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Step Back in Time in Thunder Bay

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 Up Shot Coffeehouse to grab a specialty coffee for your travels. Then head two blocks over  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 Indigenous people to discover the history of development in the region and how it contributed to the original economic development of Canada.

Be sure to stop at Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. to stock up for home before heading out again. Sleeping Giant Brewing Co.’s craft beers are inspired by Lake Superior and the northern wilderness with its rich Canadian heritage. They produce a distinctive line-up of easy drinking, full-flavoured beer with the perfect balance of deliciousness, attitude, and northern provenance.

Head back to the present day by visiting the Thunder Bay Country Market (On Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings) to grab lunch and visit dozens of farmers, producers, artisans and distributors of local products at the same time.

Photo Credit: Thunder Bay Country Market

Spend the afternoon discovering Thunder Bay. 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. See where Thunder Bay came from and where Thunder Bay is today.

On your way to dinner, don’t forget to stop at Bay Meats to stock up on beef jerky for your evening snack. Located in the historic Bay & Algoma neighbourhood of Thunder Bay, Bay Meats Butcher Shop is an Ontario-licensed meat processing plant that specializes in gluten free and soy free meat products and is well know for their variety of jerkies.

Relax with an amazing dinner at The Red Lion Smokehouse, where everything is home made & home smoked. All their food is made in-house with fresh ingredients – locally sourced whenever possible. The menu is a mix of classic British Pub favourites with a smokehouse twist.

Finish the day by enjoying a relaxing evening in quiet elegance at the Courthouse Hotel. The Courthouse Hotel is a boutique hotel catering to visitors looking for something a little extra special. With it’s Beaux Arts architectural façade, the stunning views of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant it’s the perfect way to relax after a fulfilling day.