This is my Canada!

Thunder Bay, Ontario is located on the north shore of Lake Superior

I am not much of a web analytics type of gal, but recently I took a peek at where the visitors to my website were from (shown in blue). I was quite shocked to see that folks as far away as Chile, New Zealand and South Africa were popping in for a visit! Apparently no one in Greenland paints furniture (hehe).

Last weekend we celebrated Canada's 150th birthday. Being that my little paint shop is located in Canada and all my paints are made in Canada, I thought this was a great time to share my little corner of the world with you.

My home is the red dot on the map. I live in a small tourist town known as Kakabeka Falls, Ontario which is a short drive west of Thunder Bay. We are nestled on the north shore of Lake Superior. 

This morning I read a fact about Canada and I am a little ashamed that I didn't already know this. "Canada has more lakes then the rest of the world combined. Almost 9% of Canada's total area is covered by water". Maybe that explains why most of my photos include water or ice.

Painted adirondack chairs on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

I've always loved this photo because it reallys shows where I live. We have tons of water, snow, ice and a little bit of sand. Our seasons are quite varied here - we have extremely cold winters and quite hot summers. It's not Death Valley, California kind of hot, but it's warm just the same.

Painted adirondack chairs on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

I was so fascinated by these painted chairs on the empty beach, that I decided to return the next day for a sunrise photo. It wasn't the perfect sunrise due to all the clouds in the sky, but life's like that. Did I mention that I took this photo before I started my little paint shop? I've always been drawn to beautiful colours!

I actually grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and winter activities as a child included ice skating and driving a snow machine. We even tied a rope to the snow machine and took turns pulling each other around on skiis. Hey, it was the Canadian prairies and there was not a ski hill in sight!

Ice fishing on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

When I moved to Thunder Bay in my early 20's, things were a little different. The folks here like to walk on the frozen lakes ...

Ice fishing on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

or drive a quad ...

Ice fishing huts on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

and hang out at ice fishing huts all day long! 

Ice fishing on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

They pack lunches and hot beverages in thermoses, drill a hole in the ice and wait for the big one! 

I have to admit, I've only been ice fishing once. Okay, I didn't actually hold a fishing rod, but I took some photos and never returned. Ever. 

Now this post has got me thinking. Is hot chocolate with marshmallows a cold weather thing? Do any of you who live in a warm climate drink it? It's absolutely delicious!

The shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Several years ago, some unusually warm weather caused the snow to melt very quickly and then the water froze, turning Lake Superior into a giant skating rink.

Ice boat racing on Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

On just a few days notice, ice boat racers from all over the world gathered in Thunder Bay because it had the perfect ice conditions. Can you imagine - they actually have a person that monitors ice conditions in all the countries with sub zero temperatures and when the perfect ice conditions are found, the participants head there from all over the world! Many racers actually store boats in both Europe and North America for quick access. They call up their "boat guy", tell him where to take the boat and the racer flies to that location. 

Ice boat racing on the shores of Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Ice boats are similar to sailboats, but they have runners (skates) on them.

Ice boat racing on the shores of Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

I was so fascinated by the races and I met so many interesting people from all over the world that I spent two days hanging out at the races. It was quite a challenge to walk to where the races were being held and what should have been a 10 minute walk took about 30 minutes because it was so slippery. On the second day, I borrowed some ice cleats to attach to my boots and I was good to go!

Lighthouse in Thunder Bay, Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Photography by Sue Sikorski

I knew that in my lifetime I may never again see Lake Superior covered in ice with no snow on top, so I spent some time admiring the beauty and taking photos. This is our little lighthouse. I know it's not as magnificent as other lighthouses, but I love her just the same!

Lake Superior at sunrise - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

The ice shards that had broken free and made their way to shore were spectacular!

Ice shards on Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

At sunrise the ice was a beautiful blue. Although it's hard to tell in this photo, these chunks of ice were about three feet long. We're not talking tiny ice cubes here! 

Playing hockey on Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Let's face it, I wouldn't be a very good Canadian if I didn't include a couple hockey photos, eh? I dragged my friend Jennean's sons, Matt and Josh, out onto the ice for some fun sunset shots.

Playing hockey on Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Here's a random fact for you - Thunder Bay is known as hockey town. "Thunder Bay is the hockey capital of Canada. Season after season, this unassuming, northern Ontario town sends boatloads of its young men into the ranks of the NHL. And the data doesn’t lie — over the past century, no other Canadian city has so consistently churned out hockey players at such a high rate." — Crowning the World’s Undisputed Hockey Hotbed (source: The 10 and 3).

The Staal brothers, Eric, Marc, Jordan and Jared, are from Thunder Bay. How cool is that? 

The sailboat, Gold Nugget, on Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Of course, our ice eventually melts and gives way to spring. I love taking photos of boats. Everything from sailboats ...

Grain ship in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

to huge ships carrying grain.

Tugboats on the shores of Lake Superior - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

And of course my beloved tugboats.

Fall leaves - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Sue Sikorski

Eventually summer ends and the beautiful colours of autumn appear. And then the cycle repeats itself.


These are some photos taken by a wonderful friend of mine, Jan Whybourne. I asked her to share some images that represented Canada to her.

Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. Photography by Jan Whybourne.
Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. Photography by Jan Whybourne.

This is Kakabeka Falls. I live so close to the falls that I can hear the water rushing on a calm day.

Kakabeka Falls, Ontario. Photography by Jan Whybourne.
The sleeping giant - Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Jan Whybourne.
Canadian Coast Guard docked in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photography by Jan Whybourne.

The Canadian Coast Guard.

We have cats, Canada geese and skunks. Oh my! Photography by Jan Whybourne

We have cats, Canada geese and skunks. Oh my!

Photography by Jan Whybourne

Even the eagles love to fish!

Photography by Jan Whybourne

Red and white.

Posted on July 8, 2017 and filed under photography.