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I've beanThere | North Bay

I was born in North Bay Ontario, to Ruth and Ron (Ike) Bean and like most kids living in a small town, I was excited to "get out" but as an adult I can appreciate what the city has to offer.

Today, I work in film, with actors who are here from out of town. They ask me where to eat, shop. drink, relax, sightsee, work out and party. Often times they are bored, lost and lonely. I like to consider myself quite the expert when it comes to pizza, pampering, fashion, coffee and groceries. I love making recommendations. My name is Kim Bean and if it's somewhere great, I've probably beanThere.

Allow me to show you around!

I spend all day on my feet which leaves me sore and tired so I love Martel and Mitchell for a massage and physio therapy. The facility is clean and advanced and it's technicians are discreet and professional. I know this because I fractured my spine and spent 8 weeks in rehabilitation with them.

Martel & Mitchell shop front

For the best pedicure, microdermabrasion and a great brow wax I go to Tranquility Spa to visit "brow queen" Tanya Toye. Book in advance, she's busy (because she's great)! I've sent many a celebrity to Tanya, actors and models who've tried spas all over the world. They report back the same way every time: "She is SO good!" Yeah, she is. Tanya also loves "the tea" but never spills.

Super important when it comes to public figures.

*The spa (owned by Brigitte Mclean) follows the same infection control practices I do.

You're not going to get athletes foot, pink eye or herpes from me or Tranquility.

If you need a great haircut by someone at the top of their game make an appointment with HairDesigners. I see Sherisse for haircuts, balayage, keratin treatments, updos and blowouts.

Yes, I can do that myself-- you can watch me tint my own eyelashes here

but when I want to treat myself I go to someone who's as good (or better) at hair than I am-- and that's Sherisse, a friendly, positive, no nonsense gal whose humility is shocking considering the immense amount of talent she has. She's bilingual, if you speak french and quiet if you're not feeling chatty.

Owners Marc and Ulysse are Sassoon trained stylists with decades of experience in barbering and women's hair. Their salon has been the place to go for forty years. They do cool cuts for kids too. No one is faking anything at this place.

**Despite what the locals might tell you- their rates are reasonable. They don't take walk ins.

For great produce, local milk, butter and a great butcher Orchards Fresh Food Market is the place.

It's better than Sobeys and cheaper than Whole Foods. Some items have hefty price tags but the freshness is unparalleled. My favourite items are their minneola oranges, pre-made egg salad, fresh pressed juice, salsa made in store, their soups and the hunter garlic sausage!

If you want delicious dessert. pre-made meals and/or gluten free options you've got to go to

Chez Jean Marc's in Sturgeon Falls. The staff are so nice and all of their products are made in house. Their menu is incredibly affordable and they have a huge selection. My favourite sweets are their coconut cream pie, pin wheels, chocolate macaroons, coconut butter tarts and peanut butter fudge ice cream. I had the privilege of seeing their kitchens while filming a movie in the bakery. It is pristine back there!

*The gluten free section is on the right side of the store when you first walk in-- try the GF lasagne you'd never know the difference. The turkey pies, birthday cakes and cabbage rolls are also on another level. I happily drop $80+ every time I visit.

When I need to work off all the food I eat, Laurier Woods is gorgeous for a hike especially with a pet! The locals are friendly, the trails are clearly marked, clean and clear of brush. If you want more of a challenge check out the trails behind Canadore College. Some of those are like walking up a wall.

*All of the trails can be muddy in the late fall and early spring-- bring your rubber boots! In winter don't let the snow deter you, they're usually very well packed and the scenery is something out of a movie.... I would know ;)

When I'm looking for a great latte, delicious cheese, savoury snacks and life changing homemade bread-- there's only one place to go: The Culture Club. It's a micro-bakery and cafe that transports you to Europe. Leslie bakes bread each morning at 5am- you can view their menu on Instagram. If you're in town for long enough they also have monthly bread memberships that make amazing gifts for fellow foodies.

Another great thing about spring summer and fall in North Bay is our chip trucks. Field of Dreams is the coolest truck in town. It has traditional fare and also offers the neatest menu options like Keto Bowls prepared served by Newfoundland born John Grouchy. John has worked all over North America in upper management at luxury resorts and hotels. He's one of the nicest, smartest and creative entrepreneurs I've ever known. Tell him Kim Bean sent you, and leave a good tip.

The majority of my closet is made up of pieces from London Underground, and it always has been.

I love this locally owned women's clothing store because it carries (a limited supply of) the coolest clothes. Quality pieces, that are interesting and timeless. I buy a lot of preppy black sweaters, chic workwear, rich hippie dresses and peace child pants here. My paisan, Dayna Greco is the owner of this beautiful store. Hours vary but they're online.

If I need something repaired, I visit Vic's Shoe Repair. They know me by name and treat me like family. It's not because I visit on the regular and my boyfriend is Italian. They've streched shoes to fit my (very wide) feet since I was wearing baby Nikes. Now they protect, clean and help maintain my vintage, luxury goods. Do I have their personal contact info incase I have questions while I'm shopping, out of town? That's none of your business!

For great pizza visit downtown Greco's but order drinks and an appetizer (like Friday bread or the French Onion Soup) it takes awhile because everything is made fresh, like the meatball sandwiches, you should get one of those too.

If you want a great meal with a beautiful view, go to Averages Joes. This is not a chain! The view of Trout Lake is stunning in both summer and winter.

I order the Chicken Supreme, the greek salad or the risotto. They have a decent wine selection and a lot of room if you have a big party of friends. It's not super fancy but you can dress up if you like.

Fancy a swim? Trout Lake is cold and deep and one of my favourite beaches on that lake is called "The Cove". Lake Nippising has a gorgeous sunset, located on Memorial Drive, it also has a bike path and a cobblestone sidewalks where you can walk and enjoy the beauty.

If you rather be on the water than in it, there's the Chief Commanda

*If it's particularly warm or the water is choppy... pop a Gravol thirty minutes before you get on the boat.

For Indian Food, go directly to Indras Curry House. a celeb and foodie favourite.

*When you order, always ask: "Is Indra is in the kitchen?" If she is, ask for your food to be mild unless you're tolerance for spicy food is very high.

*Keep your head up when you're downtown. Main street North Bay (at night) can be dodgy.

When it comes to fine dining Churchills on a Sunday is fabulous.

Their chef is so creative and might create dishes off the menu if you ask nicely and there's time. Their steaks and prime rib are phenomenal and their wine selection is the best in the city. I also really love their ceasar salad- it's grilled with prosciutto. Such a satisfying treat!

*This establishment has multiple dining rooms with different vibes depending on the occasion. If it's still on the menu, try the cookie box!

And when it comes to parties and clubs we haven't had one in about ten years...

Toronto is approximately 3 hours away by car or 45 minute flight ;)


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