Kakabeka Falls are just west of Thunder Bay

Why travel between between Ignace and Thunder Bay?

Near Thunder Bay, this route passes the important fur trading for of Fort William, and the stunning Kakabeka Falls. As you move along the highway, you not only cross from Eastern to Central Time Zones, but the rivers (and you cross many of them) shift from flowing into the Great Lakes and the Atlantic to flowing up to Hudson’s Bay. You see stunning wilderness vistas, and drive through some very impressive rock cuts.

Here is the itinerary for the 247 km along #17 between Ignace and Thunder Bay:

Ignace Welcome Sign
Ignace was founded in 1879 and was a key water route to Lake of the Woods for early settlers. When the CPR was built through northern Ontario, it became a divisional point for taking on water and coal. Today is a jumping off point for prospectors and miners.

This area is traversed by waterways, which were much more convenient for travel and transportation by First Nations and early explorers, than cutting through the dense forests. The English River starts its westward path to the Winnipeg River into Hudson’s Bay, and was a major fur trading route into the area. Today, the river generates significant amounts of hydro power. Towns like Upsala are key points for visitors to get to the many fly-in fishing resorts in the area.

Kakabeka Falls, on the Trans-Canada west of Thunder BayEarly fur traders used a portage at Savanne Portage to connect east to Lac du Mielieu (near Raith) to the Kaministkwia River to complete a fur trading route between Lake of the Woods and Lake Superior, at Thunder Bay. Raith marks another Continental Divide, with points to the north and west flowing into Hudson’s Bay, and points to the southeast flowing to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic.

Current River, flowing into lake Superior at Thunder BayThe highway passes Kakabeka Falls, where the Kaministikia River plunges 40 metres into a gorge. Kakabeka is Ojibwa for “thundering waters”. According to legend, an invading party of Sioux Indians captured the daughter of the local Ojibwa chief who escaped by jumping over the falls, and warning her tribe to successfully fight off the Sioux.

Grain Elevators and Flour Mills, seen from Boulevard LakeThe soils from here to Thunder Bay are flat and have rich sandy soils, well suited to potato farming, as well as for forage crops fed to cattle, sheep and pigs. Before you reach the Thunder Bay Expressway, which bypasses the on a high hill overlooking Lake Superior, you will pass close to the original fur trading for, Fort William. It was established by the Montreal-based North West Company in 1789, and became a Hudson’s Bay company fort after the firms amalgamated in 1821.

Today, Thunder Bay is a key shipping point for prairie wheat, as indicated by the many grain elevators seen along the waterfront.

Elevation Chart: Ignace to Thunder Bay

Elevation Chart: Ignace to Thunder Bay

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

Use mouse to drag/move map. Click on “+” or “” to zoom in or out. “Satellite” combines map & photo.
Note:

Itinerary Details

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info
0Junction Hwy 102, Dawson Rd (W), Red River Rd (E) (Thunder Bay242.9

 

Highway 102 (Dawson Rd), west access to Highway 17 West.


Red River Rd, access to downtown North Ward (Port Arthur), 3.3 km to E of highway.


Gas stations to NW of junction: Petro-Canada, Canadian Tire, Sunys. Gas Stations to SE of junction: 7-Eleven.


Landmark Inn, 0.2 km NW of junction..


Prince Arthur Hotel, in downtown, 3.3 km from highway.


Ramada Hotel Thunder Bay, just NW of highway junction.


Kaylee’s Bed & Breakfast, downtown, 3.3 km E of highway.


Shoreline Motor Hotel, downtown, 3.4 km E of highway.


Old Country Motel, downtown, 3.4 km E of highway.


Thunder Bay Inn, 2.5 km NW of highway, via Dawson Rd.

1Junction John St, access to Downtown North (Port Arthur), Casino, Marina (Thunder Bay) 239

 

2Oliver Rd , access to Downtown North (Port Arthur), Casino, Marina (Thunder Bay) 218.2

 

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (Hospital), 1.5 km E of highway.


