Port Arthur was established as a Town in 1884 and as a City in 1907. The following series reflect the operations of Port Arthur prior to amalgamation in 1970 with the City of Fort William.

The City of Thunder Bay Archives uses four categories to describe how access may be granted to archival records:

  • (A) The records are available for everyone to view.
  • (A*) Some records might need special permission to view. Archives staff will perform a quick review upon request for access and may require you to file a formal request for some files or documents.
  • (RST) Records are restricted and require a formal request for access. Access to records may be denied based on restrictions in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. You may need to sign a research agreement before you can access these records.
  • (PIB) These records are a Personal Information Bank and may only be accessed by the person to whom the records relate, or that person's representative.

Series without a classification code have not yet been designated, but are also be subject to Freedom of Information/Privacy legislation.

Requests for records classified as Restricted may be redirected as formal requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In any case, requests for access will be processed as quickly as possible but cannot be done on the spot.

On most computers, you can search any of the finding aid PDF documents once opened by pressing CTRL-F or selecting "Find."

We have photos on the City of Thunder Bay Archives Flickr site! New photos added regularly.

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, contact our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

Vital records

Access to vital records is governed by the Vital Statistics Act (1990).

Records will be made available after a period of:

  • 95 years (records of births)
  • 80 years (records of marriages)
  • 70 years (records of deaths)

For any record more recent, all requests for access should be directed to:

The Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8
1-800-461-2156
InfoMGS@ontario.ca

Port Arthur archival records series

Series 17 - Council Minutes, 1884-1969 (A)

Series 18 - Indexes to Council Minutes, 1884-1969 (A)

Series 19 - By-laws, 1884-1969 (A)

Series 20 - Original Duplicate By-laws, 1959-1969 (A)

Series 21 - By-laws - Bound Volumes & Index, 1884-1964, Index 1954 (A)

Series 22 - Tax Ledgers & Indexes, 1884-1914 (RST)

Series 23 - Assessment Rolls, 1886-1969; predominant 1950-1969 (A)

Series 24 - Tax Collector's Rolls, 1884-1965 (1966-1969 supplement) (A*)

Series 25 - Port Arthur Solicitor's Files, 1955-1964 (RST)

Series 26 - Tax Arrears Ledgers, 1953-1966 (RST)

Series 27 - Auditor's Reports, 1915-1941 (A)

Series 28 - Parks & Recreation Files, 1908-1969; predominant 1950-1969 (A*)

Series 29 - City Clerk's Files, 1905-1969; predominant 1950-1959 (A*)

Series 30 - Licensing By-laws, 1918-1968 (A)

Series 33 - City of Port Arthur Legal Files, 1949-1963; predominant 1950-1959 (RST)

Series 34 - City Clerk's Agreement Files, 1903-1969; predominant 1950-1969 (A*)

Series 35 - Records of Sale of Lands for Arrears of Taxes, 1918-1969; predominant 1933-1969 (A*)

Series 36 - Receipts for Land Sales for Taxes, 1892-1969; predominant 1933-1969 (A*)

Series 37 - Miscellaneous Tax Arrears and Tax Sale Records, 1897-1969; predominant 1940-1969 (A*)

Series 38 - Summary Register of Local Improvement, 1913-1930 (A*)

Series 39 - Miscellaneous Local Improvement Records, 1884-1969 (A*)

Series 44 - City of Port Arthur Board of Park Management Minutes and Index, 1913-1961 (A)

Series 45 - Port Arthur Industrial Survey Report, 1930-1931 (A)

Series 46 - Board of Police Commissioners Minutes, 1907-1969 (A*)

Series 47 - Parks and Recreation Committee Minutes Civic Recreation Committee, 1964-1969 (A)

Series 48 - Board of Park Management Records By-laws, General Ledger, Auditors Reports, 1911-1963 (A)

Series 49 - Board of Health Minutes, 1907-1916 and 1926-1956 (RST)

Series 50 - Port Arthur Committee of Adjustment Records, 1951-1969 (A)

Series 51 - Transit Books, 1939-1969 (A)

Series 52 - Juror's Records, 1939-1969 (RST)

Series 53 - Board of Works Financial Records, 1961-1969 (A)

Series 54 - Payroll Records, 1954-1967 (RST)

Series 55 - Public Utilities Commission Financial Records, 1904-1969; predominant 1968-1969 (A*)

Series 56 - Miscellaneous Ledgers, 1917-1918, 1922-1970 (A*)

