Lakehead University researcher exploring new ways to discover mines

August 28, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Photo of Dr. Pete HollingsA Lakehead University researcher is playing a key role in an international project to improve the way companies discover new mines.

Dr. Peter Hollings is collaborating with researchers at the Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences (CODES) at the University of Tasmania. This $2.36 million (CAD) project is funded by 11 mining companies and is part of AMIRA International’s Far field and near mine footprints – Finding and defining the next generation of Tier 1 ore deposits project.

Dr. Hollings will spend the next three years developing tools that will help mining companies discover new ore deposits by investigating changes in the chemistry of minerals around the mineralized areas.

As well as studying ore deposits around the globe, two Master of Science students from Lakehead University will investigate the formation of copper mineralization on Vancouver Island, BC, in a direct collaboration with Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada Inc.

“This project builds on a 13-year collaboration that has developed tools which have been widely adopted by mining companies looking for porphyry copper deposits, the main source of the world’s copper,” said Dr. Hollings, Chair of Lakehead's Department of Geology.

As it becomes harder and harder to find new sources of copper and gold, companies must develop new ways to discover ore deposits.

“Our research has developed ways of looking at the chemistry of minerals to get an idea of how far away and in what direction to look to find the centre of the deposit, which greatly expands the target area,” he said.

“We will continue to develop those tools and test them around different styles of ore deposits. This work will be of considerable interest to the companies sponsoring our research.”

Those companies include:

  • Anglo American Exploration
  • BHP
  • Boliden Mineral AB
  • Codelco
  • Fortescue Metals Group
  • Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp.
  • Mount Isa Mines – A Glencore Company
  • Newcrest Mining Limited
  • Newmont Exploration Pty Ltd
  • PT Merdeka Copper Gold
  • Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead’s Fall Orientation will help students transition to university

August 24, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

It’s not too late to apply to Lakehead University – applications will be accepted for most programs until the first week of September.

If you are accepted, the Thunderwolves Howl! Fall Orientation will welcome you and other new students to Lakehead University and introduce you to the Thunder Bay campus.  Orientation will run from Wednesday, Aug. 29 until Saturday, Sept. 1, and will focus on helping students successfully transition to Lakehead University.

“Students will definitely enjoy the Quest for the President’s Cup, which offers students a chance to explore campus, learn about the supports and services, get to know each other, and win prizes donated by local businesses,” said Jo Krisko, Manager of the Student Success Centre.

“All of Lakehead’s Orientation events offer a chance for new students to be introduced and connected to the Lakehead and Thunder Bay communities, as well as familiarize themselves with resources that will help them transition to university life,” she added.

Events and activities will cater to students entering from high school, college/university transfer, as well as international, Aboriginal and mature students.

“These events will ensure students have a positive introduction to Lakehead and start the year prepared and excited for this new academic adventure,” said Chris Glover, Director of Student Affairs. “Our programming engages students in the University experience and helps them to develop a sense of belonging at Lakehead.”

The Student Success Centre, Residence & Conference Services, and the Lakehead University Student Union are organizing the Thunderwolves Howl! Orientation.

For more information, please visit the orientation page.  

For information about applying to Lakehead, see undergraduate programs here.


Orientation Schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 29

  • 9 am –  5:30 pm – Orientation Registration, Campus Tours, City Tours, Library Tours and more in the Agora
  • Residence Move-In Day
  • 1:30 – 3:30 pm – Student Health & Wellness Open House
  • 5:30 pm – New event:  Live On The Waterfront – a special event for students living off-campus at Marina Park

Thursday, Aug. 30

  • 9 am to 4 pm – Native Nursing Entry Program Orientation in the School of Nursing Building room 1021
  • 9 am to 4 pm – Native Access Program Orientation in the Ryan Building room 2026 
  • 8:30 – 11 am – Freshman Frenzy!
  • 11 am – Faculty & Program Academic Sessions
  • 2 – 4 pm – Visit to Fort William Historical Park
  • 5 – 7 pm – Mature & Transfer Student Dinner Party

Friday, Aug. 31

  • 9:30 – 11:30 am – Quest For The President’s Cup
  • 12 – 1 pm – President’s Welcome Commencement & Picnic
  • 1:15 – 2:15 pm – Varsity Madness!
  • 2:30 – 4 pm – Downtown Scavenger Hunt
  • 7 – 10 pm – Friday Night Lights Festival at Lake Tamblyn

Saturday, Sept.  1

LUSU day trips

  • Buses to Sleeping Giant, Country Market, Paintball, City Tours and Grocery Runs, leave from the Agora at various times throughout the day
  • 4 to 11 pm – LUSU Orientation Party at Mount Baldy

Tuesday, Sept. 4

  • First day of classes

Saturday, Sept. 8

  • 12 to 5 pm – Maadaadizi Post-Secondary Student Orientation at Marina Park, to welcome Aboriginal students to Lakehead University and post-secondary school.

