Terrace Bay, the "Gem of the Northshore", is a township in Northern Ontario with 1,500 residents (2011) that is 150 km² in size.
The Terrace Bay region is known for its incredible beauty, and is on the shores of the magnificent Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world.
Terrace Bay was named after the sand and gravel terraces which were left behind when ice glaciers receded about 20,000 years ago. The area is surrounded by the rugged Northern Ontario wilderness and the forest is the reason for Terrace Bay's existence. Terrace Bay originated as an undeveloped area catering to the needs of the forestry industry. The decision to develop the town was first conceived in the early 1940s by the Longlac Pulp and Paper Company which was taken in conjunction with the Ontario Hydro water division, completed in 1939, to redirect the northward flowing Long Lake south through the Aguasabon River system to Lake Superior.
Terrace Bay is on the Highway 17 section of the Trans-Canada Highway. It is approximately 2 hours northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario and 5 hours northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The easiest way to travel to Terrace Bay is by automobile on the Trans-Canada Highway; however it is also possible to arrive by bus, bike, private plane, private boat, or by taking the train to a nearby station in Longlac and then driving south from there.
- Kasper Bus, ☏ +1-807-699-7200, toll-free: +1-855-566-2378. Operates bus service in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Operates bus service several days per week between Thunder Bay and White River including stops in Nipigon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, and Marathon.
- 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.
Terrace Bay was designed for the walker or biker in mind and can easily be seen by travelling short distances from different sections. The main built-up area is approximately 3 km by 3 km (2 miles by 2 miles). There is not a cab or taxi service in the Municipality, but a vehicle can be rented from the local car dealership if so desired. If looking to travel by walking or biking, it is recommended to park in the Tourist Information Centre parking lot, obtain a print map in the brochure of the Municipality, and start your adventure from there.
Terrace Bay has numerous things to see with the following being the more notable:
- The Terrace Bay Lighthouse, which opened in 2011, is a 15-m (50-foot) replica of the lighthouse at the Slate Islands which is the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes. The Terrace Bay Lighthouse is in the main downtown core and allows visitors to climb up through the staircase inside and experience incredible views of Lake Superior, the Slate Islands, and the rest of the municipality.
- The Aguasabon Falls and Gorge is a 30-m (100-foot) waterfall that was created as a spill basin for the Aguasabon Hydro Generating Station. It offers tourists an amazing view through a wheelchair accessible boardwalk that overlooks the falls. The municipal park also has picnic tables for lunch and bathrooms for visitors.
- The Terrace Bay Beach is a large sand beach with picnic tables and an uncrowded viewing pleasure. Visitors can witness the rivermouth whereby the Aguasabon River leads into Lake Superior as well as see across to the Slate Islands Provincial Park.
- The Slate Islands Provincial Park is the jewel of Lake Superior and a definite must see. The Slate Islands is a group of islands 13 km across Lake Superior from Terrace Bay and are believed to have been created billions of years ago when a meteorite crashed into the earth. The islands feature the largest known shattercone in the world which is a rare rock formation after meteor impacts. The islands are also home to the largest unpredated herd of woodland caribou in the world which are known to be so friendly that they will eat out of a visitors hand. The Slate Islands also feature the tallest lighthouse on the great lakes which measures 70 m (224) feet above sea level and can be hiked up to by visitors. The Slate Islands also have many other incredible aspects from its gold mine and forestry history, to its incredible plant and wildlife. To visit the Slate Islands, travellers should call one of the local charters which can be found by contacting the Tourism Information Centre.
- The Dragfest - the local car club puts on an amazing weekend of drag racing the first weekend in August every year and approximately 10,000 people show up. Incredible cars, trucks, and motorcycles from all throughout North America speed down the track at the local airport and it is always a good time.
- Other events include:
- the Annual Canada Day celebration on the first of July with activities, food, and fireworks,
- the Annual Fall Fair in September with products from area crafters,
- the 4-Man Masters Golf Tournament in July, and
- the Old Fashioned Skating Party in December.
- Play a round of golf at the beautiful and challenging 9-hole Aguasabon Golf Course.
- Book a charter to enjoy the bays in Lake Superior or visit the Slate Islands Provincial Park
- Bring some friends and snowmobile throughout the areas trails
- Hike the amazing 52-km Casque Isles Trail that follows the shores of Lake Superior
There are two main retail areas in Terrace Bay: Simcoe Plaza and the Mill Road Area.
- The Simcoe Plaza area has numerous retail establishments that will cater to the needs of tourists. Simcoe Plaza is home to Costa's Food Market and Stewart Guardian Pharmacy. Also within Simcoe Plaza is a CIBC bank, an LCBO for alcohol, a Post Office, a flower shop, a print shop, and various service companies
- The Mill Road area is home to the Terrace Bay Home Hardware, Mill Road Service for automobile service.
Terrace Bay restaurants offer some delicious food options with restaurants being: Drifters Restaurant, Wah's Chinese Restaurant, the Red Dog Inn Restaurant with Pizza Hut Express, the Terrace Bay Bakery, Roy Pizzeria and Subs, and Superior Dining. Menus from the restaurants are featured on the municipal website.
- Aguasabon Golf Club Restaurant, 7 Beach Road, ☏ +1 807-825-3844. May-Oct: daily 10AM-8PM.
- Drifters Motel & Restaurant, 3 Simcoe Plaza, ☏ +1 807 825-3226.
- Moe & Jo’s Lighthouse Variety, 41 Simcoe Plaza, ☏ +1 807-825-1313. Daily 7AM-11PM.
- Red Dog Inn & Pizza Hut Express, 1120 Ontario Highway 17, ☏ +1 807 825-3286.
- Wah’s Restaurant, 23 Simcoe Plaza, ☏ +1 807 825-1881. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su 4:30-10PM. Chinese and Canadian food.
Terrace Bay has one local bar, Drifters, and liquor and spirits can also be purchased in some of the local restaurants and at the LCBO.
- Drifters Restaurant and Motel, 3 Simcoe Plaza, ☏ +1 807 825-3226, toll-free: +1-877-825-1625.
- Red Dog Inn, Highway 17 (in the centre of town), ☏ +1 807 825-3285. 41 renovated rooms, and a fully licensed restaurant. Cable television, coffee makers and fridges in all of the rooms. All rooms are air conditioned and wireless internet is available. No pets.
- Norwood Motel, 1100 Hwy 17, ☏ +1 807 825-3226.
- The Coach House Motel, Trans-Canada Hwy 17 (20 km east of Terrace Bay, and 56 km west of Marathon), ☏ +1 807 825-9113. Mini-fridge, microwave, coffee-maker, hairdryer, satellite TV and wireless internet. No pets. Open May to October, 8AM to 10PM.
For more information on Terrace Bay Tourism, visit the Tourism section of the Municipal website or call the toll-free number at +1-800-968-8616 or email email@example.com.
Terrace Bay is a natural paradise and visitors often remark that it is one of the most beautiful communities they have ever seen.