Series 57 - Cash Books; tax collection, 1962-1969; Receiving, 1932-1966; Paying, 1959-1961 (A)

Series 58 - Register of Special Water Rates, 1904-1954 (A*)

Series 59 - Public Utilities Trial Balance Records (Transit, 1960-1969; Telephone, 1962-1969; Waterworks, 1944-1969) (A)

Series 60 - Journal Vouchers, 1963-1969 (A)

Series 62 - P.A. Board of Electric Railway, Light & Telephone Commissioners Minutes, 1899-1905 And 1908-1910 (A)

Series 63 - Port Arthur Miscellaneous Records, 1912-1969 (A*)

Series 64 - General Ledger, 1960-1968 (A*)

Series 65 - Tax Bill Ledger Sheets, 1966-1969 (A*)

Series 88 - Public Utilities Commission Files, 1914-1969 (A)

Series 92 - Aerial Photographs, 1949-1987 (A)

Series 93 - Official Plan Files, 1951-1969 (A)

Series 94 - Zoning By-law Amendment Files, 1961-1969 (A)

Series 95 - Subdivision Reference Files, 1964-1968 (A)

Series 96 - Subdivision & Agreement Files, 1950-1969 (A)

Series 99 - Field Assessment & Census Books, 1955, 1957, 1961-1966 (A*)

Series 101 - Treasurer's Operating Files, 1948-1969; predominant 1951-1967 (A*)

Series 102 - Public Utilities Reference Files, 1895-1948; Predominant 1909-1920 (A*)

Series 105 - Financial Statements and Audit Reports, 1934-1969; predominant 1948-1969 (A*)

Series 110 - Fire Reports, 1922-1970 (A)

Series 111 - City Treasurer's Agreements for Property Sales, 1954-1969 (A*)

Series 118 - Port Arthur Deeds & Index, 1922-1969 (A)

Series 124 - Port Arthur Agreements for Sale & Purchase of Lands, 1922-1969 (A)

Series 127 - Indexes to Port Arthur City Clerk's Correspondence 1914-1969, predominant 1940-1969 (A*)

Series 133 - Tax Collector's Files, 1927-1969 (A*)

Series 145 - Applications & Records of House/Sewer Connections 1904-1912 (A)

Series 146 - Applications & Records of Water Works Service 1904-1911 (A)

Series 147 - Water and Sewer Installations 1911-1969; predominant 1926-1969 (A)

Series 166 - Public Works Reports, 1957-1963 (A)

Series 167 - Port Arthur Debenture Registers, 1885-1989 (A)

Series 169 - Indexes to Building and Plumbing Permits, 1914-1969 (A*)

Series 170 - Water Treatment Plant Daily Journals, 1915-1969 (A)

Series 173 - Tax Arrears Consolidation Agreements, 1935 (A*)

Series 174 - Property Leases, 1907-1951 (A)

Series 177 - Port Arthur Planning Board Minutes, 1951-1969 (A)

Series 178 - Street Service Records, 1904-1970 (A)

Series 183 - Negotiation, Conciliation & Arbitration Files, 1937, 1951-1968 (A*)

Series 184 - Thunder Bay Lands Limited - Agreements for Sale and Purchase, 1927-1929 (A)

Series 195 - Port Arthur Sinking Fund Records, 1924-1969 (A)

Series 201 - City Engineer's Files, 1875-1930 (A)

Series 204 - City Engineer's Office Scrapbooks, 1962-1970 (A)

Series 214 - Port Arthur Vital Statistics, 1948-1969 (PIB)

Series 215 - Municipal Income Tax Records, 1924-1925 (A)

Series 218 - Port Arthur Tax Collector's Returns and Cash Books, 1905-1909, 1962-1969 (A)

Series 221 - Debenture By-law Files, 1941-1969 (A)

Series 238 - Port Arthur Miscellaneous Agreements & Contracts, 1897-1923 (A)

Series 273 - Port Arthur Fire Department Annual Reports, 1942-1968 (A)

Series 274 - Council Resolutions, 1907-1915 (A)

Series 445 - Building Permit Applications, 1912-1969 (A)

Series 451 - Port Arthur Plumbing Permits, 1960-1971

Series 464 - Unattributed Audiovisual Material, 1920-1995

Series 484 - Board of Management of the Joint Home for the Aged Minutes, 1953-1956 (A)

Series 494 - Port Arthur Newspaper Clipping Scrapbooks, 1913 - 1969 (A)

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, inaccuracies, or terms which are now considered offensive. They have been left in this original format for historical authenticity.

Contact Us