From 2014-2018 the World War One – Thunder Bay Centennial Project will commemorate this time in history (1914-1918) through stories, displays, exhibits, and more. Current partners include: Thunder Bay Public Library, City of Thunder Bay Archives, Thunder Bay Museum, Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Thunder Bay Military Museum, Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre, and Lakehead University’s Department of History.

This project is a work in progress and some pages of the site will have more content than others, with new material added on a regular basis. Community involvement in this project is always welcomed in order to add valuable personal context to the collections and resources. Community contributions and contact are what drives the World War One Thunder Bay Centennial Project. Please feel free to get in touch via email ww1project@tbpl.ca  or phone 807-624-4203. You can also visit the Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History database to search or share your stories.

Project Partners

City of Thunder Bay LogoHarry Kirk Archives & Records Centre

The Harry Kirk Archives & Records Centre preserves, promotes, and makes public the City’s corporate history. Collections include the records of the Cities of Fort William, Port Arthur, and Thunder Bay, and individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to civic life. Most records are open to the public.

The Harry Kirk Archives & Records Centre is fully open to the public, MondayFriday, 8:30-4:30. No appointment is needed – visit at 235 Vickers St. N. More information about visiting the archives is available online. The archives provides access to multiple archival collections and photographs specific to the war years (1914-1918).

imageCity of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee

The Heritage Advisory Committee advises City Council on the protection of Thunder Bay’s built, natural, and cultural heritage. The Committee educates and promotes awareness of this heritage, so that future planning and development takes into consideration the rich history of these assets.

TBPL LogoThunder Bay Public Library

For photo and newspaper content related to World War One, try the Gateway to Northwestern Ontario History database to search collections from all over Northwestern Ontario. For general research, log into the Virtual Collection and try searching in one of the 50+ available databases.

The Thunder Bay Public Library also maintains an extensive collection of material onsite at the Brodie Resource Library. Some indexes and guides can be found on the Local History & Genealogy / Collections page of our website.


World War I / Canadian Army  / Vimy Ridge / War & Politics

 Thunder Bay Military Museum LogoThunder Bay Military Museum

The Thunder Bay Military Museum is a Tri-Service Museum which represents the Army, Navy & Air Force with a mission to preserve and interpret the military heritage of Northwestern Ontario.

The mission of the museum is:

  • To preserve, display, research and interpret the military heritage of Northwestern Ontario from its being to the present.
  • To provide the local Reserve units a facility in which to introduce their unit’s history and to foster a sense of identity and esprit de corps.
  •  To promote and foster within the general public an awareness of the long and colourful military heritage of the region.
  • To promote the activities and capabilities of the local Reserve units to the general public.

 Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame LogoNorthwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

The Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame is a heritage facility dedicated to preserving, honouring and displaying the rich sports heritage of the region, encompassing the Districts of Thunder Bay, Rainy River and Kenora.  Located at 219 May Street South, beside City Hall, visitors can view displays related to the history of sports and learn about the many Hall of Famers who have brought pride to the region through their many accomplishments in sport.

The facility is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm with admission by donation. Educational programs and tours are offered for schools and groups and a sports library and archives are available for researchers by appointment. For further information call (807) 622-2852 or email nwosport@tbaytel.net or visit us online at www.nwosportshalloffame.com

Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre LogoNorthwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre

The Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre (NOAHC) was established to preserve and commemorate the history of aviation in the northwest.  NOAHC is interested in finding out more about the men from the Lakehead who flew in WWI and the aircraft originally developed for use in the conflict that in the peace that followed helped to open up the northwest.

Lakehead University Department of History Logo Lakehead University Department of History

For over 50 years, the Department of History at Lakehead University has been teaching students about the past and ways of learning about the past. Alumni, faculty, and students in the Specialization in Public History and Community Placement have been involved in the project, working side-by-side the individuals and institutions that comprise our incredible heritage and history community. Each fall the Department of History, Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, the HMCS Griffon, and the Thunder Bay Branch of the Canadian International Council partners also hold a free symposium focusing on issues relating to the Canadian Forces.
Click here to access a full listing of events and lectures through the Lakehead University History Department.



Lakehead Social History Institute

The Lakehead Social History Institute is a partnership of historical researchers at Lakehead University and in the Thunder Bay community. The Institute was constituted by meetings of persons interested in historical research. According to the Lakehead Social History Institute’s mission statement, the institute has been created for the following purposes:

  • to encourage and promote historical research in order to facilitate research and train researchers;
  • to disseminate information about existing historical resources and publications;
  • to conduct workshops in historical research in order to facilitate research and train researchers;
  • to assist educational institutions and other community organizations in historical research;
  • to assist authors and publishers in the publication of historical writing;
  • to establish formal links with existing institutions and organizations in order to avoid duplication of effort;
  • to encourage ethnocultural associations, churches, and other organizations to promote archival endeavours and to make their records available for research, and
  • to seek funding for projects that advance the aims of the institute.

Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Logo Thunder Bay Museum

The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society operates a museum, archives and historical society specializing in the history of Northwestern Ontario. Within its building on Donald Street, is a gallery devoted to the story of military units from the nineteenth-century to today. In the Society’s archives can be found the records of several military units, in particular those created by the Lake Superior Regiment and its predecessors, including the 52nd Battalion C.E.F. Visit the Museum to view the exhibit or call us to set up an appointment to access the records.

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