Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay landmark, Hoito Restaurant files for bankruptcy

One of the most famous landmarks in Thunder Bay, Ont., has filed for bankruptcy.

Process is different than liquidation of Finlandia Association's assets

The Hoito restaurant, in the Finlandia Hall in Thunder Bay, Ont., has filed for bankruptcy. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

One of the most famous landmarks in Thunder Bay, Ont., has filed for bankruptcy.

The Hoito Restaurant, which was established in 1918, made the filing on May 27, 2020. Grant Thornton has been appointed as the bankruptcy trustee. The first meeting of creditors is slated for June 16.

The restaurant is located in the basement of the Finlandia Hall on Bay Street.

The filing follows the membership of the Finlandia Association, which owns the hall where the restaurant is located, voting to dissolve itself and liquidate its assets on May 20, 2020.

The association said it was facing about $1 million in debt, and a loan, held by RBC was called in after a payment for less than $2,000 was missed in March.

A spokesperson for the association said the Hoito Restaurant itself was about $300,000 in debt, with most of that being owed to the Canada Revenue Agency for items like payroll deductions.

The Hoito, however, is owed about $480,000 from the Finlandia Association for expenses incurred since 2010.

The association had previous financial troubles in 2015.

In 2020, a group, calling itself the Finlandia Co-Operative of Thunder Bay, which, "aims to restructure the Finnish Labour Temple into a multi-stakeholder co-operative," hoped to take over the operations of the building.


Jeff Walters

Former CBC reporter

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff worked in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario.