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The Amazing Archives


When did Thunder Bay open its first skateboarding park?

When did it become illegal for horses, cows and other farm animals to roam the streets of Fort William?

When was Boulevard Lake created?

If questions about Thunder Bay’s past interest you, then the City Archives is the place to be. Check out these cool facts and more here! 


The City of Thunder Bay Archives and Records Centre houses a variety of historical primary sources and material that documents the City’s development spanning more than 100 years. The Archives plays a fundamental role not only in making sure these records stay organized and secure, but also in playing a supportive role by holding documents that government can reference in regard to its past decisions. The creation of laws and their described functions may sometimes become forgotten with changes in personnel. It is the Archives’ official responsibility to provide access to this retained information. The Archives acts as a repository of information, which is used for accountability purposes as it holds the key into researching past and current policy. This keeps both interested government officials and citizens aware of the City’s past.


The Archives welcomes visitors at any time. For complicated research questions, you may wish to phone or email ahead so that we can determine what materials are available to meet your needs. Visitors to the Archives will also be able to search our holdings database, and consult directories and local publications. Reference assistance is available if you need help understanding how to use the search system to find exactly what you are looking for.

Council Member's Chair - City of Fort William

Here is what a local history student had to say about his experience at the Archives and how it was instrumental in helping him accomplish his Master's thesis: 

"While working on my history thesis for my Master's, I used the City Clerk's files - Series 117 for most of my research to use primary resources on how past Prime Minister Trudeau's policies affected Northwestern Ontario. The documents available that I have found are memorandums and resolutions passed by City Council for a number of issues including nuclear waste and unilingualism. Corporate reports and consultant/group studies are also available on certain topics that were presented to City Council 40 years ago. There are also citizen letters and petitions addressed to Council, as well as letters from the City Clerk's office to the federal government regarding such issues and the fed's responses. These sources overall turned my paper into an A paper.  The Archives and the staff were a great help!" - Master's of Arts - History Graduate, 2011


Book a tour for yourself or ask your teacher to book one! They are free and easy to participate in. During every tour, staff will lead you through parts of the facility not normally open to the public, present exhibits of historic material, and answer questions. Tell your teacher to bring your class, family, even visitors from out of town!  Click here to request a tour. 



City Archives
235 Vickers Street N
Thunder Bay 
Mailing address: 500 Donald Street E
Thunder Bay ON  P7E 5V3
Tel: (807) 625-2270
Fax: (807) 622-4212
Manager: Matt Szybalski, Corporate Records Manager and City Archivist
Tel: (807) 625-3390


To learn more neat stuff about the Archives, click here