Thunder Bay | The French Period

Thunder Bay | The French Period
Presented by
Thunder Bay Tourism

Discover the unmissable historical and cultural sites of Thunder Bay, the city nicknamed The Canadian Lakehead, considering its location at the head of the Great Lakes Waterway.

This tour is available both online (streaming) and offline (without the Internet on the ground, cell phone in hand) with the Preload option of the mobile application.


Thunder Bay takes its name from the name that French explorers gave it in the 18th century, Baie du tonnerre. This attribution arguably originated in the mythology of the First Ojibwa Nation, that huge legendary birds, known as thunderbirds, nestled on top of a mountain.

Between 1636-1710 French explorers travelled through Northwestern Ontario establishing alliances with the First Nations of the Thunder Bay area.  This led to European settlement in the region beginning with the establishment of a French fur trading outpost on the banks of the Kaministiquia River.

The interior headquarters of the North West Company, Fort William brought together the native inhabitants of northwestern Ontario as well as French and British explorers and settlers. It is, historically, a strategic transitory place for many explorers and fur traders.

Fort William, Port Arthur, and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre were amalgamated in 1970. They are now all part of Thunder Bay.


Tourism Thunder Bay
Centre Francophone de North BAy
Association Francophone du Nord de l’Ontario
Société Économique de l’Ontario
Destination Northern Ontario
Nothern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation 

Consult the Points of Interest on the Interactive Map 

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Also Available Nearby

Based on the distance as the crow flies


Thunder Bay | The French Period