Lakehead University Campus, 2 km E of highway.


Venture Inn Thunder Bay, 4.4 km E of highway via 17B (Memorial Ave).


Venture Inn Thunder Bay, 4.4 km E of highway, via 17B/Memorial Ave).


Travelodge 4.4 km E of highway via 17B (Memorial Ave)..

5Harbour Expressway (E) to Intercity shopping & services (Thunder Bay) 202.1

 

Confederation College campus., 1.4 km SE of highway, via Golf Links Rd.


Thunder Bay Golf & Country Club, 1 km E of highway.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery, on Confederation College campus.


Ridgecrest Willows B&B, 1.2 km E of highway..


Intercity Shopping Centre, 3.5 km E of highway.


12 screen multiplex movie theatre (only one in Thunder Bay), 3.5 km E of highway.


Days Inn & Suites Thunder Bay, 2 km E of highway via Sibley Dr.


Harbourfront and grain elevators, 4.5 km E of highway (se photos).

8Arthur Street Market (N) (Thunder Bay) 199

 

Arthur Street Marketplace, shopping mall on NE side of intersection.
8Neebing Ave (N) Valhalla Inn Rd (S), access to service and accommodation (Thunder Bay) 198.1

 

Shell gas station on SW corner of intersection.


Valhalla Inn Thunder Bay, 0.1 km to S of highway.

8Neebing River crossing (Thunder Bay) 196.9

 

8.6Junction: Highway 17 West and Thunder Bay Expressway (Highway 17 E) heading North (Thunder Bay189.9

 

West-bound traffic make right turn here, to continue on #17. Eastbound traffic make left-turn here, to continue on #17…


Arthur Street W (17B), continues east into Thunder Bay’s South Ward (Fort William) downtown, about 4 km to E of highway, all services…


Highway 61 South, to Thunder Bay Airport, Fort William Indian Reserve, Mount McKay, and US border…


Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT), 1.3 km S of highway..


White Fox Inn, about 10 km S of highway, via 15th Sideroad and Mountain Rd.


Fort William Indian Reserve 52, about 6 km S of highway.


Best Western – Nor’Wester Resort Hotel, 9 km S of highway.


Loch Lomond ski resort, 12 km S of highway, via #61 and Loch Lomond Rd. downhill, cross-country, ski-jumping.


US border (Minnesota) 58 km S of highway.


Best Western Crossroads Motor Inn, just east of highway junction.


Airlane Hotel, just east of highway junction.


Victoria Inn, 0.5 km E of highway junction.


Travelodge Thunder Bay Airport, just east of Highway junction.


Comfort Inn by Journey’s End, just E of highway junction.


Archibald Arbor Bed & Breakfast. 3.8 km E of highway junction.


Ritz Motel, 1.8 km E of highway junction.


Kingsway Motel, 2.7 km E of junction via Kingsway.


Fort Motel and Variety, 3.4 km E of highway junction, via Kingsway.


Algma Lodge, downtown South Ward, 4.3 km E of highway, via 17B (May St).


Empire Hotel, downtown South Ward, 5.7 km E of highway.


Casino Thunder Bay, downtown North Ward, 5 km E of highway.


Historic Fort William Trading Post Historic Site, 7.6 km SW of junction, via Broadway Ave & King St.


Kaministiquia River and Industrial Area (see photos).


Duluth, MN (pop. 85,000) 307 km to S. Access to Interstate 35 South to Minneapolis-St Paul (total 545 km to S).

