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:
Camp Sawmill Bay is located on Lac des Mille Lacs which supplies us with some of the best walleye and northern fishing in the country.
We offer cabin rentals, full hook-up seasonal RV sites or access to the lake for day fishermen.
93 rooms, near Fort Williams Historic Park. Free parking for your vehicle makes it easy to explore the area. Our front desk staff is here around the clock
Conveniently located on the Trans-Canada Hwy 11/17 in Nipigon, Ontario Canada. 5 minutes away from downtown Nipigon and 1 hour east of Thunder Bay.
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
Guests experience a taste of rural life in Northwestern Ontario.Set on 160 acres off highway 589 on Moving Post Road, in the scenic countryside just north of Thunder Bay
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:
check out our great golf course, wit its many challenging holes
A relaxing 9 hole course found western outskirts of the city, on a pine covered tract..
Unlike other rental car companies, Enterprise focuses on neighborhood markets. We specialize in renting to people who need a temporary replacement car or a vehicle for a special occasion.
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.
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
TransCanadaHighway.com has lots of attractions, festivals, tours, and things to see & do in and around Thunder Bay.
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