NORTH BAY -- After spending months exploring different places around the world, local videographer Joe Clement used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to get back to his roots and really discover his hometown.

“We went backpacking in 2019, so we went to all sorts of different places around the world, like Australia and Indonesia,” explained Clement who was travelling with his girlfriend, Alisha Mackenzie.

“When we came back home we really just wanted to show the true beauty of North Bay because we kind of realized coming back, just how beautiful it is compared to these world known destinations.”  

After a year of filming and over a month of editing, a two and a half minute video was posted on YouTube showcasing mostly nature spots that sometimes get missed in the city.

“I think it’s just more of like me because in the end, it was my video and it’s a lot of like, that’s what drives me to shoot,” explained Clement when asked why the typical North Bay landmarks weren’t really showcased.

“I love going to new landscapes. That’s what I want to do. I’m a landscape photographer, that’s what gets me excited.”

Clement moved to North Bay in grade 3, spending most of his life growing up here.

But for Mackenzie, who was his trusty assistant throughout the project and moved here for university, she got to explore a new city for essentially the first time.

“North Bay is obviously underrated,” said Mackenzie.

“When you just hear about it, I don’t necessarily think that you know everything that’s here. I think my favourite place that I didn’t know about was Black Forrest Park. The trees are so tall and beautiful.”  

“For somebody who’s from Elliot Lake, it’s [a] very nature filled placed and North Bay is like that, but times 10. There’s just so much to do here for people who like outside or like to do adventurous things… hiking, fishing, you name it, you can do it here,” she adds.

To date the video has over 5000 views on YouTube giving people from North Bay and from out of town a glimpse at what sights the city has to offer.

“We kind of just wanted to show some beautiful places like Lake Nipissing, like Black Forrest Park and there’s just so many stunning views of North Bay,” said Clement.

“I just wanted to showcase that and kind of show the world that North Bay is a beautiful destination for international travellers.”

Although mostly scenic shots, including several drone shots, the video also features several clips of both Clement and Mackenzie.

“I’m usually in front of the camera,” said Mackenzie.

“He typically needs somebody to film. It kind of gives the videos a little bit more personality and I’m more than happy to help him with that.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic, the two travellers are in North Bay for now, with plans for making more videos in the future, including a winter version of North Bay.

“I just wanted to show people that we’re so blessed and so lucky to be living in North Bay, it’s just so beautiful,” said Clement.

“I know these times are difficult, but we are just so lucky to be living in North Bay.”

The video can be viewed here.