Getting to Know Lakehead

One School, Two Cities

Places to study off-campus

If you want to escape the distractions of friends or the pressure of being on campus, there are many places to study off-campus in Thunder Bay. If you like to study at coffee shops, you have many options to explore along Algoma Street and in downtown Port Arthur. Some of the most popular places to go are The Habit, Calico, and Bean Fiend. If you want to take advantage of the warmer weather in September, you can study at one of the many picnic tables throughout the city. You can find some by the Marina, Boulevard Lake, and the Law School. If you like a quieter place to study, there are several public libraries in Thunder Bay that you can also utilize. 

The Orillia campus is located in cottage country and this makes for a long list of comfortable and relaxing places to study off-campus. Just take a short trip to downtown Orillia and you’ll find Mariposa Market, Apple Annie’s Cafe, Eclectic Cafe, Verona Coffee, and Bakes By the Lake all on the main street - Mississauga Street East. The Orillia Public Library is also located downtown and offers a vast space for students to study, friendly staff to help out, and a large catalogue of resources. Another coffee shop that is a student study spot favourite is Mark IV Brothers -- located just east of downtown, Mark IV Brothers is a quiet and cozy coffee shop that is perfect for studying. Looking for a place to study by the water? The Couchiching Beach pavilion looks over Lake Couchiching and offers a beautiful study view. If you’re looking for a place closer to campus, don’t fret, we have a Starbucks just a 5-10 minute walk from campus that makes for the perfect spot. 

The Sights

Bordered by the Boreal Forest and Lake Superior, there are tons of picturesque places to explore in Thunder Bay. If you want to catch a stunning view of the Sleeping Giant, check out Hillcrest Park, the Bluffs, or the Marina. For a walk through a forested area, check out Centennial Park, George Burke Park, and the river trails on Campus. Besides being a nice place to walk, Boulevard Lake also provides a beach, mini putt, and frisbee golf. For those without a car, Hillcrest, the Marina, and George Burke park are not too far. You can easily access these sites by biking or taking the bus from campus. Hillcrest is also a short walk away from those living around the student neighbourhood of High Street South.

Orillia is surrounded by Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, located along the historic 386-kilometre Trent-Severn Waterway which provides a scenic view throughout downtown. The waterfronts in Orillia offer a number of trails, sandy beaches and picnic areas. Visit Couchiching Beach Park to look out from the docks over Lake Couchiching and keep an eye out for a variety of fun events hosted here throughout the year. Head over to J.B. Tudhope Park, also located along Lake Couchiching, which is an active park with baseball diamonds, beach volleyball courts and home to Moose Beach. Tudhope Park is also famously home to Mariposa Folk Festival every year! Closer to Lakehead’s Orillia campus (just a short walk down the road!) is Scout Valley. There are three loop trails at Scout Valley, which is dominated by mature deciduous forest. At the top of the hill is a lookout with views across Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.

Local Dining

Whether you are tired of food from the Res Cafe or need a break from cooking, Thunder Bay has many local restaurants to check out. Located by Algoma Street and Bay Street, Rebel Salad, Growing Season, and the Nook offer great food. Both Rebel Salad and the Growing Season offer healthy but delicious salads with options to create your own salad. If you prefer Italian food, the Nook offers great meals. More restaurants can also be found in downtown Port Arthur. For Thai food lovers, Thai Kitchen offers delicious Thai food. In Common and Apple Chipotle’s are good restaurants in the area. If you are too busy to get out of the house, no worries! Several places within Thunder Bay will deliver the food right to you. Through Skip the Dishes you can order from Eat Local Pizza, Sushi Station, Daytona’s and much more.

