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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Zoom-out for outlying communities, zoom-in for inner city
Blue= main Trans-Canada Highway | Red = bicyle-friendly route & route for downtown access from TCH
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.
Here are some of the hotels, motels, campgrounds, and lodges/cottages to be found along the Trans Canada Highway:
Highwind Lake Camp is a small, family owned camp located 35 miles SE of Kenora, Ontario. We are off the grid producing our own power, no phones or television.
Our comfortable rooms all overlook Lake Superior. Relax in our home and enjoy our hospitality, the tranquil property, and an excellent hot breakfast.
This 121 room hotel was built as a world-famous C.N.R hotel in 1911 is located on the harbour fronwith a spectacular view of the harbour and the Sleeping Giant. Great faciliteis,
The Victoria Inn Thunder Bay hotel is a premier accommodation offering deluxe guestrooms. Our poolside rooms, kid’s theme suites, three storey waterslide, family suites (with Mintendo) and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space
offer excellent walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing on a lake which is 73 miles around and loaded with bays, islands and secluded sand beaches. Canadian owned and operated camp
TransCanadaHighway.com has lots of hotels,mnotels, beds & breakfast, long-term accommoodtion, and comprgrounds to choose form in and around Thunder Bay.
Here are some of the attractions, museums, historical sites, and sports activities to be found along the Trans Canada Highway:
We: • Rent Kayaks and canoes • Sell kayaks & canoes
• Run Wilderness trips (Wabakimi Park)
• Train-in and fly-in Fishing outposts and lodges
This is a beautiful 9 hole public course and suited to golfers of all levels. There is a four station driving range and a practice green
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.
You get "we Try Harder" service at over 4,400 Avis Rent A Car Locations worldwide.
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.
TransCanadaHighway.com has lots of attractions, festivals, tours, and things to see & do in and around Thunder Bay.
If your local area business is not already here or in the FoundLocally.com directory (try the SEARCH box at the top), and you would like to be featured (randomly), add yourself to the Free Listings!
Be found on FoundLocally.com AND TransCanadaHighway
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