Nipigon is a township of 1,600 people (2011) on the north shore of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario.
Nipigon is a small village on an isolated section of Trans-Canada Highway which follows the sparsely-populated north shore of Lake Superior between Thunder Bay and Sault Sainte Marie (Ontario). There is little population and few services outside the few villages on this lengthy stretch of highway. The local economy of Nipigon Township depends primarily on forest products, fishing, and tourism. Multiply Forest Products, a hundred-worker sawmill which was the largest employer in Nipigon, burned to the ground on February 6, 2007.
Nipigon's population declined by over 25% between 1991 and 2011.
Nipigon is a departure point for fishing excursions onto Lake Superior, the Nipigon River system and Lake Nipigon. Common fish varieties include Atlantic salmon, lake trout, speckled trout, rainbow trout, walleye, northern pike, bass, and perch.
In Jan 2016, the Nipigon River Bridge, the first cable-stayed bridge in Ontario, failed weeks after it opened. Traffic was rerouted through the United States, and road transportation between eastern and western Canada was not possible for a period of 17 hours. A pair of two-lane cable-stayed bridges opened in Nov 2018.
- Nipigon Tourist Information Centre, 453 Trans-Canada Hwy, ☏ +1 807 887-3188. Late May to mid-Oct: M–F 8:30AM–4:30PM, in the summer open M-F until 8PM and Sa Su 10AM-8PM. Interactive historical displays about the area, clean washrooms.
- Nipigon is serviced by the Highways 11 and 17, which travel between Nipigon and Thunder Bay combined into a single road, and is the only road connecting eastern and western Canada. Both Highways 11 and 17 are part of the Trans-Canada Highway. The stretch between Nipigon and Thunder Bay is designated the Terry Fox Courage Highway. Just east of Nipigon, Highway 11 and 17 split into separate roads, going to different areas until re-merging briefly within North Bay.
- There is no passenger rail service. VIA Rail'sThe Canadian stops in Longlac, about 200km northeast of Nipigon, connecting from Toronto and Winnipeg.
- Kasper Bus, ☏ +1-807-699-7200, toll-free: +1-855-566-2378. Operates bus service in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Operates the following routes to Nipigon:
- Between Thunder Bay and Longlac including stops in Nipigon and Geraldton. Travel time to Kenora from Thunder Bay is 1.25 hours, from Geraldton is 2.25 hours, and from Longlac is 2.75 hours.
- Between Thunder Bay and White River including stops in Nipigon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, and Marathon. Travel time to Kenora from Thunder Bay is 1.25 hours, from Marathon is 2.5 hours, and from White River is 4 hours.
- Ontario Northland, toll-free: +1-800-461-8558. Operates primarily in Northern Ontario. Operates a bus route multiple days per week between Thunder Bay and Sault Sainte Marie including stops in Red Rock, Nipigon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, Marathon, White River, and Wawa. Travel time to Nipigon from Thunder Bay is 1.75 hours, From Marathon is 2.5 hours, from White River is 3.75 hours, from Wawa is 5.25 hours, and from Sault Sainte Marie is 8 hours.
- Spirit Taxi, ☏ +1 807 372-0013.
- 1 Nipigon Historical Museum, 40 Front St, ☏ +1 807 887-0356. Summer: daily 11AM-8PM. History of Nipigon from the fur trade to development of the forest industry, displayed through literature and artefacts: tools that were used, products that were made, pictures of people there at that time. By donation.
- Nipigon River Recreational Trail. 8-km (5-mi) all-season riverside trail connecting the Nipigon and Red Rock Marinas. Several lookout points (the most dramatic of which is Eagle's Ridge); leaves and foliage take on their fall colours from mid August through October.
- Northshore Golf and Country Club, Golf Course Rd (off Trans-Canada 11/17 between Nipigon and Red Rock), ☏ +1 807 887-2006. Nine-hole golf course with licensed dining room and restaurant, open 7 days a week.
- Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, ☏ +1 807 977-2526. Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving. Seasonal day-use park and nature reserve.
- Paddle to the Sea Park, 52 Front Street (beside the shops and restaurants). A water park and interactive playground based on the book Paddle to the Sea, which was made into a film by the National Film Board of Canada.
Guides, charters and adventures
- Bowman Island Lodge and Charters, RR#1 Nipigon, ☏ +1 807 886-2504. Bowman Island is off the south shore of St Ignace Island in the Lake Superior Marine Conservation Area. A 30-ft water taxi and 45-ft trawler carry 8-10 passengers. Outfitter supplies fishing packages (fly rod, spin cast or troll), transportation for canoes or kayaks, outdoor adventure packages.
- By the Bay Adventures, Nipigon Marina, 3 Brennen Drive, ☏ +1 807 887-4614. Charter a boat+captain for $700-900/day or $350/half day.
- Epic Adventures, ☏ +1 807 887-1008. Mountain bike festival, hiking, geocaching.
- Hardcore Fishing and Adventures, RR#1 Nipigon, ☏ +1 807 886-2792. Guided fishing trips, $300-500/day.
