Top Things To Do in the City of Kenora
Though many come to the area to explore the waters, there are a ton of things to do on land in Kenora. Whether you are here for an afternoon or an extended stay, these are the top things you should do!
1. Take a step back in time by checking out the turn of the century Main Street
The 4 block Main Street of Kenora has some of the best-preserved turn of the 20th-century buildings in Ontario. The oldest date back to the 1890s like Tilleys Pharmacy and the Post Office (currently part of city hall) while others like Doner block and the Kenricia were built at the height of the city timber and gold booms. Take a deeper look into the buildings HERE.
2. Check out the city's history by art!
After just a few minutes in the city, you will notice the massive murals that adorn a few dozen walls. These murals were mostly painted in the late 1990s and tell a story of Kenora's history. You can find a map for the mural tour at the Discovery Centre and plaques at each one telling its story.
3. Get a Breath of Fresh Air
Hundreds of KM's of hiking trails can be found within a few minutes of Kenora. The Vernon Nature Trails, Mink Bay, Minaki, and Tunnel Island are a few of the most popular. The gorgeous boreal forest mixed with steep cliffs of the Canadian Shield offers some top-notch hiking.
4. Tour the harbourfront.
Kenora harbourfront has been the focal point of the city for decades. The two major staples of the waterfront are the Whitecap Pavilion and Husky the Muskie. The Whitecap Pavilion has been a relatively new addition to the city and houses a weekly farmers market and countless other events. As one of the major event spots in town, most concerts and festivals are held under the rigid tent so check out the Events Calendar to see what is going on during your visit.
5. Go Hunting
The thousands of acres of crown land that surrounds Lake of The Woods makes for ideal hunting grounds. Make sure you check with MNRF to confirm you are in the right season and have the right tags or choose to go with a professional guide who will take care of everything!
6. Adventures on Horseback
Just over the Manitoban border, the Falcon Beach Ranch is one of the best spots in the area to go horseback riding. Taking you across streams and over rock ridges, the stunning forest surroundings are the perfect spot to hop on a 4 hooved friend. Even if it's your first time, the trained staff will be there to help you along and ensure you have a safe but fun experience.
7. Sleep Under the Stars
Camping or its more sophisticated cousin, glamping, is the quintessential thing to do to take advantage of the stunning scenery of the area. There are dozens of great campsites around like the Anishinaabe Campground that's very close to the city centre or find a comfortable spot on crown land and pitch a tent. If all that effort isn't your thing but you want to get back to nature, try glamping at somewhere like Wildwoods.
8. Get your Train on!
While the train no longer makes scheduled stops in Kenora, it was once the lifeblood of the city. Connecting the East to the west of Canada the Canadian National Railway created a state-of-the-art rail station at the turn of the 20th century. You can take short tours of the original station or visit the Railway Museum just a few minutes away in Norman.
9. Get a Panoramic View!
It's hard to visit Kenora without missing the waterfront glass-clad circular tower. The Clarion Lakeside Inn has amazing lake views from the majority of the rooms and is actually built almost completely over the water. Its crowning jewel is the top-level restaurant that offers one of the most spectacular views in the city. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, a drink or some food at the top is highly recommended.
12. Shop locally
The few dozen shops that line the main streets of Kenora are mostly locally run small shops. With the exception of the banks and real estate offices, almost every main floor shop is owned by a local Kenrician. You have clothing stores like Rednex Rebellion and Island Girl and health stores like the LOTW Sunrise Soap and the Spirit Oak Tea Company. Take a peek into any of the shops and see what local goodies you can head home with while supporting the local community!
11. Get a Taste of Old Traditions
Continuing an on and off tradition dating back over 120 years, the modern-day Lake of the Woods Brewery Company occupies one of the cities first fire halls. The fantastic brick building has been converted into the taproom and brewing facility to one of the fast-growing breweries in Ontario. Try one of their flights of beer which often includes unique brews that include wild rice, blueberries, or even one aged at the bottom of the lake!
12. Get Acquainted with your Royal Side
Located in Keewatin, the Mather Walls House was built in 1889 by the owner of a local lumber mill. The historic home offers tours between May and September as well as a typical English tea service. It is also famous thanks to the resident ghost who calls the house home.
13. Visit Husky the Muskie
The town's "largest in the world" claim of fame is the fish sculpture that has graced the waterfront for over 50 years. Built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canada, the Muskie looks to be jumping out of the water on the shore's edge. The 40-foot fish was named by competition in town and has the slogan "Husky the Muskie says prevent water pollution!". Husky has become the unofficial mascot for the city still advocating for clean water. Make sure you do your part when visiting by not littering and ensuring your boat is in proper working condition!