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Researchers shed new insight into fate of Franklin Expedition

August 23, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

A team of academic researchers from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Western University in London, University of Saskatchewan, Trent University in Peterborough, University of Waterloo and Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, have shed new light on a historic mystery. Did the crew die because lead poisoning played a pivotal role in the loss of the Franklin Expedition? The research report published in PLOS ONE, the world’s first multidisciplinary Open Access journal suggests otherwise.

Background

In the summer of 1845, under the command of Sir John Franklin, 128 officers and crew aboard the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror entered the waters of Arctic North America with the goal of completing the discovery of the Northwest Passage. Franklin and his crew spent the first winter at Beechey Island, where three crewmen died and were buried.

The following year the ships became stranded in ice off King William Island where they remained until April 1848. By this time the crew, now reduced to 105 men, made a desperate attempt to reach the mainland. Sadly, not one individual survived.

Previous analyses of bone, hair, and soft tissue samples from the remains of crew members found that tissues contained elevated lead levels, suggesting that lead poisoning may have been a major contributor to their demise.

Hypotheses and findings

However, questions remained regarding the timing and degree of exposure to lead and, ultimately, the extent to which the crew members may have been impacted. To address this historical question, the research team investigated three hypotheses to test the theory that lead poisoning was not the primary cause of the crew’s deaths:

  • First, if elevated lead exposure was experienced by the crew during the expedition, the team hypothesized that those sailors who survived longer (King William Island vs. Beechey Island) would exhibit more extensively distributed lead in their bones.
  • Second, the team hypothesized that lead levels would be elevated in bone microstructural features forming at or near the time of death, compared with older tissue in the body.
  • Finally, if lead exposure played a significant role in the failure of the expedition the team hypothesized that bone samples would exhibit evidence of higher or more sustained levels of lead than that of a contemporary British 19th century naval population from Antigua.

 

Testing the hypotheses

Synchrotron-based high-resolution confocal X-ray fluorescence imaging in partnership with scientists at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron at the University of Saskatchewan and the Advanced Photon Source was used to visualize lead distribution within bone and dental structures at the micro scale.

Findings

The data did not support the first hypothesis as lead distribution within the samples from the two different Franklin sites was similar. Evidence of lead within skeletal microstructural features formed near the time of death lent support to the team’s second hypothesis but consistent evidence of a marked elevation in lead levels was lacking.

Finally, the comparative analysis with the Antigua samples did not support the hypothesis that the Franklin sailors were exposed to an unusually high level of lead compared to navy personnel from the same time period.

Taken all together, the team’s skeletal microstructural results do not support the conclusion that lead played a pivotal role in the loss of Franklin and his crew.

 

The academic research team includes:

  • Dr. Treena Swanston, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Dr. Tamara Varney, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
  • Dr. Madalena Kozachuk, Western University, London, Ontario.
  • Dr. Andrew Nelson, Western University, London, Ontario.
  • Dr. Ronald Martin, Western University, London, Ontario
  • Dr. David Cooper, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Dr. Ian Coulthard, Canadian Light Source, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Dr. Brian Brewer, Canadian Light Source, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Dr. Sanjukta Choudhury, University of Saskatchewan,
  • Dr. Anne Keenleyside, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario.
  • Dr. Douglas Stenton, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.

 

About Plos One

PLOS ONE is the world’s first multidisciplinary Open Access journal. PLOS ONE accepts scientifically rigorous research, regardless of novelty. PLOS ONE’s broad scope provides a platform to publish primary research including interdisciplinary and replication studies as well as negative results. The journal’s publication criteria are based on high ethical standards and rigor of the methodology and conclusions reported.

