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Time Capsule

City Archives

City Hall Time Capsule

On July 18, 2008, an exciting discovery was made in the Thunder Bay City Hall during renovations: a time capsule. This time capsule was found behind a placard in the entrance of City Hall. It contained artifacts, pictures and documents from 1903 that had been deposited in a time capsule during the reconstruction after the fire. Numerous additions were made to this collection in 1966 with the opening of Fort William's new City Hall. 

A second time capsule was also discovered in the base of a podium that had been built for the occasion of the 1939 royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. This podium was constructed out of old office furnishings and scrap materials by city engineers, and later was re-finished in 1973 for a second royal visit. The base of the podium contained two letters and a poster for the events of the 1939 visit.

The official opening of both time capsules occurred on July 22, 2008 at the City Hall by Mayor Lynn Peterson, with many city staff, members of the public, and local media in attendance.

During the renovation, many items from the capsule were placed on display in a cabinet in the Victoriaville Mall, while the rest of the collection remained in the Archives until the renovations were complete. All items were returned to a new time capsule that was placed in City Hall after the renovations. Items from the current era were added to the time capsule, and it was sealed once again. The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society ran a contest for the public's opinion on what the new additions should be to the time capsule.  The time capsule was reinstalled in City Hall, which officially reopened on November 3, 2009.

The City of Thunder Bay also created a time capsule in 1995 on the 25th anniversary of amalgamation.  This time capsule is housed at the Archives and will be opened during the City's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2020.

A complete list of items found in the time capsules opened in 2008 can be found underneath images.

 

Front cover of 1903 Daily Times-Journal 
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Cover of pamphlet Mining on the North Shore by Peter McKellar 
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Front cover of 1899 Canadian Trade Review 
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Cover of 1903 Industrial Review and Greater Ontario Business Directory 
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Cover of Fort William Financial Statement, 1901 
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Cover of 1902 List of Voters 
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Stamps and coins from 1966 
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Cover of souvenir booklet for formal opening of Fort William City Hall, 1966 
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<Cover of Visitors Book for Official Opening of Fort William City Hall, 1966 
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Photograph of ribbon-cutting ceremony 
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Group of Eight Mural Artists at unveiling of new mural in 1966 
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1966 City Council and Executive 

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Fort William City Hall 
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War Memorial in front of remains of Old City Hall, and New City Hall 
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New City Hall, without landscaping 
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Scanned cover of Diamond Jubilee booklet 
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Front cover of Seaport of the Prairies brochure 
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Brochure on Fort William statistics 
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Cover of 1966 Henderson directory 
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Cover of Lakehead Telephone Directory 1966 

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Scan of first page of document 
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Voters List 1965 
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1965 Treasurers Report front cover 
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ard signed by City Hall Staff, 1966 
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Cover of Fort William Municipal Manual 
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Member list for Fort William Civic Recreation Committee 
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Membership list of Fort William Board of Parks Management 
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Cover of 1966 Fort William Tax Rates document 

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Map of Province of Ontario, 1965 
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 Cover of 1966 Eatons Catalogue
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 Front cover of book In the Face of Danger
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 Front cover of Tales of the Tom Tom
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 Cover of Fort William Male Choir 1965 Christmas programme
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 Envelope for unopened letter
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 1966 penny, a donation to the time capsule
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 Letter regarding 1939 Royal Visit
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 Poster for Sports Week 1939, digitally restored
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Items found in the main time capsule:

 Items found in the podium time capsule:

About The Exhibit

The Port Arthur, Fort William and Thunder Bay City Hall exhibits and the Time Capsule display were made possible by the City of Thunder Bay Summer Student Employment Program.

Special thanks must be given to:

City of Thunder Bay Archives series used for research include Port Arthur City Clerk's Files, Fort William City Clerk's Files, Thunder Bay City Clerk's Files, Aerial Photographs, Thunder Bay City Clerk's Photographs, and Thunder Bay Planning Department Photographs. 

Other reference sources used in this exhibit are:

  • Beaulieu, M. "In Public's demand: Entertainment in Fort William's First Town Hall, 1892-1903." Papers and Records XXXI(2003): 3-20.
  • Cleveland, Jacquie. "McGillivray Square." August 1982: 1-12.
  • Ed. Epp, A. E. and T. J. Tronrud. Thunder Bay: From Rivalry to Unity. Thunder Bay: The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Inc., 1995.
  • Mauro, J. M. The Golden Gateway of the Great Northwest: A History of Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay: Lehto Printers Limited, 1981.
  • Scollie, F.B. Thunder Bay Mayors & Councillors 1873-1945. Thunder Bay: The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Inc., 2000.

To learn more about this subject, as well as any other historical information on Thunder Bay that interests you, please visit or contact the City of Thunder Bay Archives.

 

 

Address: City Archives
235 Vickers Street N
P.O. Box 800
Thunder Bay ON P7C 5K4
Tel: (807) 625-2270
Fax: (807) 622-4212
   
Manager: Matt Szybalski, Corporate Records Manager and City Archivist
Tel: (807) 625-3390
Email: mszybalski@thunderbay.ca