9Parkdale Blvd (N) access to shopping, Morgan Ave (S), Thunder Bay Airport boundary (Thunder Bay) 199

 

10Vanguard Ave (N), (Thunder Bay) 203

 

Thunder Bay Airport boundary to S, access to east via Highway 61.
11Garden Ave206.3

 

1220th Sideroad (S)210.9

 

12Mapleward Rd (N)210

 

13Overpass Motel, S side of Highway212.4

 

Overpass Motel on S side of highway.
1425th Sideroad (N)213.1

 

1525th Sideroad (S) junction217

 

Hwy 17 to the east of here is also Arthur St W.
17Twin City Crossroads (Hwy 130) crossing219.8

 

18.9Vibert Rd (N), and WB access to Harbour Expressway back into Thunder Bay221

 

19Clergue St (N)224.9

 

19.5West access to Harbour Expressway, access to Vibert Rd (N), and to Intercity shopping area, Intercity industrial areas, harbourfront, and grain elevators.223.7

 

21Fraser Rd crossing239

 

23Railway underpass242.9

 

25McFarlane Rd crossing244.1

 

28Hwy 588 (S) Junction (Kakabeka Falls269.7

 

River Rat Tubing, 1.5 km S of highway, on the Kamistoquia River (takes 2-3 hours)..

31Happy Land Campground (Kakabeka Falls) 269.7

 

Happy Land Campground om E (westbound) side of highway. camping, cabins,…

33Exit to Kakabeka Falls viewpoint (Kakabeka Falls) 281.6

 

Kakabeka Falls viewpoint, 0.6 km east of bridge over Kaministoquaia River (or just W of town)..


Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, camping, hiking, watersports, open year-round. Park includes the river from the townsite upstream to the power dam…


Kakabeka Falls Generating Station, south of town, with intake dam, at N end of Provincial Park.


Kakabeka Falls Motor Hotel.

34Junction Hwy 590 (W) to Bible Camp & camping, crossing river above falls (Kakabeka Falls) 266.1

 

36Hunt Rd (W), pass Lake to E299.6

 

40Lundstrom Rd crossing395

 

43Mokomon Rd crossing395.6

 

47Wiljala Dr (W)428.5

 

49.8Sistonen’s Corners, junction Highway 102 (Dawson Rd)352.7

 

Highway 102 (Dawson Rd), alternate route to Thunder Bay, to North Ward.
50Sunshine Loop, east exit335

 

51.4Shebandowan River Crossing337.7

 

51.8Finmark Rd, town of Finmark, OPP detachment (Finmark) 395

 

Town of Finmark, about 2 km N of highway.
52Shebandowan River Crossing, Sunshine Loop (S) western exit332.2

 

70Junction Hwy 11 (to Fort Frances), & 17395.9

 

Junction with Hwy 11 southern route via Fort Frances/International Falls (USA).


Fort Frances, ON and International Falls, MN (USA), 282 km to W of highway.


Atikokan, 138 km W of highway.


Quetico Provincial Park, camping, water sports, open year-round. Near Atikokan…

70East Oskandaga River crossing395.9

 

96Roadside Turnout with viewpoint on south side (Raith) 487.1

 

99Lake Rd, town of Raith (Raith) 483.1

 

101Time Zone Change, east bound traffic, put watches ahead 1 hour, west bound traffic, set watches 1 hour back474.9

 

Change clocks: east-bound traffic, put watches ahead 1 hour, west-bound traffic, set watches 1 hour back..
105Spencer Rd, and view of Florence Lake474.9

 

106Dog River Rd (N)481.3

 

120Services N side of hwy474.9

 

125Little Savanne River crossing (Savanne) 457.2

 

Little Savanne River, flows south into Mille Lacs Lake.
125Exit to Savanne River Resort (Savanne) 459

 

Savanne River Resort, just S of highway, on the Savanne River.

128Sawmill Bay Rd, access to accommodation469.1

 

Camp Sawmill Bay, cabins, sandy beach, 24 km N of highway.

133Rd crossing, to Lac des Mille Lac Indian Reservation483.1

 

Lac Des Mille Lacs Reserve, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation member of Bimose Tribal Council.


Bimose Tribal Council.

