FIRST Canada Robotics Competition set to rock North Bay!

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Competitions, News, Sports

Combining the atmosphere of a live sporting event with the ingenuity of mechanical engineering, the FIRST Canada Robotics competition will be taking place in North Bay at Nipissing University’s RJ Surtees Student Athletic Centre from Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26.

Tournament Director Don McGrath says Nipissing University is a perfect place to host this event.

“The facilities that we hold the event in completely suit the needs of this kind of tournament. The space is big enough to support the game fields, a practice field and the team pit areas all in one area which makes it easier for the teams to transition from their pits to the playing field.”

Showcase Nipissing University facilities

North Bay Robotics Competition at Nipissing University – credit: Patrick Gilbert

Twenty nine teams of high school aged students from across the province will showcase the robots they have been working on and developing for the past two months and testing those robots in a variety of games and competitions during the two-day event while at the same time, the competitors get a firsthand look at Nipissing University, and the City of North Bay itself, as a possible place to come pursue their post-secondary education.

FIRST Canada Robotics Competition North Bay

FIRST Canada Robotics Competition at North Bay in previous years – credit: Patrick Gilbert

“You don’t get this kind of environment down south,” says McGrath. “This is a nice open location, situated in the middle of a beautifully natural area on campus.  North Bay is an ideal hosting location as it’s centralized so that teams from southern Ontario and northern Ontario can make the trip. Having previously hosted the event here at Nipissing University, teams always look forward to returning to North Bay for this competition.”

This tournament receives high praise from participating schools. In a letter read during the events official launch received from a school on Manitoulin Island said, “Wiikwemkoong Robotics, Team 5672 considers the North Bay Robotics Competition at Nipissing University their ‘home’ event.  The letter went on to share how welcoming, gracious, and professional this event really is for new teams.

FIRST Canada Robotics Competition North Bay

Other Ontario Robotics teams consider the North Bay Robotics Competition their ‘home’ event.

North Bay, located just three hours north of the provincial capital of Toronto, has been the host of this major event in the Robotics competition schedule many times over the last decade and there are plenty of amenities in the surrounding area, to make the trip enjoyable and memorable for participants and viewers alike.

For anyone looking to stay the weekend,  there are plenty of accommodation options yet those closest to the competition venue would be the brand new Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott which and  the Hampton Inn by Hilton North Bay on McKeown Avenue.  Both are less than a five-minute drive from where all the action is taking place.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is located close to Nipissing University

Several restaurants are also in the surrounding area including those that can accommodate big groups. For starters, Boston Pizza North Bay is also located on McKeown Avenue and provides a family friendly environment and a terrific selection of menu items  On your way in or out of town, you can also visit the family owned and operated North Bay staple Burger World, providing comfort foods like all-day breakfast and steak pies  with a second Burger World location operates on Algonquin Avenue, and both are less than a 10-minute drive from Nipissing University, but also provide take-out and delivery options.

Beautiful Downtown North Bay – credit: Patrick Gilbert

You can also head into North Bay’s downtown core and feast on some southern BBQ at Lou Dawgs North Bay. which also offers Live Musical entertainment or North Bay’s newest downtown gem, The Block Public House.

The FIRST Canada Robotics competition is set to be an action-packed event, with plenty more to see and do while in North Bay for the weekend.

FIRST Canada Robotics Competition North Bay

Non stop fun at the FIRST Canada Robotics Competition – credit: Patrick Gilbert


About Matthew Sookram

Matthew Sookram is a Canadore College graduate. He has lived and worked in North Bay since 2009 covering different beats; everything from City Council to North Bay Battalion.

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