 

 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Students thank participants at the Bill Keeler Memorial Golf Classic

Photo of Michel Beaulieu

Michel Beaulieu hosted the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

August 15, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Several Lakehead University students were at Whitewater Golf Club on Tuesday to greet participants of the Bill Keeler Memorial Golf Classic.

Gillian Hansen plays on the Lakehead varsity women’s volleyball team. She thanked many of the 148 participants of the annual Golf Classic, which raised $55,302.01 for student financial aid and student athletes.

“The scholarships and bursaries student athletes receive from Lakehead University enable us to continue our academic pursuits without having to sacrifice the other facets of our lives – athletics and volunteerism,” Hansen said.

“The impact that this fundraising event has on students is far grander than most people assume – not only does it help lighten our financial load, but it allows us to thrive in our team sports,” she added.

Michel Beaulieu, President of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, said he hoped everyone enjoyed the day.

“The Bill Keeler Memorial Golf Classic is a wonderful opportunity for the Alumni Association and the Department of Athletics to join forces for the betterment of our students at Lakehead,” Beaulieu said.

RBC was once again the title sponsor of the annual golf classic.  

“This event brings the community together to support our great university and its students,” said Matthew Simeoni, Vice-President, RBC Commercial Markets.

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

How has climate change affected the boreal forest?

A team led by a Lakehead U researcher will examine the last 60 years to determine what the future holds

August 10, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Photo of Dr. Han ChenA Lakehead University researcher is receiving more than $440,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to investigate the impact of climate change on the boreal forest.

Thanks to a Strategic Partnership Grant, Dr. Han Chen, a professor in Natural Resources Management, will spend three years working with a team of researchers from Lakehead University, the University of Alberta and the University of Winnipeg to examine how climate change has affected western-central boreal forests in Canada over the last 60 years.

The team will train a number of PhD students who will help explore strategies to mitigate climate change stresses and assess the consequences of climate change on future wood supply.

“The boreal forest is vital to the livelihoods of millions of Canadians. Climate change is warming the boreal region at twice the rate of the global average and also altering precipitation patterns,” Dr. Chen said.

Concentrations of rising atmospheric greenhouse gases are widely recognized as among the greatest threats to the future of forests and the forest-related economy in Canada.

However, it remains unclear how climate change has affected and will continue to affect forests in terms of wood supply.

“There is a lack of knowledge to guide forest managers in mitigating climate change impacts, and that is where we can be of assistance,” Dr. Chen said.

His research team is collaborating with key producers of forest products in western and central Canada. 

“We will collect fresh measurements and use historic data from specific forest plots as well as economic data to assess the extent of forest changes during the past six decades,” Dr. Chen said.

“This data will help us form a model of how the forest could change in the 21st century based on projected climate change scenarios.”

This project will significantly improve understanding of how climate change has affected the western-central boreal forests in the past and present, and inform mitigation strategies for coping with these concerns.

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

One-of-a-kind gathering brought together Indigenous people from different countries for tourism discussion

Group photo

Pictured at Red Lake are (back row from left) ESPOCH student and Verde Sumaco youth member Jairo Calapucha, ESPOCH professor Fernando Romero, Lakehead Natural Resources Management associate professor Brian McLaren (co-investigator), ESPOCH professor Patricio Lozano, Lakehead Geography associate professor Martha Dowsley, Lakehead Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism associate professor Rhonda Koster, Lac Seul First Nation guide Kaaren Dannenmann, (front row from left) Verde Sumaco guides José Calapucha and Raúl Shiguango, Martha’s daughter Charlotte, and Frederico Oliveira (principal investigator).

August 9, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Earlier this year, faculty, staff and students from Lakehead University, York University and partner university Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo (ESPOCH) visited Indigenous leaders from Ecuador and Ontario in traditional territory belonging to Comuna Kichwa Verde Sumaco and Lac Seul First Nation.

The goal of this pilot project, funded by SSHRC Connections, is to seek solidarity in overcoming challenges and describing opportunities in nature- and culture-based tourism. The stage was set in February in Verde Sumaco with the Ecuadorian Amazon as the backdrop for teachers and learners including Kaaren Dannenman and Tom Chisel of Lac Seul and Raul Shiguango and Jairo Calapucha of Verde Sumaco.

In July, the settings for continued teaching and learning included the Lac Seul Events Centre, the Red Lake Indigenous Friendship Centre, and points of interest around Lac Seul and Trout Lake.

