From Markdale to Thunder Bay

When I first arrived in Thunder Bay, I was a little overwhelmed with choices. Who had the best pizza or where was the best campground? Coming from Markdale, Ontario (population 1,325) Thunder Bay was a big city. Through the help of locals and discovering places myself, I would eventually culminate my own favourites. Now when new residents or visitors come to the city, I’m happy to offer some suggestions on what to do, where to eat, and what to see. But because these are just my humble picks, I always point people to our Best of Thunder Bay survey, something I wished existed when I first arrived here.

For many of us, January is a time to reflect on the previous year and this fits perfectly with our cover story where we present the results of our annual Best of Thunder Bay survey. This year we’re very proud to announce that we had a record amount of voters. For our cover story we profile some of the winners that you might or might not be familiar with and as always, we encourage readers to check out those unfamiliar places and names featured in our results, potentially discovering a new favourite. And because of the new artists and businesses popping up in the city, we’ve also included some new categories.

As part of our Best Of theme, for This is Thunder Bay we ask people what was the best thing that happened to them last year, our sommelier Jeannie Dubois picks out her favourites in wine, beer, cider, and spirits, and Michael Sobota shares his top flicks of 2018. Plus Tiffany Jarva pens a touching tribute to musician Jim Differ, Lindsay Campbell chats with Ryan McMahon about Canadaland’s Thunder Bay podcast, and Nancy Saunders gets the scoop on Red Lion Smokehouse’s big move.

Congratulations to all the winners featured in the results and thank you to all those participated. Without your votes the survey wouldn’t exist.

-Adrian Lysenko