Significant historical, architectural and cultural sites in Thunder Bay will open their doors to the public on  Saturday, Sept. 8, during Doors Open Thunder Bay. Coordinated by the City of Thunder Bay’s Heritage Advisory Committee, the event gives participants an opportunity to explore Thunder Bay’s rich cultural heritage through architecture.

“Doors Open Thunder Bay is a unique event that gives residents and visitors alike the opportunity to step through the doors and explore some of our City’s most-significant landmarks and buildings,” said Laurie Abthorpe, Heritage Researcher. “It is a fantastic way to experience first-hand our community’s history, culture and current day initiatives – all free of charge. I hope that many will come out and take advantage of this wonderful event.”

Doors Open Thunder Bay 2018 includes 17 participating sites and activities including nine first time participants. On Saturday, Sept. 8, free tours run from 10 am to 4 pm (unless otherwise noted). A full listing of participating sites is available at Printed event guides are also available at City Hall and the City of Thunder Bay Archives, 235 Vickers St. N. Guides will also be available at all participating sites the day of the event.

This year’s event reflects upon the theme of a fair and just society, and highlights the heritage and cultural places that have shaped our community.

Activities include:

  • A guided walking tour of the historic Fort William district hosted by Fort William Business District BIA, beginning at 9:30 am from Up Shot Coffeehouse, 111 ½ May St. S.
  • Tours and displays at the Regional Food Distribution Association’s food distribution facility highlighting its service area and programming, self-sufficient growing and First Nations initiatives.
  • A history in health care and the history of McKellar Hospital at the Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.
  • The opportunity to learn about the strong, professional woman pioneer Mary J.L. Black, at the Brodie Resource Library.
  • Displays on Indigenous sacred items, information on traditional Indigenous lodges and drumming demonstrations at the Blue Sky Community Healing Centre.
  • Information about the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association’s initiatives and programming, including the English as a second language school, and the chance to tour the former Court Street Fire Hall.
  • A behind the scenes look at the Paramount Theatre and viewing of the documentary film: Long Walk Home: The Incredible Journey of Sheila Burnford.
  • Tours of Port Arthur’s railway-built hotel, the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Suites.
  • The opportunity to explore former Coast Guard ship the Alexander Henry.
  • Open doors of four local places of worship: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, St. Peter’s Catholic Church and the Thunder Bay Masjid.
  • Exploration of the International Friendship Gardens hosted by Soroptimist International Thunder Bay, and the Centennial Botanical Conservatory, hosted by Friends of the Thunder Bay Conservatory – two attractive park spaces that have become neighbourhood landmarks built as community initiatives to celebrate Canada’s centennial.
  • A showcase of contemporary architecture at the Carpenters Local 1669 Training Centre, which addresses the evolving needs of technology and education within carpentry-related trades.

Doors Open Thunder Bay 2018 is made possible through the partnership, support and sponsorship of:

  • Doors Open Ontario
  • Ontario Heritage Trust  
  • The City of Thunder Bay
  • The Chronicle-Journal
  • Vince Mirabelli, Real Estate Broker, RE/MAX First Choice Realty
  • Matt Goertz Photography
  • Filipovic, Conway and Associates Law Offices
  • Wilson’s Business Solutions
  • Lakehead University Department of History
  • FORM Architecture Engineering
  • Northwestern Ontario Archivists’ Association
  • TB Engineering Consulting Group
  • Mallon’s Promotional Clothing & Products
  • Architecture 49

For more information, visit

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Contact: Laurie Abthorpe, Heritage Researcher, City of Thunder Bay, 625-3197,