137Mille Lakes Rd, access to accommodation473

 

Thousand Lakes Resort, 10 km to S of highway, on Lac Des Mille Lacs. fishing, hunting, beach, cabins & campground.

139Inwood Township Rd, information center484.9

 

144Gonyou Rd (W) (Upsala) 481.6

 

145Town of Upsala, OPP detachment (Upsala) 484.6

 

158Little Fire Steel River crossing476.4

 

161Fire Steel River crossing462.7

 

161Graham Road, N to Graham, and to Brightsand River PP463.6

 

Brightsand River Provincial Park, 55 km N of highway. wilderness park, no facilities.


Graham, about 20 km N of highway.


Wawang Lake Resort, about 30 km N of highway. hunting, fishing (closed Winter).

162Picnic area, N side463.3

 

164Beaver Creek crossing474.3

 

179Picnic area W side460.6

 

191English River town & river crossing (English River) 471.5

 

234Green Pines Campground R V Park, north side of highway472.7

 

Green Pines Campground R V Park , N side of highway.
247Junction Hwy 599, N to Silver Dollar (69 km) (Ignace466

 

Silver Dollar, 69 km to NE of highway.


Silver Dollar Inn and Campground, camping, hunting, fishing, gas station & general store, restaurant.


Sandbar Lake Provincial Park, camping, fishing, water sports (fine sandy beach), wildlife.

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
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Info

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info
0Junction Hwy 599, N to Silver Dollar (69 km) (Ignace466

 

Silver Dollar, 69 km to NE of highway.


Silver Dollar Inn and Campground, camping, hunting, fishing, gas station & general store, restaurant.


Sandbar Lake Provincial Park, camping, fishing, water sports (fine sandy beach), wildlife.

13Green Pines Campground R V Park, north side of highway472.7

 

Green Pines Campground R V Park , N side of highway.
56English River town & river crossing (English River) 471.5

 

68Picnic area W side460.6

 

83Beaver Creek crossing474.3

 

85Picnic area, N side463.3

 

86Graham Road, N to Graham, and to Brightsand River PP463.6

 

Brightsand River Provincial Park, 55 km N of highway. wilderness park, no facilities.


Graham, about 20 km N of highway.


Wawang Lake Resort, about 30 km N of highway. hunting, fishing (closed Winter).

86Fire Steel River crossing462.7

 

89Little Fire Steel River crossing476.4

 

102Town of Upsala, OPP detachment (Upsala) 484.6

 

103Gonyou Rd (W) (Upsala) 481.6

 

108Inwood Township Rd, information center484.9

 

110Mille Lakes Rd, access to accommodation473

 

Thousand Lakes Resort, 10 km to S of highway, on Lac Des Mille Lacs. fishing, hunting, beach, cabins & campground.

114Rd crossing, to Lac des Mille Lac Indian Reservation483.1

 

Lac Des Mille Lacs Reserve, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation member of Bimose Tribal Council.


Bimose Tribal Council.

119Sawmill Bay Rd, access to accommodation469.1

 

Camp Sawmill Bay, cabins, sandy beach, 24 km N of highway.

122Little Savanne River crossing (Savanne) 457.2

 

Little Savanne River, flows south into Mille Lacs Lake.
122Exit to Savanne River Resort (Savanne) 459

 

Savanne River Resort, just S of highway, on the Savanne River.

127Services N side of hwy474.9

 

141Dog River Rd (N)481.3

 

142Spencer Rd, and view of Florence Lake474.9

 

146Time Zone Change, east bound traffic, put watches ahead 1 hour, west bound traffic, set watches 1 hour back474.9

 

Change clocks: east-bound traffic, put watches ahead 1 hour, west-bound traffic, set watches 1 hour back..
148Lake Rd, town of Raith (Raith) 483.1

 

151Roadside Turnout with viewpoint on south side (Raith) 487.1

 

177Junction Hwy 11 (to Fort Frances), & 17395.9

 

Junction with Hwy 11 southern route via Fort Frances/International Falls (USA).


