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Thunder Bay Archive's Cool Facts


14 Cool Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Thunder Bay
Presented By The Thunder Bay Archives & Record Centre

  1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, once owned a property in Fort William.
  2. In July 1914 the Port Arthur Parks Board turned down an offer for a moose for Current River Park. They recommended that the donour “liberate” the moose.
  3. Boulevard Lake, originally called the Park Service Reservoir, was created when a wooden overflow dam was built in 1901-1902. This dam overflowed in 1904 when the Paquette Dam located further upstream washed away in a flood. Port Arthur replaced this early dam in 1910 with the existing concrete dam.
  4. The Port Arthur Fire Brigade was founded in 1876 – 8 years before Port Arthur became a town. Fort William’s first town hall was built in 1892 for $15,000.
  5. The opening ceremony of the Scouts Canada’s Jamboree held in Thunder Bay in 1997 featured a performance by the Barenaked Ladies.
  6. Amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur was discussed as early as 1910.
  7. The operation of snowmobiles on city streets was authorized during the “snowstorm of the century” in 1977.
  8. Eleven air raid sirens were built in Port Arthur and Fort William during the height of the Cold War.
  9. Thunder Bay was named the Forest Capital of Canada in 2000.
  10. Vertere, the sculpture outside the Canada Games Complex, is Thunder Bay’s first outdoor public art installation.
  11. Prince Arthur’s Landing became the official name for Port Arthur’s waterfront in 1979.
  12. The Whalen Building, Thunder Bay’s first skyscraper, was built in 1913.
  13. Summer in the Parks has been running since 1904.
  14. Official Plans to redevelop Port Arthur’s waterfront date back to 1967.

All information about these topics, viritual exhibits, and more can be found at: 


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