Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 20 – Chris Simon

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 20 – Chris Simon

Northern Ontario Sports
Chris Simon
Chris Simon while playing for the Calgary Flames

Number 20 – Chris Simon

Chris Simon was born in Wawa on January 30, 1972. Born in the dead of winter only hardened one of the toughest hockey players to ever lace up the skates.

Chris is a second round draft pick going 25th overall to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1990 NHL entry draft. Never tying his laces up for Philadelphia; Chris was the final piece of the puzzle finalizing the controversial Eric Lindros trade from Quebec to Philadelphia in 1992.

Chris Simon – Playing Career

Never known as a goal scorer (even after a 29 goal season in 1999-2000 while playing for the Washington Capitals), Chris was an absolute force on the ice.

Playing the game with a fearless edge; Chris was was never afraid to stand up for himself or his teammates. A trait that has slowly left the league in recent years.

Chris won the Stanley Cup in the 1995-96 season and achieved a childhood dream by strapping a life-jacket on the Stanley Cup and taking it fishing.

Always with more penalty minutes than points, he seems to always find himself in the wrong spot.

With eight separate suspensions (an amount he shares with someone else on the top 20 list) totaling 65 games, Chris often allowed the passion of the game to get the best of him.

His passion was close to holding him back from achieving his dream. While playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1991-92, Chris was taken under the wings of then Head Coach, Ted Nolan.

Chris Simon – Life after the NHL

Chris is an avid hunter/fisher and can be found on the lakes near Wawa today.

Retiring from the NHL after the 2007-08 season, Chris played 5 years in the KHL (Russia) while ending his career with Novokuznetsk Metallurg.

Being of indigenous decent, Chris has provided many indigenous children with access to hockey schools and opportunities that many would not have had.

Chris is a true believer in giving back to the community. From showcasing the Stanley Cup or signing autographs at the Handy Store in Wawa.

Playing Hockey Against Chris Simon – A Personal Story

Of all 20 players on the list, Chris was the only player I ever went up against (or met).

In 2004-05, the NHL lockout year while many NHLers went to Europe; Chris went home to Wawa, to ice fish.

Dubreuilville hosted a 4 on 4 “Out of Breath” hockey tournament that we both played in. We had one game against each other.

A close game, that we ended up losing, Chris’s strength was on full display during the whole tournament.

He scored on us, with one hand on his stick pushing our goalie into the net while scoring. He slashed my stick out of my hands with force. I grabbed it and skated away.

He ran into a player on one of the other teams and the man (not small) had a bruise from the hip to his shoulder.

Chris made it to the finals (his team lost) but he let a slapshot go that caught the goalie in the shoulder/collar bone area. The goalie was swollen and could barely move his arm at the ending ceremony right after.

The memories of his career will be his suspensions; but this is wrong. He was a force of a player that other teams feared and a season of 29 goals.

A true patriot of Northern Ontario.

Lake Superior Therapy – The Northern Ontario Cure

Lake Superior Therapy – The Northern Ontario Cure

Northern Ontario Adventures

lake-superior-therapy-northern-ontario-cure

Your body aches from the grind of every day life. A thousand thoughts race through your mind. Stress overtakes you, you need Lake Superior Therapy.

What is Lake Superior Therapy

lake-superior-therapy-tranquilityLake Superior Therapy is the utilization of the healing powers of the largest freshwater lake in the world. The natural freshwater of Lake Superior relieves stress, soothes aching muscles, and clears your mind. The lake, the indigenous habitants of Northern Ontario name Gitchee Gumme, is believed to have healing powers for centuries. The sheer power of the Lake Superior waves has capsized ships, reshaped landscapes and provides sanctity to thousand who benefit from the lake. Your worries are nothing for this lake to overcome. It is a force within itself.

Lake Superior has claimed many lives but has given strength to countless more. The healing powers come from the sound of the crashing waves, the warm beaches or the uninterrupted views. There is a healing power that will help you escape the stress that weighs on your soul. This is Lake Superior Therapy.

Studies have shown that the soothing sounds of birds or the running of water provides relaxation for the body. Meditation and Yoga studios will have nature and water sounds playing in the background. The sound of nature provides your body with a relaxation mechanism that triggers your brain to go to that place you hear on the audio. This is why Lake Superior Therapy is so effective. Meditation and Yoga classes cost of hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars, sitting on the shores of Lake Superior is free.

The Tranquility of Lake Superior Therapy

Are you ready to go on a Northern Ontario adventure?

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let your imagination soar.

lake-superior-therapy-waves-splashingPicture yourself standing on a rock rising 10 feet above Lake Superior. The air is silent, all you can hear is the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below. The blue water stretches far beyond what the eyes can see. As the waves crash against the rocks, water sprays above your head. It comes from nowhere but it doesn’t scare you. You don’t blink, you get lost in the white and blue wall. As the mist from the Lake Superior waves overtakes your body, the stress begins to melt away. The stress of work, of family, of friends and of home disappears as fast as the next crash comes. This is Lake Superior Therapy.

