Updates from Ontario: Ours to Re-discover

Amethyst hunting with the kids near Thunder Bay!

Amethyst hunting with the kids near Thunder Bay!


Our family recently moved back to Ontario after five years in Winnipeg and with (most of) the boxes unpacked and (a few) familiar things on the walls, we all seem to agree it’s starting to feel like home again.

Not that it was an entirely easy adjustment. Finding a new school, doctors and a dentist, even transferring our driver’s licenses, car registration and provincial healthcare plans, was time consuming and costly.

Thunder Bay also has a distinctly different perspective—and geography—from the Southern Ontario and prairie cities we’ve lived in. In just a 10-hour drive, we left behind the open Manitoba sky for a city of just over 100,000 nestled between the vast Boreal Forest and Lake Superior’s shores.

We also bid farewell to some bigger city luxuries, like direct flights to major destinations, well-developed public transit and most notably according to some, a Costco or IKEA.

Despite the changes, one of my kids told me recently they “don’t notice the differences at all” between our new and old cities.

Which, I suppose, was her way of saying life still feels normal.

Indeed, with school and a few extra-curricular activities, all the kids have new friends and a predictable rhythm to their week to ward off bouts of loneliness.

Making time as a family to explore our new surroundings has also boosted our appreciation for this adventure. So whether its amethyst hunting or Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market, and of course our new love for Persian Donuts, these days, we’re calling Thunder Bay home.

Carmen Kinniburgh

Carmen Kinniburgh is a freelance writer and editor exploring topics and ideas about parenting and families, Canadian science and research, health and medicine, as well as travel and lifestyle. Born and raised in Alberta, Carmen has also lived in Southern Ontario and Manitoba, where she worked in professional communications for a university and a national health charity. Currently living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, she gets all her best ideas and insights for Parentwise from her own three delightfully precocious children.

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