Orillia has a wide range of restaurants you can visit to satiate your cravings! Take a break from the cafeteria and treat yourself by going out for a bite to eat at any of the fabulous restaurants in the city or order in and enjoy the delicious food in residence or at home. Downtown is home to some local favourites: Brewery Bay’s slogan is Good Grub, Great Pub: a statement that is 100% true. Kenzington Burger Bar has the best burgers in town - whether you enjoy a classic cheeseburger or want something more extravagant, Kenzington is the place to go. Rustica offers delicious wood-fired pizzas and other delicious Italian dishes. Studabakers Beachside is a student favourite due to its sun-soaked patio and great pub food. Also located downtown, Shine is an awesome juice bar and cafe. Its menu is completely plant-based and gluten-free, and 90% of the menu items are locally sourced and organic! Closer to campus you’ll find places like Thai Plate, Tops In Pizza, St Louis Bar and Grill, Osmow’s, and Wimpy’s Diner! 

Other Places to Visit

While in Thunder Bay, you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the local talent and community. The Thunder Bay Country Market is the perfect place to visit on a Saturday morning or a late Wednesday afternoon. It has vendors that sell anything from locally grown veggies to handmade pottery. While you treat yourself to some good food, you can gain the satisfaction of supporting the local community. Right in the heart of where many students call home (On Beverly and Winnipeg), there is the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Throughout the year, there are many performances that you can watch. Since Covid-19 caused many restrictions to be put into place, the number of tickets and performances may be limited. If you are interested in the history of the Great Lakes, you can visit the Alexander Henry, which was a ship that served on the Great Lakes from 1959-1984. 

Orillia has many places you can visit and explore to learn about the city’s history and take advantage of the cultural offerings Orillia has up for grabs. The Orillia Opera House, located on Mississauga Street E and West Street in the downtown area, produces professional theatre during the summer and presents concerts and educational programming throughout the year. The Orillia Farmers' Market is one of the longest-running farmers' markets in the province, with its roots going back to 1842 when it first operated at the waterfront. Our growers look forward to Saturdays on the Market, where they offer fresh-picked produce in season, naturally raised meats, handmade crafts from around the county, as well as a variety of yummy baked goods and ready-to-eat treats. The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) acts as a hub of culture and heritage in the heart of Orillia’s Peter Street Arts District. OMAH offers exciting and innovative exhibits, events, programming and activities that reach out and engage everyone. 

Check out the WelLU maps provided on the Student Health and Wellness Website to find many more places to explore - in both Thunder Bay and Orillia!


-Sarah Simpson, Orillia Work-Study Student and Rebekkah Pyle, Thunder Bay Work-Study Student


Image of a student sitting on steps reading a map with text that says getting to know your new city

New long acting birth control available at LU Student Health and Wellness

Nexplanon is now available through the Thunder Bay Student Health and Wellness clinic.
Nexplanon is a long-acting, reversible form of birth control that gives protection from pregnancy for 3 years.  It releases progesterone (a hormone) from a small plastic rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm.  After three years (or sooner if desired) the rod is removed from under the skin. It is very effective and easily reversible and is an alternative to an IUD for women interested in long-acting contraception.
If you are interested in this (or any other birth control) or just want to have a discussion about your options please make an appointment with one of our physicians. Call 807-343-8361 or email to book.
More information on Nexplanon can be found at
Text: New long acting birth control available at Student Health and Wellness Image: Hand holding birth control implant in figures

Student Health and Wellness Launches COVID Vaccine Information Resource

While everyone is anxious to see the end of this pandemic, it’s normal to have questions and concerns about any vaccine. The best way to make an informed decision is by ensuring you have the facts you need to know if the vaccine is the best option for your health. Student Health and Wellness has launched a COVID-19 vaccine information page, you can get answers to your questions about the vaccines available in Ontario, and have the option to select links to the most reliable and current resources of information.


Image of wolfie receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine

Student Health and Wellness Recognizes Pride Month

Students who are part of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community have enough on their plates navigating the usual pressures of post-secondary life without having to worry about feeling safe or discriminated against. Student Health and Wellness strives to provide a safe space for all Thunderwolves to get support, resources, information and care. Student Health and Wellness also knows that while members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ are as diverse as the general Canadian population in their experiences of mental health and well-being, they face higher risks for some mental and physical health concerns due to the effects of discrimination and the social determinants of health. We are excited to launch our new Pride section on the SHW website, dedicated to help 2SLGBTQQIA+ students find supports, services and information. Visit to learn more.

image of laptop screen with Pride in rainbow lettering and white lotus, Lakehead on top of rainbow backrgound above

Every Child Matters- Supports and Resources are Available

The discovery of a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children found on the site of a former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. Our thoughts are with the TK'emlups Te Secwepemc First Nation, as well as with all Indigenous communities across Canada.