“In the communities we were welcomed with open arms, and the university exchange allowed us to begin planning sustainable and culturally appropriate tourism,” said participant José Calapucha of Verde Sumaco.

Principal investigator Frederico Oliveira, from Lakehead’s Anthropology department, said: “This was a one-of-a-kind experience to bring together Indigenous people of two countries of the Americas to debate commonalities and differences in their approach to culture-based tourism.”

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Research could help reduce risk for experiencing postpartum depression

Photo of Carley Pope.

July 31, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Carley Pope aims to one day help women reduce the risk for postpartum depression.

Pope discussed her research on maternal mental health at Lakehead University on Tuesday, July 31. 

Pope is a PhD candidate at Lakehead. She has been doing a studentship for Mental Health Research Canada since 2016 that ends in March 2019. Her research explores the benefits of mindfulness on pregnant women and in combatting postpartum depressive symptoms.  

“My doctoral research focuses on the potential benefits of a community-based mindfulness program for maternal mental health and well-being over the course of pregnancy and the postpartum period,” Pope said. 

“Mindfulness is characterized as paying attention to moment-to-moment present experiences in a purposeful and non-judgemental way,” she said.  Research has found that higher dispositional mindfulness is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes. 

Pope is supervised by Dr. Dwight Mazmanian and has been conducting this research in two phases at Lakehead University. 

Phase 1 evaluates the association between a mother’s dispositional mindfulness and their resiliency. It also considers quality of life and well-being using an online questionnaire format. 

Phase 2 uses a randomized control study to investigate a community-based perinatal mindfulness program. The question: Could mindfulness skills support a mother’s resiliency to stress, and improve quality of life and well-being? 

Data collection for phase 1 has recently been completed and Pope looks forward to sharing the results once they become available. Currently, Pope is recruiting participants for the community-based perinatal program she is investigating. 

Recruitment is planned to end December 2018 at which time Pope will continue to follow the participants in the study until they are at 12 weeks postpartum to determine the potential benefits of the program.

“I would like to thank Mental Health Research Canada for supporting my training through the studentship they awarded me,” Pope said. “I am especially grateful as this funding allows me to pursue an ambitious research project that has potential implications for pregnant women both in Northern Ontario and globally.”

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, discussed the importance of this research.  

“Thank you to Mental Health Research Canada for supporting Carley’s project which will help improve maternal mental health and well-being,” Dr. Dean said. “This studentship speaks to the high quality of graduate student research at Lakehead University.”

Andrea Swinton, Chief Executive Officer at Mental Health Research Canada, travelled to Thunder Bay for the update.

“Mental Health Research Canada is proud to support researchers like Carley Pope, who moves the dial on maternal mental health,” Swinton said. “Her work brings promise to new mothers facing mental health challenges, their children and the communities around them. We look forward to continuing to advance the work of this emerging researcher, and others, who work towards a Canada with the best mental health for all.”

The Hon. Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, also attended the update. 

“Our government knows that good policy depends on good research. Improving our understanding of mental health will lead to better outcomes for patients and healthier communities for our country. I look forward to seeing how evidence generated through research like that being conducted by Carley Pope right here at Lakehead University can lead to a better quality of life for every Canadian.”

How Thunder Bay went from down and out to Canada’s most exciting city

This city was built on paper mills but has proved there’s life after lumber

Tamara Hinson
Friday, July 27
The Independent Travel

I’m flying over lumpy, pelican-topped waves, watching cathedral-like grain silos and abandoned lumber mills whiz past in a rusty blur. The Ontario city of Thunder Bay, the departure point for my high-speed exploration of Lake Superior, was once the biggest supplier of paper to North America’s print industry – hardly surprising, given the thick, deer-filled forests surrounding this pretty lakeside city.

Thunder Bay’s status as Canada’s furthest inland port also makes it a gateway for cargo destined for the Middle East, Africa and South America, so the shipping industry has always been a big employer. But the paper mills employed the most people, and with the advent of the internet, the lumber industry ground to a halt.

When the mills started closing in the early 2000s, people moved away and businesses went bust. That is, until a few years ago. The grown-up offspring of those who’d abandoned Thunder Bay started to return, lured by a makeover of the downtown area and the appeal of Ontario’s untamed wilderness, including, just a two-hour drive away, Quetico Provincial Park, with its thousands of lakes.

