North Bay is a quaint, beautiful city that is home to roughly 50,000 people. It is located just over three and a half hours by car from Toronto. This means that it’s far enough from the big city for locals to enjoy a more rural lifestyle while still being close enough that they benefit from urban amenities. In fact, North Bay has a thriving local economy and plenty of job opportunities in a range of industries. It also happens to be extremely affordable. Compared to Toronto or even its surrounding cities, including Hamilton, the cost of living in North Bay is far less. This makes it an ideal spot for many young families or first-time homeowners who are looking to get the most bang for their buck. Spacious, multi-bedroom homes with yards are far more common and cost much less than in other parts of the province. Further, given North Bay’s rural location, you can bet that there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. For example, Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area, Powassan Mountain Conservation Area, Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area, Laurentian Ski Hill, Corbeil Conservation Area, and Laurier Woods Conservation Area are all nearby, as are Trout Lake, Four Mile Lake, and Lake Nipissing. North Bay is also only an hour from Algonquin Provincial Park, one of the highest-rated parks in Ontario. All of this green space allows North Bay residents to live extremely active lifestyles, with near-constant opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, cycling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and more. If you’ve always loved the idea of making Ontario cottage living your permanent reality, North Bay might be the perfect place for you. However, there are also several non-outdoor attractions that locals can enjoy, such as the North Bay Museum, North Bay Farmers’ Market, Northgate Shopping Centre, Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence, and the Heritage Railway. The city is also known for its craft breweries, like Gateway City Brewery and New Ontario Brewing Co.
Quality and diversity of education in North Bay
The Near North District School Board manages the public elementary and secondary schools in North Bay and the surrounding areas, which include Vincent Massey Public School, Sunset Park Public School, and Woodland Public School. There are also a number of private schools to choose from, including KIND Forest School, St. Joseph-Scollard Hall CSS, and Red Maple Montessori. Beyond K-12, North Bay is home to Nipissing University and Canadore College, which means you won’t have to travel far for a post-secondary education. Sudbury, which is an hour and a half away, also has several colleges and universities, like Cambrian College, Huntington University, Thorneloe University, College Boreal, and Laurentian University. That said, since North Bay is less than four hours north of Toronto, you can also take advantage of the many colleges and universities that Toronto has to offer, such as the University of Toronto, George Brown College, York University, Seneca College, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Sheridan College, Humber College, Toronto Film School, and the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD).
Most populous cities in North Bay
Some of the main neighbourhoods in North Bay, Ontario are Birchaven, Feronia, Hornell Heights, Downtown North Bay, Gateway, West Ferris, Pinewood, Trout Lake Road, Thibeault Terrace, and Widdifield.
Quality of infrastructure for North Bay
Despite its small size, North Bay has top-notch infrastructure, from public transit and healthcare to education, and more. First, North Bay Transit offers accessible transportation services to residents, operating local bus routes all throughout the area. Then there is Ontario Northland, which has coach bus services to and from North Bay from major cities like Toronto. North Bay also has its own regional airport, the North Bay Jack Garland Airport, connecting the city with the rest of Ontario. For international travel, residents can travel to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest airport in the country. As for driving, North Bay is easily accessible via Highway 11 and the Trans Canada Highway. Highway 400 can also easily be reached. As for hospitals and healthcare, North Bay General Hospital is in the city and St. Joseph Hospital in Sudbury is nearby. Meanwhile, some of the top hospitals in the province can be found in Toronto, including Toronto General Hospital, North York General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Humber River Hospital, and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
Safety and security for North Bay
The North Bay Police Service is tasked with keeping the residents of North Bay safe and secure. That said, North Bay is generally considered an extremely safe place to live and one that is not prone to natural disasters. As with elsewhere in Canada, emergency services can always be reached by calling 9-1-1.
North Bay property market
The property market in North Bay is growing quickly, and it has repeatedly been listed as one of the best places to invest in real estate in Canada. Due in part to its small size and distance from Toronto, it remains one of the most affordable cities in the province. The property types that you are likely to find here include townhomes, semi-detached homes, and detached homes, though there are a number of condos and apartment buildings as well.
Standard of living in North Bay
The standard of living in North Bay is high. The low cost of living means that residents can afford more than they can elsewhere in the province, including larger homes. More than that, the area’s many parks, conservation areas, and lakes mean that the great outdoors is not only at your doorstep but can also be enjoyed year-round. The city’s downtown core is also growing, which means more restaurants, bars, fitness studios, and shops. However, it still features lots of small town charm and a rural feel, with big city amenities easily accessible in nearby Sudbury, as well as in Toronto and Ottawa, which are each about three and a half hours by car.
Something wonderful about North Bay
North Bay is closely linked with the many lakes that surround it. In fact, the city earned its name from the fact that it sits on the northern shores of Lake Nipissing. Lake Nipissing spans 328 square miles of land area, which makes it the biggest inland lake in Ontario. In the winter when the lake is frozen, it has an average ice thickness of 75 centimeters (strong enough to hold vehicles!). This makes it a great spot for ice skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and more. Meanwhile, Trout Lake, another of North Bay’s main lakes, supplies much of the city’s drinking water. More specifically, Trout Lake is responsible for producing 80,000,000 litres of fresh water each day. This water is then filtered locally at North Bay’s Micro Filtration Water Treatment Plant. Beyond providing drinking water, Trout Lake is a great spot for fishing, swimming, boating, having a picnic, or relaxing on the beach. You can also hike and mountain bike around the lake.