With the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada a part of everyday lived experience for First Nations people, this horrific discovery means individuals across Canada will be reliving grief and pain. Taking care of mental health and coping is essential and supports are available. 

  • Support through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation- Residential School Crisis Line. To Access emotional and Crisis referral services, call the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
  • Reconciliation Canada is hosting a gathering on Zoom today and tomorrow at 12pm-1:30pm EST
  • Please check out the Reconciliation Canada site to honour the 215 children who died at the Kamloops (Tk’emlups) Residential School. All are welcome. Reconciliation Canada will have ongoing Zoom events and live Facebook events.
  • Should anyone need support dealing with this devastating news, please contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066 or NAN HOPE at 1-844-626-4673.
  • Hope for Wellness- offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit to chat with a counsellor. 

Students in Ontario can also get support from Good2talk at anytime by calling 1-866-925-5454 or texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868 or get peer support no matter where they are studying from by downloading the TalkCampus app. 

Every Child Matters with feather on orange background

Starting Your Own Garden

Gardening can be an affordable way to access fresh and nutritious food throughout the warmer months, and you don't need to have a huge amount of space to get started. 

I don't have a green thumb so you definitely don't want any gardening advice from me but below are some articles from much more reliable sources:

Did you know that both campuses have community gardens with plots available for students, staff and faculty?


-Lindsey Wachter, R.Kin

Health and Wellness Promoter 

Title: Starting a vegetable garden image: tomato plants

Digital Detox

If your daily routine for the past 8 months has consisted of dividing your time between zoom classes, binge-watching Netflix, scrolling your social media feed and playing video games, it might be time for a digital detox. One study conducted by researchers in Sweden found that heavy technology use among young adults was linked to sleeping problems, depressive symptoms, and increased stress levels.

A digital detox doesn’t mean quitting the internet cold turkey, no one would expect that from us right now. It's about being more mindful with how and why you are using screens, setting boundaries and making sure that your feed is a happy, healthy place to scroll. 

Manage Your Notifications. Getting constant updates on what’s happening in the world is informative—but it can also be distracting. Change as many notification settings as you can live without. Rather than checking certain apps or websites every time a new story or post hits, set aside a specific time each day when you’ll check your messages or mentions. Then set aside a certain amount of time, around 20 or 30 minutes, to devote to catching up and sending responses.

Schedule Digital Downtime. Schedule screen-free times during the day and put them in your calendar or set an alarm if needed. You can use an app like flora to lock your screen or you can try leaving your devices in another room. You might feel naked at first so make sure you have a tech-free activity to keep you busy. 

Spring Clean Your Social Media Following. Over the past year, social media has been essential for maintaining connections with friends and family but research shows that the more time we spend on social media, the worse we feel. So how can we stay on social while also maintaining our mental health? Take a Marie Kondo approach to who you follow- do they bring you joy? If not, feel free to block, mute, unfollow, or delete, until your feed is full of accounts that make you happy.

Use One Screen at a Time.  Have you ever found yourself watching a movie, grabbing your phone to send a quick text and then suddenly a half-hour has past and you have totally lost the plot? Our brain is not great at multitasking, and if you get distracted from one takes, it can take several minutes to get your brain focussed back on the original task.  Make a habit of only looking at one screen at a time to improve concentration—and, in some cases, enjoyment.

Set Limits. While it isn’t possible to completely disconnect right now, setting limits on when these digital connections are allowed to intrude on your time can be good for your mental well-being. For example, you might want to use your phone to play your Spotify or Apple Music playlist while you are working out, but setting it to airplane mode will make sure that you aren’t distracted by phone calls, texts, other messages, or app notifications during your workout. Setting boundaries on the type and timing of connections you’ll attend to helps ensure that you can enjoy real-world activities completely free of digital diversions.

