Finnish Pancakes & Wonderful Memories

March 18, 2015

If you have ever talked to me about my life in Thunder Bay, you are likely to hear stories of my time at Lakehead University, the wonderful friends I’ve made and the majestic beauty of its natural surroundings.


In the same conversation, you are also likely to here me rave about The Hoito.


The Hoito Restaurant is a Finnish-Canadian restaurant and for nearly 100 years has been a cultural institution in Thunder Bay.


To say I was shocked to hear that it could close would be underselling it. I’m reading the CBC story ( and it’s clear how any business can be crushed by debt.


However this doesn’t change how I feel about the place or the memories of the great times it conjures up.


There is something very special about this place. Each time I visit Thunder Bay, as part of my volunteer work for the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, I make a point of having breakfast here.


I cozy up to a counter seat and order a chocolate milk. My order usually consists of Finnish pancakes but on those occasions where I’m feeling extra naughty, I order the Hoito Burger. Yes – I’ve ordered a burger and fries (with gravy) at 7:00 in the morning.


Even the mention of gravy brings back waves of nostalgia. Perhaps I’m being over sentimental, but I’d like to think not.


I’m sure the resourceful people of the Finlandia Club, the people of Thunder Bay, the students of both Lakehead University and Confederation College will find a way to save this institution. I can only hope.


For those in the know – this post was written by Gravy!


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