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Rediscover Our History

historic cumberland 

Thunder Bay has a long, exciting and storied past. Discover the history of the city at the many museums and historic sites.

Start with a visit to the Thunder Bay Museum to learn the history of the communities of Port Arthur and Fort William and see how those two communities joined together to become the great city of Thunder Bay.

Walk across the street to the Northwestern Ontario Sports hall of Fame to see exhibits and memorabilia celebrating the extensive contributions of local residents to the sporting world.

If seeing exhibits isn’t enough, immerse yourself in the past with a visit to Fort William Historical Park. When you walk through the gates you have officially entered 1816. The Fort is a living history museum complete with dozens of actors and interpreters (who never break character) working on an exact replica of the original Fort William. Meet and speak with fur traders, voyageurs and Aboriginal people to discover the history of development in the region and how it contributed to the original economic development of Canada.

Head back to the present day and grab one of the many historical walking tour maps available from the city. Explore the historic downtowns of Port Arthur and Fort William, or the areas of Vickers Park and McVicar/Harrington. Guided group tours can also be arranged through Laurie Abthorpe, Heritage Researcher with the City of Thunder Bay by emailing labthorpe@thunderbay.ca or calling (807) 625-3197. See where we came from and where we are today.