Rethink using screens before bed. Restricting your mobile device usage immediately before you go to sleep may also be helpful. Studies have found that using media devices was linked to poor sleep quality, inadequate sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Skip laying in bed playing on your phone and instead try reading a book or listening to a podcast before you go to sleep.

-Lindsey Wachter, R.Kin

Health and Wellness Promoter

LivingWorks Starts Training Available for Lakehead Community

LivingWorks START is a 90-minute e-learning program that teaches learners to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and steps to connect them to help. You’ll learn a powerful four-step model to keep someone safe from suicide, and you’ll have a chance to practice it with impactful simulations.

Safety resources and support are available throughout the program.

A number of registrations are available for Lakehead students at no cost, made available with financial support from The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board through the province of Ontario.


How it works

This evidence-based program includes narrated coaching, practice scenarios and access to resources. It focuses on awareness of suicide prevention, teaches fundamental skills and will enable participants to recognize someone’s thoughts of suicide and take action to ensure they receive the help they require, including skills to offer support remotely.

LivingWorks START can be taken remotely and completely online. It takes about 90 minutes to complete. Participants can increase their skills and knowledge at a comfortable pace while balancing their personal safety with challenging content.

Participants will receive a pre-training email outlining expectations, privacy and contact information and login details. Participants can re-access LivingWorks START training for 60 days, after which they will have lifetime access to LivingWorks Connect, a platform that allows participants to build a community of safety and access resources.

After training, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion and a post-session resource handout. We highly recommend that you participate in a debrief workshop. This is an opportunity to confirm your understanding of the TASC model and practice applying the model to your role, ask questions, and learn about on- and off-campus resources and services.

Registration Link:

Learn life saving skills online- livingworks start, sign up at

Using Apps to Support Your Mental Wellbeing with Dr. Aislin Mushquash

Student Health and Wellness Health Promoter, Lindsey Wachter, is joined by Dr. Ailsin Mushquash to talk all about what to look for in a mental wellness app and how to evaluate their claims. Dr. Mushquash also shares information about her recent research study evaluating the Joy Pop App.
Read the entire result of her study here

Rethinking All Nighters

Sometimes at the end of the semester, it feels like the only way to submit your assignments, study and have any semblance of a life outside of school is to pull an all-nighter. It might seem like a little sleep is a small sacrifice in the pursuit of academic excellence, but the effects of acute sleep deprivation generally kick in after 16 to 18 hours of being awake and get progressively worse with each proceeding hour. 

The first signal that your body is overtired will be a sluggish mind. Your reaction time will begin lagging around hour 18 and after a full night without sleep, it will nearly triple—which, for context, is about the same as being legally drunk.  Your ability to form memories will start deteriorating, and from hour 18 onward, your decision-making and math-processing abilities and your spatial awareness slowly deteriorate. Seems a little counterproductive if you are staying up to do school work, doesn’t it? 

Stay up longer than 24 hours and your brain will soon start to force sleep upon you. Though you will appear to be awake—walking, talking, eyes open—your brain will quite literally put itself to sleep for ten to 20 seconds at a time. During these microsleeps, you can’t process what you’re seeing around you. Your brain goes on on autopilot. So, if you’re driving, you might realize that you missed your exit and don’t remember the last ten minutes. And that’s really scary stuff because it means you’ve been asleep for moments when you really should be awake.

Stay up for longer than 35 hours and you will start behaving irrationally. When you’re up for that long, the amygdala becomes more reactive to negative stimuli or experiences, while also limiting communication with the part of the brain that regulates emotion and contextualizes experiences. In other words, you’re more reactive and judgmental to the people and events around you, and your brain loses its natural ability to run things through a filter or any internal voice of reason.

If this has you rethinking your exam time study habits, it is not too late to adopt new habits, visit the Student Success Zone for resources on how to study effectively (and still get a good night's sleep).

Text: Rethinking allnighters image: man studying in front of a computer with a mug in his hand