Learning The Differences Between Thunder Bay & North Bay

What’s a tankard, who is more north, and why is Duluth a tourist destination.

As you may know, I’ve moved from North Bay to Thunder Bay. It’s been about a month now, and as I’m getting settled I’m starting to note the similarities and differences between the two places.

For example, in North Bay the best city to go to for a weekend away that you can drive to is Toronto. The capital of Ontario is only like four hours away and has essentially everything to do.

In Thunder Bay, if you want to go on a vacation you can drive to in four hours you are going to Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth was the birthplace of the mall and people in Thunder Bay will defend it as a “tourist hotspot” if you challenge them. They are very passionate about Duluth. They are Duluth-ional.

Also in Thunder Bay, putting three beers in the same cup is called a “tankard,” are sold by bars and are frequently consumed on Tuesdays.

In North Bay, putting three beers in the same cup is called “being out of glasses” and also is frequently consumed on Tuesdays and other days ending in Y.

If you tell your friend you went to your first “shag” in Thunder Bay, it means that you went to a stag and doe for someone you either don’t know or know very little, probably saw a Staal brother and tried to win some wicked door prizes. The friend you tell will probably want to go with you next time.

If you tell a friend you went to your first “shag” in North Bay, they will not want to go with you next time and will likely ask you to re-evaluate your boundaries.

North Bay calls itself the “Gateway to the North.” Since I moved further north, this confirms North Bay as a gateway city. Thunder Bay is called the “Gateway to the West” which means my next stop is likely Flin Flon, Manitoba.

Also, Thunder Bay is more north on a map than North Bay. Meaning that Thunder Bay’s new name is officially “Northier Bay”.

There are some similarities though. Both are cold (I had an ice storm on my first day in T-Bay), friendly, and frequently mistaken for one another by people from Southern Ontario. They are the Northern Ontario equivalent of Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood.

I’m enjoying finding all the differences between the two places, and when I eventually move to Flin Flon, I’ll see how it stacks up to these two wonderful city.



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