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City Government

Archival Holdings Highlights

Aerial Photographs
These photographs, taken in various years between 1949 and 1987, provide a bird's-eye view of the City and its surrounding area. One of our most frequently used series, these photographs help to trace stages in municipal expansion, retail development, and previous uses of city properties.

Series 92 

Aerial Photographs, 1949-1996
File List  Adobe PDF, 3 pages, 144 KB


Annual Reports

The City Archives houses an extensive and very readable series of annual reports submitted to the City Clerk by various departments of the City of Fort William. Dating between 1903 and 1966, these include submissions from the following sources: Police Department; Medical Health Officer; City Engineer; Fire Department; Auditor; Industrial Bureau; Parks Board; Building Inspector; Waterworks; Street Railway; Poundkeeper; Tourist Department; Telephone Department. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.

Series 16 

Fort William Annual Reports, 1903-1966

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 64 KB
File List   Adobe PDF, 25 pages, 985 KB


By-laws and Council Minutes

By-laws and Council Minutes are available for the City of Thunder Bay and the former Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William. These materials date back to the 1880s and serve as a record of municipal laws and council decisions relating to various issues of the day.

Series 1

Fort William Council Minutes, 1892-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 107 KB
File List   Adobe PDF, 4 pages, 153 KB


Series 3

Fort William By-laws, 1892-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 65 KB
File List   Adobe PDF, 3 pages, 142 KB


Series 17

Port Arthur Council Minutes, 1884-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 99 KB
File List  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 89 KB


Series 19

Port Arthur By-laws, 1884-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 52 KB
File List  Adobe PDF, 5 pages, 219 KB


Series 98

Thunder Bay Original By-laws, 1970-1997
File List                   Adobe PDF, 8 pages, 267 KB


Series 148

City of Thunder Bay Council Minutes, 1969-1997
File List                   Adobe PDF, 7 pages, 333 KB


Index to Port Arthur Council Minutes

This index is a virtual goldmine for researching the municipal history of Port Arthur as it provides access to the Port Arthur Council Minutes from 1884 to 1969.

Series 18

Indexes to Port Arthur Council Minutes, 1884-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 49 KB
File List  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 66 KB


Fire Insurance Plans

Plans held at the City of Thunder Bay Archives were created and used by fire insurance underwriters to set rates for their customers. These plans detail the layout, material construction and use of buildings, as well as information relating to street plans, property lines, fire alarms, and water works. Fire Insurance plans date back to 1908 for the City of Port Arthur and 1919 for Fort William. They are a good source for historical property information.

Fort William City Clerk's Files
Between 1903 and 1969, the City Clerk's office in the City of Fort William accumulated a great deal of information for administrative and decision making purposes. Today, this material is an excellent resource for research purposes. It can provide detailed information on past legislation, business initiatives, and a variety of community issues and projects.

Series 4

Fort William City Clerk's Files, 1903-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 153 KB
File List    Adobe PDF, 134 pages, 5.8 MB


Port Arthur Public Utilities Commission

Two series document public works for the Municipality of Port Arthur: the Port Arthur PUC Files and the Treasurer's files regarding PUC matters. Complemented nicely by a series of records generated by the Treasurer for Port Arthur which dates back to 1898 (Series 102), these series have much information to offer regarding the historical operation of telephone, electrical power, street railways and waterworks.

Series 55

Port Arthur Public Utilities Commission Financial Records, 1904-1969; predominantly 1968-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 119 KB
File List  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 25 KB


Series 88

Port Arthur Public Utilities Commission Files, 1914-1969

Series Description  Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 154 KB
File List: 1914-1923  Adobe PDF, 127 pages, 5 MB
File List: 1924-1935  Adobe PDF, 125 pages, 4.8MB
File List: 1936-1951  Adobe PDF, 130 pages, 5 MB
File List: 1952-1969  Adobe PDF, 149 pages, 5.9MB



Photographic materials depicting a variety of events, places and municipal representatives are housed at the City Archives. Collections come from of various city offices such as the Fort William City Clerk's office, City of Thunder Bay Planning, Mayor's Office, Fire Department and Environment division.


File titles and descriptions are listed as they appear in the original records and have not been edited. These file listings may therefore contain variant spellings, inaccuraracies, or terms which are now considered offensive. They have been left in this original format for historical authenticity.