John and I had an opportunity to spend the weekend in North Bay, Ontario, and while we've driven through on a number of occasions we've never taken the time to stop and check out the sites.
There's a lot to see and do in this vibrant community of 53,000 residents. Our official tour guide for the day was a 4-legged cutey named Keegan who offered to show us around his hometown. He explained the CPR Railway Station (pictured above) is now a museum and restaurant.
As you can imagine, it didn't take long for either of us to warm up to Keegan, and I fell just as quickly for North Bay. I told John, "I could live here." He was quick to point out I say that every time I encounter a new town or place, but at least I'm consistent. ;)
North Bay's farmer's market (above) was a bustling hub of activity Saturday morning with more than 40 vendors offering everything from fresh produce to honey, perogies (yum!), homemade jams and jellies, and as an added bonus local singers serenaded visitors and shoppers as we strolled about. Good times.
South of the market is a pedestrian walkway under the old CPR Railway leading to the waterfront, and Keegan suggested we go and check it out.
The view was spectacular. Did you know Lake Nipissing is the fifth largest lake in Ontario? French fur trader Etienne Brule was the first European to visit the lake more than 400 years ago in 1610. Another fur trader and explorer, Jean Nocolet, had a cabin and trading post here for about 9 years until he returned to Quebec in 1633.
The waterfront walkway, originally named the Golden Mile, was the brainchild of one of North Bay's former mayors, Bruce Goulet. The city renamed it the Goulet Golden Mile in his honour in 2008.
The flower gardens on either side of the winding walkway are spectacular.
Plus, there are ample benches to just sit and relax and enjoy the surroundings.
Another lovely discovery along the Goulet Golden Mile was this intricate sculpture. I love the details.
Toward the west is the marina and the original Chief Commando. If time would have permitted, we could have booked a cruise on the Chief Commando II.
The waterfront just isn't for walkers, joggers or runners. There's lots of activities for families, including these four wheeled "fun rentals".
Across the highway is The Heritage Railway and Carousel. What caught my attention wasn't the children, but the volunteers themselves. The majority, older men and retired, proudly wore their train conductor's uniforms and hats. They appeared to be having as much fun (if not more) than the kids.
After all that walking, we returned to the van. What did we give our super little tour guide? A treat, of course. He explained his favorite flavor is duck and sweet potato, and voila, we just happened to have one handy! Thanks, Keeg, for showing us North Bay's downtown waterfront. It was a blast.
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