An Anonymous call from Connecticut - The Haven Hostel

An Anonymous call from Connecticut

August 8, 2018

I only wish (which is totally backwards as a new business owner), that I did not have an eager person who wanted to book on the other line as a gentle soul called to simply say “Congratulations, and thank you for doing what you do”.

I am sorry I did not catch your name. I am sorry I could not speak for another ten minutes. Most of all, I regret not taking your phone number to call you back in the rush of a guest in front of me, and one on the phone. 

This lovely article that Tamara Hinson of The United Kingdom’s Independenthad written made some headway across the continent a few weeks ago. This young woman with a proper british accent  got a first class tour of the region to really see what northern Ontario is up too. As a  journalist and adventure traveler, naturally, she raved about the hostel and our even more amazing neighbours and fellow entrepreneurs that are directly in the middle of this semi-remote mecca we call home. Check the article here:


Here is a small snippet of the interview that resonates a lot, in my personal opinion, with many adventurous people in our city:

“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.”

Alongside the amazing shout outs to our partners at Red Lion Smokehouse, Up-Shot Coffee, Sail Superior and so much more caught the attention of fellow Thunder Baytians currently residing here and those that have drifted.

The drifted it seems, was the man on the other line. I can only guess he may have been retired as his story started off with remembering how Thunder Bay was indeed a mill town not that long ago that was fueled by a trades economy. Our history lay deeply rooted in the great waterways we live on with early settlers and tradesmen to a once booming forestry industry. However, like most areas, nothing is forever.

He was mesmerized at reading the article and realizing the reach of it also mesmerized me. It spawned some meaning to him in remembering the good ole days but feeling enlightened to see new businesses being executed in his stomping grounds and the unique change that is happening (and happening fast!).

It’s hard to say really why he chose us to contact and simply say, “Thank you, please continue to do what you do to enhance the community, I am so happy to see young people regenerating the city”. Maybe it is because he left at the perfect time, once the dust kicked up and it was time to go… but now memories brought up some deep need to reminisce.

Regardless, my day was made, and as per usual when it comes to realizing the impact our neighbourhood and strength in numbers can have on so many individuals I was nearly in tears.

Some days trying to make it  in this new world of business it is heart wrenching, stressful, and is often riddled with anxiety to the point you might want to reach for a paper bag. Other days when you take a step back to reflect that all we are doing down here, in this great city we call home, is fighting to ensure our visitor’s have the greatest time possible showcasing your fellow warriors in the hood, you can’t help but feel proud.

Deep down inside we know if you stayed long enough to really see the hidden gems, you might never leave. Trust the words from someone who has decided to do so after many years of searching for a place to call my forever nest. I personally…never found it as it was always right in front of me.


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