Fort Frances, ON and International Falls, MN (USA), 282 km to W of highway.


Atikokan, 138 km W of highway.


Quetico Provincial Park, camping, water sports, open year-round. Near Atikokan.

177East Oskandaga River crossing395.9

 

195Shebandowan River Crossing, Sunshine Loop (S) western exit332.2

 

195.2Finmark Rd, town of Finmark, OPP detachment (Finmark) 395

 

Town of Finmark, about 2 km N of highway.
195.6Shebandowan River Crossing337.7

 

197Sunshine Loop, east exit335

 

197.2Sistonen’s Corners, junction Highway 102 (Dawson Rd)352.7

 

Highway 102 (Dawson Rd), alternate route to Thunder Bay, to North Ward.
200Wiljala Dr (W)428.5

 

204Mokomon Rd crossing395.6

 

207Lundstrom Rd crossing395

 

211Hunt Rd (W), pass Lake to E299.6

 

213Junction Hwy 590 (W) to Bible Camp & camping, crossing river above falls (Kakabeka Falls266.1

 

214Exit to Kakabeka Falls viewpoint (Kakabeka Falls) 281.6

 

Kakabeka Falls viewpoint, 0.6 km east of bridge over Kaministoquaia River (or just W of town)..


Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, camping, hiking, watersports, open year-round. Park includes the river from the townsite upstream to the power dam…


Kakabeka Falls Generating Station, south of town, with intake dam, at N end of Provincial Park…


Kakabeka Falls Motor Hotel..

216Happy Land Campground (Kakabeka Falls) 269.7

 

Happy Land Campground om E (westbound) side of highway. camping, cabins,…

219Hwy 588 (S) Junction (Kakabeka Falls) 269.7

 

River Rat Tubing, 1.5 km S of highway, on the Kamistoquia River (takes 2-3 hours)..

222McFarlane Rd crossing244.1

 

224Railway underpass242.9

 

226Fraser Rd crossing239

 

227.5West access to Harbour Expressway, access to Vibert Rd (N), and to Intercity shopping area, Intercity industrial areas, harbourfront, and grain elevators.223.7

 

228Clergue St (N)224.9

 

228.1Vibert Rd (N), and WB access to Harbour Expressway back into Thunder Bay221

 

230Twin City Crossroads (Hwy 130) crossing219.8

 

23225th Sideroad (S) junction217

 

Hwy 17 to the east of here is also Arthur St W.
23325th Sideroad (N)213.1

 

234Overpass Motel, S side of Highway212.4

 

Overpass Motel on S side of highway..
23520th Sideroad (S)210.9

 

235Mapleward Rd (N)210

 

236Garden Ave206.3

 

237Vanguard Ave (N), (Thunder Bay) 203

 

Thunder Bay Airport boundary to S, access to east via Highway 61..
238Parkdale Blvd (N) access to shopping, Morgan Ave (S), Thunder Bay Airport boundary (Thunder Bay) 199

 

238.4Junction: Highway 17 West and Thunder Bay Expressway (Highway 17 E) heading North (Thunder Bay) 189.9

 

West-bound traffic make right turn here, to continue on #17. Eastbound traffic make left-turn here, to continue on #17…


Arthur Street W (17B), continues east into Thunder Bay’s South Ward (Fort William) downtown, about 4 km to E of highway, all services.


Highway 61 South, to Thunder Bay Airport, Fort William Indian Reserve, Mount McKay, and US border.


Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT), 1.3 km S of highway.


White Fox Inn, about 10 km S of highway, via 15th Sideroad and Mountain Rd.


Fort William Indian Reserve 52, about 6 km S of highway.


Best Western – Nor’Wester Resort Hotel, 9 km S of highway.

