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Before You Arrive

Ethno-Cultural Communities in NWO

The City of Thunder Bay is a culturally rich community. Over 30 ethno-cultural groups and associations give newcomers an opportunity to connect with others who speak their language and share their culture.

Many of these organizations offer resources that help newcomers settling in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Some offer opportunities to socialize or participate in specific cultural activities or events. Other groups provide settlement services to newcomers such as assistance obtaining important documents (permanent residency, refugee status), translation and interpretation services, as well as English language classes or schools.

Ethno-cultural groups enrich our community by bringing different customs, festivals, food, art and music. The Folklore Festival, a celebration of multiculturalism and diversity in Thunder Bay, is just one great example. Every spring, Folklore Festival brings together thousands of people of all ages and cultures for two days of celebrations. The festival showcases local talent with multicultural music, performances, traditional ethnic crafts and food at the Fort William Gardens and Curling Club.

This unique event features professional and local artists from various cultural groups including Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Canada's First Nations peoples. Across the city, you will also find a wide variety of ethnic restaurants including Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Scandinavian, Greek, Italian, Lebanese and Mediterranean.


Finish Community


There area approximately 12,000 individuals of Finnish origins living in Thunder Bay and the largest established community of Finish speaking individuals outside of Finland. The heart of the Finnish community is located in the Bay Street and Algoma area. This area hosts a variety of Finnish shops and restaurants including the famous Hoito Restaurant.

Every March 16th, the Finnish community of Thunder Bay celebrates St. Urho’s Day with a community parade. St Urho is a fictional Saint who ran the grasshoppers out of Finland, thereby saving the Finnish vineyards.

Learn More

To learn more about the different ethnic and cultural groups in Thunder Bay visit the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association's Ethnocultural Directory.



Other Ethno-cultural Groups

Regional Multicultural Youth Council is an organization that promotes youth involvement in positive activities in our community. RMYC offers reception & orientation for new immigrant and refugee youths who come to Thunder Bay from other countries and special orientation sessions for Aboriginal students from isolated communities who come to Thunder Bay for their Education, to help them adapt to city life.  RMYC also has a “Youth Working for Change" program that incorporates Race Relations, Safer Communities and Environmental campaigns.

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