Bay Street

Photo Cred - Adam Sabaz and Jen ChicoineI really love whats going on with the downtown core initiative with the marina development and the focus of making this area the 'entertainment' district. Like every successful city - there needs to be a focus for the main stream citizen and tourist. Any time I have visited friends in other cities, we've always gone to the 'happening' spots for drinks and entertainment.

In some cities - there's one main part of town. In larger cities you have multiple 'districts' that offer their own unique style and flare. It's what i think helps nurture an identity for the city and fosters a culture.

What I find really fascinating is when there is a little area that's a little lesser known. Its where the locals hang out and it smacks of culture. Its even better when someone you're visiting knows of this sort of area and takes you there. You get this sensce of authenticity.

I believe there's a place in Thunder Bay that speaks to this. Its the Bay Street block where the Finnish Labor Temple, Calico, Trip Out Doors, Kitchen Nook are all located. You know the block i'm referring too. It's one way only.

This block has the potential to really make its mark on the city of Thunder Bay in the way i just described. And I think the way to do it is to block off that entire block - make it pedestrian only. Its already one way - why not just go the distance and make it 'no-way'.

This would allow for a small square to be built. Put in permanent tables, chairs and benches for patrons to have a coffee and lunch. Plant more trees. Encourage the rest of the tenants to paint and update their store fronts. Maybe a licensed establishment could start up and serve fresh suds on the patio.

I can just imagine grabbing a cup of dark roast from calico and sitting at a table under some trees in the shadows of the Hoito while soft music echoes from a local musician(s) playing in the court yard. I sit at my table checking things out on my mobile (with free wi-fi access of course) and sink into this little pocket of serenity. If you have been to Italy or France and sat with an espresso in the local square - you know what i'm talking about.

So with all the fan fare about the Prince Arthur's Landing, I really think the city could throw the locals a little something for 'us'. It should be the Bay Street District. You'll know what it is and you'll want to bring visitors their for an authenticate slice of Thunder Bay!


  1. Sweet vision of what the Bay Street area could become. Keep up the good writing!!

  2. Nice. And in the winter, part of it could be turned into a skating rink, I figure.

  3. great idea. Thanks for sharing. I noticed a minor typo in the "got the distance" line.

  4. i love this idea! make it happen!

  5. The word is 'Piazza'. And it's an excellent idea. I could speak on this topic for WEEKS, but can shorten my spiel by simply agreeing whole-heartedly with you, Adam. Well said, sir.

    1. hank you! I must say that this particular entry is still making the rounds, getting hits daily. This idea was floated to the Thunder Bay Urban Design Study ( fall and they seemed to take an interest in the idea. Fingers crossed.

    2. Seriously Adam, I think about this frequently, envisioning spending a Saturday afternoon sipping Calico coffee, enjoying a treat from In The ' hood Bakery. Or a Sunday afternoon in winter, skating and warming by a fire. So many possibilities!!!!

  6. what a fabulous idea! It's the perfect place to do this....sigh... I'm sitting there right now.....the sun is shining, a warm's awesome summer day...


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