Terrace Bay is a town of 2000 on Highway 17 and the last major town until Marathon. It is about two hours east of Thunder Bay. Terrace Bay is named for a number of underwater terraces carved by glacial movement in Lake Superior.
Companies noticed that Terrace Bay was a good place for hydro and paper development, and in the 1940s Kenogami and Aguasabon Rivers were diverted to power a new town built in 1947.
Terrace Bay is a ‘model town’ like Kapuskasing that was supposed to be a model for future urban development. Unfortunately for Terrace Bay, its status as a model for the rest of the country was short-lived as it never really grew out of its original plans as a company pulp and paper town.
Terrace Bay seems pretty neat although I did not stop in for a visit.
Slate Island is one of the most interesting features is nearby. Just outside of Terrace Bay in Lake Superior, Slate Island is uninhabited by humans but habited by its own herd of caribou. This isolated population comes under much study by naturalists and researchers. You can visit Slate Island Provincial Park, replete with caribou, and a little lighthouse via an arranged boat tour.
Aguasabon Falls is also just outside of town, you can visit the roaring waters and the gorge at the local provincial park. There is a local beach, canoeing, swimming, and fishing in the area. The town hosts an annual dragfest in August and a Fall Fair in September. For golfers, there is the Aguasabon Golf Course and for hikers Terrace Bay is the end of the 47 kilometre Voyageur hiking trail that links it to Rossport and Schreiber.
Terrace Bay is sort of a low-to-medium size for a northern Ontario town. There is the Red Dog inn, the Coach House and Imperial motels, a home hardware, a family food market, a mini Pizza Hut, a few shops, and some gas stations. Roy’s serve pizza and subs while Wah’s serves Chinese, although I don’t know if it’s true Northern Ontario Chinese Food or not.
I don’t know if there is a mall or not – if not, you can hit Marathon about an hour and a bit to the east. There is an A&W in town, I’ve read about the Northern Lites diner serving a good breakfast. It is supposedly located next to the municipal bureau and the local Amethyst Monument.
Terrace Bay is essentially the last pretty coastal town on Highway 17. After this the highway moves inland and the views subside. Enjoy towns like Rossport, Schreiber, and Terrace Bay while you can.