Today, many of Thunder Bay’s most successful entrepreneurs are graduates of the city’s Lakehead University, which has always been popular with international students. They’re no longer abandoning the city on graduation, but sticking around, setting up bars, restaurants and adventure outfitters.  

Take Crystal Co, co-founder of Up Shot Coffeehouse. She was born in Thunder Bay and set up the business with her friend Aundrea after graduating from Lakehead. “There was a time when everyone left, but now they’re returning,” Crystal tells me over an early morning caffeine fix.

Another returnee is Greg Heroux, the Thunder Bay local responsible for my tour of Lake Superior. A chiselled, seafaring type who enjoyed a successful modelling career in Japan, Heroux is now the owner of Sail Superior, which offers tours of the lake – originally on beautiful sailing boats and, as of last June, on his latest toy, a powerboat dubbed the Superior Rocket.

And there’s no shortage of takers. Toronto to Thunder Bay is now one of Canada’s busiest flight routes. Later this year will see the opening of the sleek new waterfront Delta-Marriott hotel. The former courthouse will soon reopen as a boutique hotel, and this summer the Alexander Henry, a restored icebreaker ship, will open as a maritime museum. Soon, it will be possible to sign up for helicopter tours over the bay; the flights will offer passengers breathtaking views and provide a more spectacular access route to nearby attractions such as Thunder Bay’s Fort William Historical Park (an enormous living museum and replica of what was once the world’s largest fur trading post).

The recent tourism boom has spawned several new businesses. The Haven Hostel, downtown’s first hostel, opened in March. Founder Holly Watson is responsible for the decor: the private, pod-like bunks have extra thick curtains and mason jar lighting. In the lounge, there’s a section on the wall where guests can sign their name.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in hostels, so I know what people look for,” says intrepid traveller Holly, who’s a Métis, a descendant of the early European fur traders and settlers who married Canadian First Nations people. After graduating from Lakehead, she found work elsewhere in Canada as an environmental consultant, but moved back last year.

“When I was a teenager, the downtown area was crying out for regeneration,” she recalls. “And now you’ve got this new generation of people doing unique, entrepreneurial things, making use of vacant spaces. They’re people who left to travel the world, but they’ve come back to become part of this fantastic community, with a whole new appreciation of Thunder Bay’s outdoor recreation. You take it for granted when you grow up here.”

The food scene was one of the biggest draws for John Murray, head chef and owner of the Red Lion Smokehouse, home to one of Thunder Bay’s biggest beer menus (try the Northern Logger, a delicious ale brewed by the nearby Sleeping Giant Brewing Company). John grew up in Thunder Bay but moved to Toronto before high school.

“Dad worked in the forestry industry and the mills were closing down,” he recalls. But Thunder Bay’s burgeoning potential lured him back. “The bar and restaurant scenes are really collaborative,“ he explains, adding that he recently staged a one-night takeover of the kitchen at Tomlin, a nearby restaurant and cocktail bar with a Condé Nast-worthy interior.

“But moving back was also about getting closer to nature and enjoying life outside of work,” he adds.  

For many, Thunder Bay’s appeal is its diversity. Several refugee families now call the city home, including a Syrian family who describe their recently opened Syrian restaurant as a way of thanking locals for their warm welcome. Then there are the Finns – the largest Finnish community outside Finland. Many admit they came because the landscape, with its forests and lakes, resembles the one they left behind. The Little Finland neighbourhood has several Finnish saunas, along with The Hoito, an enormous café that celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and is famous for its Finnish pancakes.

It’s one of several quirky businesses that make Thunder Bay unique. My other favourite is Squitti’s, where a sign boasts that the bric-a-brac-filled store has the city’s largest collection of religious paraphernalia.

And then there’s Prospector Burger Barn, famous for its burgers. Leave a tip and your server will shout “tipper”, prompting the entire workforce to shout “thank you!” in unison. Proof, if anyone needed it, that Thunder Bay is indeed the world’s most welcoming city.

Travel essentials

Getting there

Air Canada flies from London Heathrow to Thunder Bay, via Toronto, from £606 return.
Staying there

Suites at The Haven Hostel start from £51, room only, or stay in Residence at Lakehead University in the summer for $40 (CAD) per night per person. 

