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Thunder Bay Facts
The City of Thunder Bay is located in the Northwestern region of the province of Ontario, Canada. According to Canada Census of 2006 the population was recorded to be 109,000. Thunder Bay is next to Lake Superior. In terms of Canada's official languages , 81% of Thunder Bayers speak only English, and 2.6% speak only French. Thunder Bay has one of the largest established communities of Finnish speaking people outside of Finland. Other languages spoken in Thunder Bay include Italian and Ojibwe.
The City of Thunder Bay, Ontario is home to 12,825 people of Finnish descent, which is the highest concentration of persons of Finnish origin per capita in Canada, and the second largest Finnish population in Canada after Toronto which has been reported to be 14,750 persons of Finnish origin.
European settlement in the area of Thunder Bay began with two French fur trading posts (1679, 1717) which were subsequently abandoned . Permanent settlement of the area began in 1803 with the establishment of Fort William by the Montreal-based North West Company as its mid-continent entrepôt. The fort thrived until 1821 when the North West Company merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company and Fort William lost its raison d'être. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1875 sparked a long battle for supremacy which did not end until the amalgamation of 1970.
Thunder Bay began a period of extraordinary growth in the era of Sir Wilfred Laurier as a result of transcontinental railway building and the western wheat boom. The CPR double-tracked its Winnipeg–Thunder Bay line. By 1914 there were modern infrastructures (sewers, safe water supply, street lighting, electric light, etc.) .
Today, Thunder Bay has become the regional services centre for Northwestern Ontario with most provincial departments represented. Lakehead, established through the lobbying of local businessmen and professionals, has proved to be a major asset, reinforced by the Confederation College. The same businessmen and professionals were the driving force behind the amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur in 1970.
City Hall Address:
500 Donald Street E
Thunder Bay, ON, P7C 5K4