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Lake Superior's North Shore is in Northern Ontario. The drive along Highway 17 is beautiful way of seeing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield.


Map of Lake Superior North Shore

From east to west:

  • 1 Sault Ste. Marie — the starting point for the Agawa Canyon tour train
  • 2 Wawa — known for the 8.5-m-tall Wawa Goose
  • 3 White River — the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh in literary tourism
  • 4 Manitouwadge — a good place for outdoor sports
  • 5 Marathon — the largest town on the Trans-Canada Highway between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay
  • 6 Terrace Bay — the "Gem of the Northshore"
  • 7 Schreiber — the northernmost point on Lake Superior, near the main exposure of the Gunflint chert
  • 8 Nipigon — a departure point for fishing excursions onto Lake Superior, the Nipigon River system and Lake Nipigon
  • 9 Red Rock — its rugged cliffs and the Nipigon Bay waters provide opportunities for hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling, and skiing
  • 10 Thunder Bay — the metropolis of the northwest

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lake Superior Provincial Park — spectacular and diverse scenery, and the Agawa Pictographs
  • 2 Pukaskwa National Park — its 60-km Coastal Trail offers a challenging but rewarding wilderness experience along the steep Lake Superior coastline
  • 3 Ouimet Canyon Ouimet Canyon on Wikipedia — near Dorion
  • 4 St. Joseph Island — popular as camp and cottage country


The Thunder Bay district covers most of northwestern Lake Superior, the westernmost Canadian territory in the Great Lakes region.

Algoma District is at the eastern end of Lake Superior, where it borders Michigan at Sault Ste. Marie.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Air Canada Express provides daily service from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ IATA) to Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay also served from Winnipeg, Manitoba). Westjet flies to Thunder Bay from Toronto. Porter Airlines flies to Thunder Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie from Toronto City Island Airport (YTZ IATA).

By bus[edit]

Ontario Northland operates the following routes in the region as of Dec 2023:

  • Sudbury - Sault Ste. Marie
  • Thunder Bay - Sault Ste. Marie
  • Thunder Bay - Kenora - Winnipeg

Kasper Bus serves this route as of Dec 2023:

  • Thunder Bay-White River

By train[edit]

Via Rail provides infrequent service from Sudbury to White River (8 hr) from $85 as of Sep 2021.

It also service from Toronto, Parry Sound and Sudbury Junction (10 km from the city), and continues through Northern Ontario with stops at Hornepayne, Longlac, Sioux Lookout and several minor stops, to Winnipeg, Manitoba and westward.

Get around[edit]

The highway between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay is Ontario Highway 17.

The Trans-Canada Trail is a recreational trail that runs along the shore of Lake Superior.


The Ouimet Canyon, near Dorion, is 100 metres (330 ft) deep, 150 metres (490 ft) wide and 2 km (1.2 mi) long. It is protected as part of Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park.

Aguasabon Falls and Gorge near Terrace Bay is a 30-m (100-foot) waterfall that was created as a spill basin for a generating station. It offers tourists an amazing view through a wheelchair accessible boardwalk that overlooks the falls.

Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay is a re-creation of the days of the North West Company and the Canadian fur trade circa 1815. It offers a look at fur trade life, culture, rafts, medicine, business, domestic life and heritage farming.

The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste Marie is popular with kids. It has 29 planes including the 1st Beaver float plane produced.

The Agawa Pictographs in Lake Superior Provincial Park were created by the Ojibwe people of this region. The records are visual representations of historical events and legendary figures.


Highway 17 from Sault Ste Marie is a particularly beautiful scenic drive.

Lake Superior Provincial Park has several excellent hikes, especially the 65-km Coastal Trail, a very demanding hike that takes you through a wide variety of terrains.

Many towns through the region have outfitters who will equip you with everything you need for fishing, hunting, wilderness canoeing and camping or snowmobiling trips, and can provide guides, or organize the whole trip for you, often to remote private lodges.

Stay safe[edit]

Going east from Wawa (or west toward Wawa), there is a 185-km stretch of Highway 17 on which there are no gas stations, so keep an eye on your fuel levels.

Cell/mobile phone service is not available on many stretches of highways through the region, even Highway 17. You will have service in and around cities and towns, but you should bring some emergency supplies in the case of a breakdown, such as water, blankets, and food.


Black flies and mosquitoes are abundant throughout the region. To protect yourself when camping or hiking, wear long sleeve shirts (white or brightly coloured), thick socks, and long pants (tuck the pants into the socks), and apply insect repellent containing DEET. A mosquito net can be nicer than applying repellent to your face. Also some type of bug netting in your tent is advised. Flies are most active at dawn and dusk between mid-June and late July.


Winter driving can be treacherous, given the inclement winters here. Be prepared to adjust or cancel travel plans should the weather conditions require it.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Lake Superior North Shore is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.