Lake Superior has infinite healing powers. People pay thousands of dollars for Hot Stone Massages. A Hot Stone Massage is the placement of warm smooth rocks along pressure points in the back that releases tension. The warm feeling of the rocks immediately releases stress from the body. The rocks trigger points of pressure so that the tension eases, the stress melts and the frustration subsides.

Why pay hundreds or even thousands for a Hot Stone Massage when the rocky beach in Agawa Bay Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park provides the same life easing benefits. The beach in Agawa Bay Provincial Park stretches for miles and consists of smooth rocks. Rocks that have had the powerful waters of Lake Superior crash on them for thousands of years. As the heat from the rocks releases the stress from the body, the only explanation is Lake Superior Therapy.

The Tropical Paradise of Northern Ontario

The Caribbean is known for their fine white sand beaches, for their mist from the ocean that surrounds, and for their ease of life that stress is an impossible thought. The beaches provide a stress relieving method as all cares fall by the way side. The Caribbean doesn’t compare to the tropical paradise that is Northern Ontario.

The same can be said about the beach at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Pancake Bay has a sand beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. Even on the clearest of days, a person with the strongest eyes must squint to have any hopes of seeing the other end. As your toes dig into the sand, your eyes close and a gentle breeze off Gitchee Gumme surrounds you. Time stops. You could be on a remote tropical island, a Caribbean paradise but you are not there, you are in Northern Ontario. You are under the spell of Lake Superior Therapy.

Are you ready for another Northern Ontario adventure?

Close your eyes as you are taken to the warm sandy because on the shores of Lake Superior. A warm breeze rises from the waters of Pancake Bay. Your feet dig into the beach further, the sand separates your toes. As your body releases tension from the warm sand, you stand up and begin to run towards the water. As you enter Lake Superior, the water splashes beside you each time your foot penetrates the water. The water is cool, Lake Superior is always cool, but it has no effect on you. You take your sixth step then jump forward, your hands joining outstretched above your head, and Lake Superior swallows you whole. You succumb to the cool waters of Lake Superior. Your body no longer aches underwater, headaches are gone, tensions relapses and your worries are no longer. The therapy solves all of life’s problems.

Stop and Enjoy the Views of Lake Superior

ontario-sleeping-giant-provincial-park-thunder-bay-lookoutFrom Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay and all points in between there is an amazing view to be witnessed of Lake Superior. Whether you are climbing the trail at Old Woman’s Bay or hiking in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, the views are breathtaking.

As you stand there in awe at the beauty of Lake Superior, nothing else matters. Your cell phone stays in your pocket, a symbol of today’s technological driven world takes a backseat to the primitive nature of Northern Ontario.

For thousands of years, men and women of all backgrounds have used the power of Lake Superior to overcome the demons that lie within them. The demons of stress, tension, body aches, and everything else that prevents you from being your best.

Save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars and go enjoy some Lake Superior Therapy.

Wawa – A Place to Work, Live, and Play

Wawa – A Place to Work, Live, and Play

Northern Ontario Towns

The Town of Wawa lies just over 2 hours from Sault Ste Marie and just over 5 hours from Thunder Bay. Best known for the Big Goose that overlooks the TransCanada Highway, it is the quintessential Northern Ontario town.

With a population of approximately 3,500 people, there is endless opportunity for adventures in Wawa. Being minutes away from Lake Superior one way and bush trails on the other, it truly is an outdoor paradise.

History of Wawa

helen-mines-wawa-ontario
(Credit to Tom Haddow)
Wawa was found after a Gold discovery in the early 1900’s. Although, the gold didn’t pan out, hematite ore was found which is used in the steel-making process. The ore became the main source of employment for the town. The ore was sent by rail to Algoma Steel in Sault Ste Marie as part of their steel-making operations.

As Algoma Steel began going through financial difficulties, the business decision was made to close the Wawa mine site. Although the Wawa economy was hit hard, it did not take long for it to rebound. An oriented strandboard mill opened nearly 20 minutes out of town on the shores of the Michipicoten River. After undergoing a number of ownership changes, the mill was eventually sold to Rentech. Rentech with the intentions of creating a pellet mill, has since run out of money at the mill. Currently, the main employment is mining at River Gold and in nearby Dubreuilville.

What to do in Wawa?

Wawa is steps away from the outdoors. With endless trails for snowmachining, ATVing, and countless lakes nearby, there are tons of opportunities for any outdoorsmen. There is family camping near Wawa around including Lake Superior Provincial Park and Obatanga Provincial Park.

There are three major tourist events that happen in Wawa, that bring many participants in.

  1. Summer Salmon Derby
  2. The summer salmon derby brings participants from all over Northern Ontario and the Michigan upper Peninsula. With large cash prizes, the summer derby is enjoyable for everyone. As a spectator, you can watch the boats fish from the shores of Sandy Beach or as they bring in their fish at Buck’s Marina.

  3. Wawa Ice Fishing Derby
  4. The Wawa Ice Fishing Derby is one of the largest in Ontario. With up to 1,300 participants from all over Northern Ontario, the prizes are in excess of $100,000. Fishermen are able to fish on Wawa Lake, Hawk Lake as well as Manitowik Lake. There are 6 prizes per Lake and have been boats and ATV’s in the past.