More information visitthunderbay.com

Science Week Introduces Indigenous Youth to Careers in Natural Resources

Photo of Jason Freeburn.Jason Freeburn, a technologist with Lakehead University's Geography department, demonstrated how to use a GPS device in a geocaching exercise with Indigenous youth from Mink Lake and Sandbar summer camps.

THUNDER BAY, ON, August 1, 2018 – Forty-five Indigenous youth from 25 communities are in Thunder Bay this week learning about geocaching, cartography, sustainable energy, entrepreneurship and more as part of Science Week for the the First Nation Natural Resource Youth Employment Program (FNNRYEP) and the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP).

The youth and their counsellors are part of sister programs at Sandbar and Mink Lake summer camps, a collaborative project between industry, the province, and Confederation College and Lakehead University.

Since 2000, Outland Camps has partnered with Confederation College and Lakehead University to offer land-based education training and employment programs for Indigenous youth in Ontario. To date, the partnership has resulted in over 430 participants from 55 communities completing the programs.

“These programs offer an important pathway for Indigenous youth to pursue postsecondary education and potentially to inspire a rewarding career,” said Bill Gregorash, Program Manager and Professor in the Workforce Development division at Confederation College. “Through meaningful employment, participants improve skills and develop a strong work ethic, learning how to be self-sufficient. They also have the opportunity to explore many facets of the natural resources sector and earn industry certifications that may assist them in their future careers. We are proud to be an ongoing partner.”

Sarah Ambroziak, Program Coordinator, Outland Camps, spoke to the partnerships with both institutions. “Through these programs, Confederation College and Lakehead University have demonstrated a clear commitment to supporting the growth and education of Indigenous youth in northwestern Ontario. The opportunities offered through these programs can be life-changing. We regularly witness participants achieving higher levels of self-confidence, becoming stronger leaders in their communities and developing positive and long-lasting relationships with their peers.”

The week has included field trips to local facilities and has welcomed guest speakers from Confederation College, Lakehead University and the natural resources industry. Participants have had multiple opportunities to gain hands-on experience in natural resource fields.   

"Lakehead University’s Aboriginal Mentorship Program and the Outland Youth Employment Program partnership offers a terrific opportunity for First Nation youth to participate in experiential learning, identify a variety of career options and experience the life of a postsecondary student, all while gaining traditional and contemporary knowledge and skills on the land,” said Denise Baxter, Vice-Provost Aboriginal Initiatives, Lakehead University.

The program will continue through mid-August, with closing ceremonies taking place at Confederation College on August 23.

 

 

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Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa. 

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 6,500 combined full and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 850 full and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $643.4 million annually.

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.Lakeheadu.ca

 

For more information, please contact:

Vince Ponka, Media and Communications Officer, Confederation College

Ph: (807) 475-6137, Cell: (807) 620-0043, Email: vponka@confederationcollege.ca

 

Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, Lakehead University

Ph: (807) 343-8372, Email: bwalker3@lakeheadu.ca

 

$1 million reasons to smile

Lakehead University’s new Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES) received a welcome boost from the City of Thunder Bay during city council’s July 23, 2018 meeting.

City council unanimously approved a $1 million commitment to CASES, a building renovation and expansion project that will help position Lakehead University and Northwestern Ontario as a key Canadian research and innovation hub by improving the scale and quality of leading research, training, and entrepreneurship.

With CASES state-of-the-art laboratory space, advanced training courses, and a business incubator space called Ingenuity, it will provide the pipeline from discovery research to commercialization, and support Northwestern Ontario’s next generation of students, scientists, engineers, and high-growth businesses.

"This funding will make it possible for our talented researchers and students to do their work to the fullest of their abilities in new labs with state-of-the-art equipment," said Andrew Dean, Vice-President of Research and Innovation. “It’s extremely essential we provide the best tools and opportunities for these chairs and high-performing researchers.”

The 42,000 square-foot building will feature new research and laboratory spaces, providing students with more opportunities to engage in hands-on, experiential learning, right on campus, and will include space for a number of school’s including Canada Research Chairs. The new building is designed to meet LEED Gold certification, aligning with the current research of environmentally sustainable infrastructure at Lakehead.

As a component of CASES, Ingenuity will serve as a Student Entrepreneur Centre – an innovative, student-based start-up space focusing on business mentorship and entrepreneurship training, and a brand-new graduate student lounge.

The project has already received contributions of $9 million from the federal government, and another $6.5 million from the province.

Photo of the exterior of the CASES building, back patio

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