Loch Lomond ski resort, 12 km S of highway, via #61 and Loch Lomond Rd. downhill, cross-country, ski-jumping.


US border (Minnesota) 58 km S of highway.


Best Western Crossroads Motor Inn, just east of highway junction..


Airlane Hotel, just east of highway junction.


Victoria Inn, 0.5 km E of highway junction.


Travelodge Thunder Bay Airport, just east of Highway junction.


Comfort Inn by Journey’s End, just E of highway junction.


Archibald Arbor Bed & Breakfast. 3.8 km E of highway junction.


Ritz Motel, 1.8 km E of highway junction.


Kingsway Motel, 2.7 km E of junction via Kingsway.


Fort Motel and Variety, 3.4 km E of highway junction, via Kingsway.


Algma Lodge, downtown South Ward, 4.3 km E of highway, via 17B (May St).


Empire Hotel, downtown South Ward, 5.7 km E of highway.


Casino Thunder Bay, downtown North Ward, 5 km E of highway..


Historic Fort William Trading Post Historic Site, 7.6 km SW of junction, via Broadway Ave & King St.


Kaministiquia River and Industrial Area (see photos).


Duluth, MN (pop. 85,000) 307 km to S. Access to Interstate 35 South to Minneapolis-St Paul (total 545 km to S).

239Arthur Street Market (N) (Thunder Bay) 199

 

Arthur Street Marketplace, shopping mall on NE side of intersection…
239Neebing Ave (N) Valhalla Inn Rd (S), access to service and accommodation (Thunder Bay) 198.1

 

Shell gas station on SW corner of intersection.


Valhalla Inn Thunder Bay, 0.1 km to S of highway.

239Neebing River crossing (Thunder Bay) 196.9

 

242Harbour Expressway (E) to Intercity shopping & services (Thunder Bay) 202.1

 

Confederation College campus., 1.4 km SE of highway, via Golf Links Rd.


Thunder Bay Golf & Country Club, 1 km E of highway.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery, on Confederation College campus.


Ridgecrest Willows B&B, 1.2 km E of highway.


Intercity Shopping Centre, 3.5 km E of highway.


12 screen multiplex movie theatre (only one in Thunder Bay), 3.5 km E of highway.


Days Inn & Suites Thunder Bay, 2 km E of highway via Sibley Dr.


Harbourfront and grain elevators, 4.5 km E of highway (se photos)..

245Oliver Rd , access to Downtown North (Port Arthur), Casino, Marina (Thunder Bay) 218.2

 

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (Hospital), 1.5 km E of highway.


Lakehead University Campus, 2 km E of highway.


Venture Inn THunder Bay, 4.4 km E of highway via 17B (Memorial Ave).


Venture Inn Thunder Bay, 4.4 km E of highway, via 17B/Memorial Ave).


Travelodge 4.4 km E of highway via 17B (Memorial Ave).

246Junction John St, access to Downtown North (Port Arthur), Casino, Marina (Thunder Bay) 239

 

247Junction Hwy 102, Dawson Rd (W), Red River Rd (E) (Thunder Bay242.9

 

Highway 102 (Dawson Rd), west access to Highway 17 West.


Red River Rd, access to downtown North Ward (Port Arthur), 3.3 km to E of highway.


Gas stations to NW of junction: Petro-Canada, Canadian Tire, Sunys. Gas Stations to SE of junction: 7-Eleven..


Landmark Inn, 0.2 km NW of junction.


Prince Arthur Hotel, in downtown, 3.3 km from highway.


Ramada Hotel Thunder Bay, just NW of highway junction.


Kaylee’s Bed & Breakfast, downtown, 3.3 km E of highway.


Shoreline Motor Hotel, downtown, 3.4 km E of highway.


Old Country Motel, downtown, 3.4 km E of highway.


Thunder Bay Inn, 2.5 km NW of highway, via Dawson Rd.

KM 
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(metres)
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