  5. National Drag Race
  6. Relatively new to Wawa is the annual Drag Race. The Northern Nationals Drag Race takes place in early August and is a sanctioned NHRA event. Racers come from all over Ontario and Michigan to race in this high speed event. The Wawa drag race will be going into its 5th year in 2017.

What to see in Wawa?

The proximity to Lake Superior and Lake Superior Provincial Park gives plenty of opportunities for things to see in Wawa. With plenty of hiking trails, Lake Superior Park has sights for everyone.

A little closer to Wawa is Scenic High Falls. High Falls has a walking area that you can climb up beside the falls. It is a beautiful area with a gazebo for picnics or weddings.

Wawa-Lake-Highway-101-Ghost-Lake-HillWawa Lake is one of the largest spring-fed lakes in Northern Ontario. Although cold, it produces amazing sunrises and the Lake points almost due east. Nearly 7 kilometers long, there is road at the end of the Lake that can take you to Sir James Dunn pit and one of the best blueberry patches anywhere.

However, the main attraction is the large Wawa goose that watches over Highway 17 travellers. Multiple questions on Jeopardy have referred to the Goose and is a monument known across Canada. Although it has seen better days, money has been pledged to bring it back to its former glory. Geese sit on top of the Wawa Motor Inn and besides Young General store to pay homage to the original Goose.

Wawa is truly an outdoorsman paradise. With miles of trails, lakes and hiking, there is never a dull moment in this truly resilient little Northern Ontario town.

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Agawa-Bay-Lake-Superior-Provincial-ParkLake Superior Provincial Park stretches 83 kilometers along Highway 17 in Northern Ontario. Lake Superior Park begins approximately 20 kilometers south of Wawa at Treeby Lake and extends to the Montreal River. The south side of the park is approximately 125 kilometers north of Sault Ste Marie.

The Provincial Park runs down the Eastern shores of Lake Superior, often referred to as Gitchee Gumee, the largest fresh-water lake in the world. The Native Americans named the Lake Gitche Gumee which means ‘Big Water’. Inside the over 1,600 square kilometer park, you will find many lakes and Northern Ontario wilderness. Many rivers, waterfalls and streams run through the Park and empty into Lake Superior.

Lake Superior Provincial Park – The Campgrounds

The park once featured three separate campgrounds. Since Crescent Lake Campground is no longer in operations, the Park now features two amazing campgrounds. The two campgrounds are Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground at the North end and Agawa Bay Campground at the South End.

Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground features 60 campsites with one-third of them being electrical. The campsites are located on a small inland Lake that has it’s own beach and boat launch. Rabbit Blanket is just off Highway 17 and provides an excellent opportunity for nature seekers to be at one with the Lake Superior wilderness. The comfort station has flush toilets, showers as well as laundry facilities.

Agawa Bay Campground, many consider one of the best campgrounds on Lake Superior. Along with Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Agawa Bay is right on the Eastern coast of Lake Superior. The campground features nearly 150 campsites with 38 of them being electrical. Half of the campsites are on or right across from the water whereas the other half are through a small forest divider. You can feel the breeze from Lake Superior on every site off of Agawa Bay. There are two comfort stations on site that feature showers, flush toilets as well as laundry facilities. The Natural Heritage Education staff put on many activities for the children as well as movies at the Amphitheatre.

What to do in Lake Superior Provincial Park?

The Visitor Centre at Agawa Bay campground is a reminder of how great Gitchee Gumee is. Relatively new, the features are incredible and open up children’s mind to the Great Lakes. From a large lighthouse to skeletal displays, the Visitor centre is a must visit when you are in the park. The views overlooking Lake Superior will make you stop and just marvel at its beauty.

Lake Superior Park visitors have access to many different hiking trails and picnic areas. The eleven hiking trails in Lake Superior Park range from amateur to advanced and all points in between. The image below outlines the difficulty range, distance and location of every Hiking Trail in Lake Superior Park.

Picnic Areas in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Sand-River-Lake-Superior-Provincial-ParkThere are four main picnic areas in Lake Superior Park. All of these picnic areas are just off of Highway 17.

Beginning on the North End of the Provincial Park, Old Woman’s Bay is the first area. The Bay gets its name from the formation of the cliffs that can be seen from the Beach.
Many boating enthusiasts can see a woman’s face in the rocks, hence the name, Old Woman’s Bay.

Second is Katherine’s Cove. Katherine’s cove is a nice but smaller picnic area that has sand beaches. One of the features near Katherine’s cove is Bathtub Island. Bathtub Island is known for having pools of water that become extremely warm and can be reached from Katherine’s Cove.

Third is Sand River, this picnic area is right beside the rushing rapids of Sand River. The crashing of the water down on the rocks of the Sand River provides harmonious music while lunch is enjoyed. During the spring melt, the rapids at Sand River are a sight to be seen. Sand River rapids can be seen off of Highway 17.

The final picnic area is at the Visitor centre in Agawa Bay. After your lunch, enjoy the rocky shores of Lake Superior. The rocks are so smooth from the waves crashing on the rocks for thousands of years.