Cheers to 50 Years!

A year of celebrations mark 50 years since the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Fort William.

On December 31, 1969 and every day for 100 years before, two cities could be found at the head of Lake Superior: Fort William and Port Arthur, but as the clock struck midnight on January 1, 1970, the two cities (and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre) came together to become one city – Thunder Bay.

In the last 50 years, Thunder Bay has seen change and development, hosted world-class events and lived through some interesting times - learn what really happened for those it really happened to on Superior Stories on Country 105FM and SoundCloud.

In 2020, visitors, friends and family from around the world are invited to join residents in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Fort William to create the city of Thunder Bay!

One City. Fifty Years.

Special Celebration Events

Summer in Thunder Bay is always filled with fun festivals and events, but in 2020 many of these events are being enhanced to celebrate the anniversary in a special way.

If you’re having a difficult time choosing dates for your trip, perhaps you could plan your visit around any of the Live on the Waterfront events, Homecoming or the From Here Music Festival.

Each week during July and August, Thunder Bay hosts a Live on the Waterfront event - the FREE summer outdoor concert series that has happened every year for well over 100 years featuring live music from exciting local and often very well-known touring bands and performance artists, fun outdoor activities, food trucks and retail vendors.

Live at the Waterfront events are always Wednesday evening, but on August 19 & 20, Live at the Waterfront will become Homecoming – a special 2-day event for anyone who has lived in or visited Thunder Bay, or anyone who has ever wanted to – so basically everyone.

The line-up for all Live on the Waterfront events will be released in late-Spring.The From Here Music Festival will celebrate 50 years of music created and performed by seven musicians who are from here. Intended to encourage today’s youth and to sustain Thunder Bay’s musical tradition of excellence. “From Here” will run October 1st to 4th, 2020, culminating in a gala celebration on Sunday, October 4th.

Use the Thunder Bay Events Calendar to find an up-to-date listing of the 50th Anniversary celebrations happening around town.

What's New?

Some of Thunder Bay’s greatest attractions are natural wonders that have been there for millions of years, but in the last 50 years Thunder Bay has seen the opening of brand new hotels and many exciting visitor attractions including Fort William Historical Park. The city has also welcomed an increase in guiding and outfitting companies that can assist visitors in having the most epic outdoor adventures in, on and around our natural wonders: Explore Lake Superior with a Sail Superior Big Lake Adventure – options include sailboat, high-speed Zodiac and brand-new this year, Catamaran tours; or try a sea kayaking adventure with S.A.N.D. Adventures or stay in a lighthouse on Porphyry Island. Maybe try rock climbing, or mountain biking - there's guides and rental equipment available. 

One City. Fifty Years Logo

When you arrive, you will see the One City. Fifty Years logo all around town. It is on street banners, many city staff uniforms and more. It will also appear on many event listings/posters as many events (both city-run and community-organized) are 50th-themed or offering an additional celebratory flair.

The 50 represents the coming together of two cities – the grain elevators, waterfront, breakwall and views of the Sleeping Giant of Port Arthur in the 5 and the parks, rail history, views of Mount McKay and City Hall in Fort William in the 0. 

Don’t leave without grabbing a few 50th logo souvenirs. These specially designed items (hats, beer and more) are produced by local companies and are in limited-supply. Get yours now - online or in store!

FREE 50th Anniversary Magazine

Download or order a hard copy of the FREE Special Edition 50th Anniversary Thunder Bay Experience Magazine and start planning your visit today!

About Stephanie Reid

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Stephanie is a content creator and media specialist and has a true appreciation for Northern Ontario and all of its many offerings and attractions.

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