The Hoito was established in 1918, and is perhaps the oldest co-operatively owned and operated restaurant in Canada.
The idea for the restaurant came about in a logging camp outside of Nipigon.
Finnish bush workers at Kallio's camp were concerned that, while they could find cheap lodging in Thunder Bay, they couldn't find reasonably priced home-cooked meals.
The request to open a co-operative restaurant was taken to the Board of Directors of the Finnish Labour Temple and was approved.
Fifty-nine people pooled their money into $5.00 "Comrade loans" and hired union organizer A.T. Hill as the restaurant's first manager.
The Finnish Labour Temple
Built in 1910 by the Finnish Building Company Limited using the design of C W Wheeler, this unique building features the central polygonal tower supported by columns, the domed glassed-in cupola and two-sided oriel windows on the façade.
Intended as a community meeting place, it originally housed a theatre, a library and a reading room.
Now a National Historic Site, this building stands today as Thunder Bay's first community auditorium and home of the world famous Hoito Restaurant!