trails. Kakabeka Falls is a 25 min drive from Thunder Bay.
The Tapiola Trails and Centennial Park offer something a little different and are within city limits. Tapiola is maintained by local volunteers and has neatly maintained trails system centred around the Old Clubhouse and sports field. Centennial Park offers 10km of now multi-use trails maintained by the city which was once host of the Canadian Olympic Cross Country Skiing Trials in the mid 70’s.