- McGuire Farm and Greenhouse, 600 Hwy 17 (RR#1), ☏ +1 807 886-1151, fax: +1 807 886-9909. May 1-Oct 31: M-F noon-8PM. Eco guiding tours and moose hunt guide, fresh blueberries and vegetables in season.
- Nighthawk Charters, ☏ +1 807 885-3171, fax: +1 807 885-3387. mid-May to mid-Sept. Fishing and hunting packages, day excursions, dinner cruises, kayaking and sightseeing.
- Nipigon River Bear Hunts, Hwy 17, ☏ +1 807 887-2813, toll-free: +1-877-825-7417, fax: +1 807 887-3801. Local guide Bob Bearman leads (typically) six-day all-inclusive hunting expeditions for bear, wolf and moose. US$2000-5000.
- Blueberry Blast Festival. First weekend in August. Guided berry picking, local craft and food sales, live music, Active Circus Zone, juggling show, youth talent show, active-play children’s games, minnow races, crafts for kids, cards for seniors, face-painting and Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
- Birding Festival, Dorion, ☏ +1 807 857-2265. last weekend in May. Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, Eagle Canyon Adventures and the Dorion Fish Culture Station are on Trans-Canada 11/17 west of Nipigon/Red Rock.
- Nipigon Ice Fest, 52 Front St.. One weekend, mid-March. Winter camping and ice climbing, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced/Mixed levels.
A limited selection is available in the village, including a grocer (Zechner's), hardware (Home Hardware and Canadian Tire), auto towing and repair; there is a discount store (the Bargain Shop) and a second-hand store for clothing and general merchandise.
- 1 La Luna Café, 46 Front St, ☏ +1 807 889-1537. Tu-F 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-6PM. Freshly baked goods, homemade soups & sandwiches, pizza. Across the street from Paddle to the Sea Park. Breakfasts $6-9; individual pizzas, sandwiches and wraps $10.
- 2 The Edgeview at Sunnyside, 133 Railway St, ☏ +1 807 887-5739. Daily 11AM-8PM. Home cooked meals, and Pub foods, patio and licensed dining room.
- Sue Chef, 522 Highway 11/17, ☏ +1 807 887-3915. Daily 8AM-10PM. Burgers, sandwiches, Indian dishes.
Beer and spirits are available for takeaway from the Beer Store and the LCBO.
- 1 Beaver Motor Motel, 412 Hwy 11/17, ☏ +1 807 887-3132. Single/double rooms and 2-bed/1-bath apartment-house suites with LCD TVs, full kitchenette in some rooms.
- 2 Birchville Motel, 386 Highway 11/17, ☏ +1 807 887-3141, toll-free: +1-866-282-4843. Wi-Fi, 32" flat screen TV with movie channels, fridges, microwaves, phones, coffee, bottled water and ice. Smoke-free, kitchenettes in some rooms.
- Timber Wolf Inn, 461 Hwy 11/17, ☏ +1 807-887-0808.
- Northland Motel, Hwy 17, ☏ +1 807 887-2032, fax: +1 807 887-1188. In-room coffee and fridges, fax and copy service, automated wakeup calls, movie and VCR rentals.
- 3 Pinecrest Motel, 536 Hwy 11/17, ☏ +1 807 887-2813, toll-free: +1-877-802-3803, fax: +1 807 887-3801. 14 rooms, coffee, refrigerators, BBQ.
Bed and breakfast
- Skandia House, 17 Second St, ☏ +1 807 887-3133. Tea room, on-site reflexology/reiki practitioner, three guest rooms.
- 4 Stillwater Tent & Trailer Park, 358 Hwy 11/17, ☏ +1 807 887-3701, toll-free: +1-877-887-3701. More than 48 sites, some in wooded area, some along Stillwater Creek (a cool trout stream), some open and grassy. Wi-fi, power, water/sewer hookup at some sites. $22-38/day.
- Nipigon Marina, ☏ +1 807 887-3040. June 1-Sept 8. RV parking (30-50 amp electricity), camping, showers, water, ice, pump out, liquor store, laundry, groceries, free boat launch, transient docking, seasonal/monthly docking & storage, Diesel fuel. Deep water channel to Lake Superior.
- 1 Nipigon Public Library, 52 Front St, ☏ +1 807 887-3142. Tu-Sa (limited hours). Small local library with 15000 printed books, open Wi-Fi and community access computers. Closed Sun-Mon.
Bell and TBayTel provide limited 3G (UMTS/HSPA) coverage on the Trans-Canada Highway. There is no Rogers coverage and no GSM.
The lake is approximately 40 km (25 mi) north of Nipigon village on Hwy 11.
- McCollum's Reflection Lake Resort, Hwy 11, ☏ +1 807 885-3361.
|Routes through Nipigon|
|Thunder Bay ← Red Rock ←||W E||→ Geraldton → Cochrane|
|Thunder Bay ← Red Rock ←||W E||→ Schreiber → Sault Ste Marie|