Thunder Bay, Ontario on TransCanadaHighway.com



Thunder Bay is the geographic centre of Canada and has a population of 125,000 (Ontario's tenth largest city). It is one of the world's largest grain-handling ports, is serviced by both of the major Canadian railway systems. The city is also a major centre for the area's forest industries. The city grew as a result of its location at the western end of Lake Superior. It was in 1798 that the North West Company built Fort William along the Kaministiquia River. Rapidly this became a lively community of Scottish traders, French voyageurs and Native trappers, who used the community as a staging point to reach further into the interior, conoeing into what is now Manitoba and points beyond.

United Grain Growers Grain Elevator

Thunder Bay features a rich ethnic mosaic offering a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities, all part of the fine quality of life for the newcomer or the visitor. It has a well-educated workforce and is home to Confederation College and Lakehead University. The city hosted the 1981 Canada Summer Games, which provided excellent recreational facilities to the community.

Whether it's a visit to a park, an art gallery or the area's history, Thunder Bay offers its visitors and residents lots to do every day of the week. (see attractions maps for the north, south,and area)


Kakabeka Falls, to the west of Thunder Bay

The main attractions in Thunder Bay are the Terry Fox monument JUST to the east of the city, the Ouimet Canyon & Amethyst Mines about 50 km to the east, the beautiful waterfront in the Port Arthur area with its view of the "Sleeping Giant" to the east, the industrial waterfront with the massive grain elevators in the Fort William area, the historic Fort William fur trading post, and Kakabeka Falls to the west of the city.

Thunder Bay History

Fort William is the world's largest fur trading post

In the mid-1800s, mining became the focus of international attention, as people began to prospect for & find copper, silver and gold, as well as amethyst, Ontario's official gem. In the mid 1880s, the final links in the nation's trans-continental Canadian Pacific railroad was completed. Heavy shipping on the upper Great Lakes was initiated to supply the fast-growing heavy industry in the American midwest.

The completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late 1950s changed shipping on the Great Lakes dramatically. Ships could now navigate from Port Arthur and Fort William all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and beyond, bypassing Niagara Falls and the turbulent waters of the upper St Lawrence. More importantly, modern and standardized lock systems allowed a standard ship size to navigate the Great Lakes, increasing trade opportunities amongst cities around the Great Lakes. The 1960s led to the paving of the Trans-Canada Highway, which made the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior accessible to the masses. It also increasing motorized traffic through the region, with this community a major rest spot for those travelling by car across the country.

Highway Notes

Cyclists can bypass the Thunder Bay Expressway, and get a scenic and fairly level ride through Thunder Bay, the only city in Canada with TWO DOWNTOWNS. Before they merged in 1971, Fort William to the south and Port Arthur to the north were cities in their own rights with their own manufacturing, port facilities and central business districts. If you are looking for Finnish food (or if you've never tried it before!) this is THE town for that! There is a waterfront casino in Port Arthur (nowadays called "North Ward"), and there is lots of shopping and the town's movie theatre in the "Intercity" are, guess where?, between the tow downtowns. You'll also see tons of grain elevators, since this was major grain trans-shipment point for prairie wheat onto the Great Lakes freighters to various bakeries and factories around the Great Lakes or for export from Montreal. If you are heading eastbound, grab some munchies in town and have an outdoor picnic at Current River Park before re-connecting to the Trans-Canada.

City of Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay FoundLocally.com.

ThunderBay Neighbourhoods & Communities

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Thunder Bay Attractions Map

Blue= main Trans-Canada Highway | Red = bicyle-friendly route & route for downtown access from TCH

Thunder Bay Accommodation & Attractions

Here are a featured SAMPLING of hotels, motels, long-term accommodation, vacation rentals, lodges and campgrounds. For a complete (and searchable listing) use the red SEARCH feature at right.

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Accommodations Directory Listings

Here are some of the hotels, motels, campgrounds, and lodges/cottages to be found along the Trans Canada Highway:

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Thunder Bay AccommodationsDeerview Bed and Breakfast

Deerview Bed and Breakfast has private entrances with private four piece bath. Fridge, Microwave, T.V. DVD player with movie selection and a large deck with use of Barbeque

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Thunder Bay AccommodationsDuck Bay Lodge

Looking for a quiet getaway in the Ontario area? Look no further than Duck Bay Lodge. Come relax with us and enjoy the beautiful scenery Duck Bay has to offer.

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Thunder Bay AccommodationsMcVicar Manor Bed & Breakfast

Stately 1906 stone mansion surrounded by gardens. Comfortable rooms with antique furnishings. Large salon, formal dining room, veranda and solarium. Walking distance to shopping, waterfront, dining and theatres.

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Thunder Bay AccommodationsAirlane Hotel

Close to airport, this 154 suite fully air-conditioned hotel has some fireplace units, jacuzzi units.

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Thunder Bay AccommodationsKenora Inn Motel

A variety of room sizes and features are available including queen and double-size beds, kitchen units, single and double units. All rooms have refrigerators, microwaves,coffeepots, BBQs for guest use and free wireless internet

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More Nights... More places to stay in Thunder Bay

TransCanadaHighway.com has lots of hotels,mnotels, beds & breakfast, long-term accommoodtion, and comprgrounds to choose form in and around Thunder Bay.

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Attractions Directory Listings

Here are some of the attractions, museums, historical sites, and sports activities to be found along the Trans Canada Highway:

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Thunder Bay Travel & AttractionsNorthern Lights Golf Complex

check out our great golf course, wit its many challenging holes

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Thunder Bay Travel & AttractionsLake of the Woods Brewing Company

Local, Fresh, Handcrafted Beer brewed in a 104 year old firehall, downtown Kenora. Taproom & retail store. Buy beer to take home 7 days a week till 11pm.

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Thunder Bay Travel & AttractionsFort William Country Club

Every hole has a spectacular mountain back drop. This splendid course has 18 championship holes that are excellent for all levels of golfers. On the course, the Kentucky Bluegrass Tee Boxes and Fairways and the Bentgrass Greens are trimmed

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Thunder Bay Travel & AttractionsThunder Bay Observatory

Multi Telescope Astronomical Observatory in very dark Sky location 15 minutes south of Thunder Bay. By appointment or during public open house evenings. Training, Group Tours, variety of alternatives to access facility.

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Thunder Bay Travel & AttractionsNational Car and Truck Rental

National Car Rental operates in over 3,000 locations, and operates over 275,000 quality vehicles that serve over 15 million business & leisure travelers annually.

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More Attractions... Things to see & do in Thunder Bay

TransCanadaHighway.com has lots of attractions, festivals, tours, and things to see & do in and around Thunder Bay.

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