History of Thunder Bay's Waterfront Development, 1967 to 2010

In 1967, the Thunder Bay Waterfront Project was born of the Port Arthur Downtown Urban Renewal Scheme, as funds were made available for landscaping and shore protection for the harbour. The potential of the lakefront was recognized in a Waterfront Park Report prepared in 1975. Since then, development of the Waterfront as both park and harbour has been a capital project of the City of Thunder Bay.

Forty Years of Waterfront Development: A detailed chronology from the inception of the Waterfront Project to the mid 2000s

A cut out section of a map of the Thunder Bay Waterfront








Reports: Shows the aims, goals, and priorities of the City of Thunder Bay in the development of the Waterfront

a map of the Thunder Bay Waterfront and surounding area








The Original Decision: Proposed Marina / Hotel Development: A critical juncture that could have developed the Waterfront in an entirely different way

A cut out of a concept map of a harbour with hotel and piers








Aerial Photographs: See changes and development from a bird's-eye view

An aerial photo of the waterfront and surrounding area







About this exhibit:

This exhibit details the history of the Waterfront Development, with a focus on the North District and the Marina, and shows the progress the City of Thunder Bay has made and continues to make in its public development of this recreational resource. The exhibit was created using information and graphic material available to the public from the City of Thunder Bay Archives, the Thunder Bay Public Library, and the Thunder Bay Historical Museum. Information and support have also been provided by the City of Thunder Bay's Waterfront Development Office, Parks Division, and Planning Division. The textual records seen in this exhibit cover the time period from 1965 to 2010, and the photographic images range from 1880 to 2011.

Archival series referred to in this exhibit include the following:

  • Thunder Bay City Co-ordinator Files (Series 112)
  • Thunder Bay City Clerk’s Files (Series 117)
  • Thunder Bay Central Files (Series 156)
  • Thunder Bay Urban Renewal Operations Files (Series 176)
  • Thunder Bay Waterfront Park Records (Series 194)
  • Thunder Bay Contracts (Series 243)
  • Thunder Bay Local Improvements & Capital Works Files (Series 253)
  • Engineering Studies and Consultants’ Reports (Series 403)
  • Thunder Bay Planning Photograph Collection (Series 131)
  • Thunder Bay City Clerk's Photograph Collection (Series 128)
  • Port Arthur City Clerk's Files (Series 29)

Some personal information has been removed to protect the privacy of individuals.

For more information on this subject, or any other subject of interest, please visit or contact the City of Thunder Bay Archives. And for more information on the current status of the Thunder Bay Waterfront, please visit the Waterfront Development Office's webpage.



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