On September 6, 2014, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, 17 historically, architecturally and culturally significant sites in Thunder Bay will open their doors to the public free of charge. The purpose of this event, co-ordinated by the Heritage Advisory Committee of the City of Thunder Bay, is to spark the interest of both residents and visitors in Thunder Bay’s rich cultural heritage.
Featured in 2014 are places that commemorate the First World War, that reflect the development of the community and that represent the adaptive reuse of historical buildings. Tours will allow you to explore churches, warehouses, museums, parks, homes, cemeteries and Thunder Bay's first office highrise.
Participating sites in our area are:
- Thunder Bay City Archives
- 235 Vickers Street North
- This building was constructed for Fort William Hydro in 1958. In the early 1980s, the city began to store inactive records here and, by 1988, this was the site of the City Archives. The archives contain a wide range of materials about the history of the city. A display of records relating to the world wars will be featured
- Thunder Bay City Hall Cenotaph
- 500 Donald Street
Constructed in the memory of the men of Fort William who died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean Conflict, this cenotaph was designed and constructed by the Thomson Monument Co. of Toronto. It was erected in 1921 by the Women's Patriotic Society at a cost of $8,000. This monument is a registered municipal heritage site.
- Northwestern Sports Hall of Fame
- 219 May Street South
Constructed in 1916 as the Fort William Lands and Titles Building, this site became home to the Thunder Bay Historical Society in 1972. The Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame took possession of the building in 1996. Featured are exhibits on the influence of war on sport in the region.
- Caledonia Building
- 317 Victoria Avenue East
Constructed in two phases between 1906 and 1908, this commercial block, previously known as the Graham Horne Building, became the Bank of Toronto Building in 1953 and the Toronto Dominion Building in 1955. It was in the heart of the once-thriving Fort William business community. The current owners restored the building in 2008, retaining many original features.
Participating sites include Waverley Park- Hogarth Fountain, Waverley Park Cenotaph, Ontario Historical Plaque- Elizabeth Smellie, Afganistan Monument, O’ Kelly (Thunder Bay) Armoury and Thunder Bay Military Museum, Shuniah Masonic Hall, St. Paul’s United Church, St. John the Evangelist Church, HMCS Griffon, Superior Lofts/Neelin Building, the Whalen Building, Prince Arthur Hotel, Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre, Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, Mountain View Cemetery, Mount McKay Monument.
Historical information regarding the individual heritages sites of Thunder Bay will be available at each site as well as on the City of Thunder Bay website. For locations and more information about these sites and the Doors Open event, go to http://www.thunderbay.ca/doorsopen or call 625-3197.