thunder bay ontario

Thunder Bay, ON

Lat: 48° 25.898   Long: 089° 12.589

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: City
  • Monitors VHF: 68
  • Charts: CHS 2301 2311 2314
  • Customs: (888) CANPASS (266-7277)
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code807
Police(807) 684-1200
Hospital(807) 684-6000
Pharmacy(807) 345-1719


Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Sault Ste Marie, 238 SE Nipigon, ON 86 E
Duluth, MN, 156 SW Rossport, ON 90 E
Apostle Islands, WI, 128 SW Marathon, ON 120 E
Marquette, MI 161 S Michipicoten Hbr, ON 178 E


Thunder Bay Ontario is the largest Canadian city on the Canadian coastline north of Windsor, ON. It is a major commercial port and transhipment point. The city takes its name from its namesake bay - the huge Thunder Bay. This bay was known to the French in the 1700's as Baie du Tonnere. The principal commodities that move through Thunder Bay are grain from the west, various ores from mines in northern Ontario and general cargo. It is the largest outbound Great Lakes port on the St. Lawrence Seaway system. Its grain terminals are the largest grain transhipment facilities in the world.

The initial settlement was the Northwest Company's trading post named Fort William. Although the fort passed into disuse by the 1820's, its name was given to the newly established town of Fort William in 1860. Some 20 years later, a second town developed several miles to the north, named Port Arthur. These two communities grew side by side over the next century. In 1970, they were amalgamated under the new name of Thunder Bay.

Throughout the early and middle 20th century, Thunder Bay Ontario boomed as first the grain trade and then manufacturing and the railroads brought prosperity. As these industries declined in the later part of the century, new areas opened, especially in education and research and government services as the city became the major regional centre for this part of Ontario.

Recreational boating is also important to the city and this is reflected in new waterfront construction and marina expansion.

As a major city, Thunder Bay has all of the services a cruising sailor could need or want as well as a full range of amenities.


The city of Thunder Bay Ontario lies on the north shore of the huge Thunder Bay. Entry into the bay is via the passage between Pie Island to the west and Thunder Cape on the east. Keep a lookout for the commercial traffic. A course of 325oT for 7.5 nm will bring you to the northwest side of Welcome Island. Alter course to approximately 312oT for a run of approximately 5 nm which will bring you to the main entrance through the breakwater. The entrance is marked with a Fl GREEN light and Fl RED light. Once through the entrance, alter course to 265oT to bring you to Prince Arthur's Landing Marina.

NOTE: There are magnetic anomolies in the areas of Pie Island, Welcome Island and Thunder Cape.


Prince Arthur's Landing   (807)345-2741   VHF 68
Prince Arthur Landing is a modern, attractive marina owned by the municipality. Along with other government partners, Thunder Bay Ontario is investing $58 million dollars in its waterfront development in which the marina is a key ingredient. With more than 200 slips, there is lots of room for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and pumpout station. There are washrooms, showers and laundry facilities. The marina complex has a lounge, gift shop and snack bar. The Customs Office is located here as well. There is internet access. Although there are no on-site repair or maintenance facilities, marina staff can help make arrangements for you.

Thunder Bay Yacht Club   (807) 622-0256   
TBYC is located on the south shore of Mission Island, south of the harbour breakwaters. This is the mouth of the Kaministiquia (or 'Kam') River and there are three branches. You want the most southerly of the three, called Mission River. There is a prominent stack on the north side of the entrance. There is a clearly marked channel that enters on a charted range of 289oT. TBYC is approximately .75 nm up the river on your starboard.

There is transient docking on a reciprocal basis. There is no fuel dock. However, arrangements can be made to have fuel delivered. There is a pumpout station. There is water and power available at dockside. There is also a travel lift. The clubhouse has washrooms and showers for use.


McKellar Marina is a full-service marine repair facility located on the McKellar River on the north side of Mission Island. They can provide a full range of engine and mechanical repair servives.

There are a number of large grocery stores across Thunder Bay Ontario. Canada Safeway is the closest to the marina.

There are half a dozen banks, all with ATM's, within a couple of blocks of the marina. CIBC is the closest to the marina.


Thunder Bay Regional Hospital (807) 684-6000 is located approximately 2 mi/3 km from the marina.

Safeway Pharmacy (807) 345-1719 is located within walking distance of the marina.


There is a wide selection of restaurants across Thunder Bay, including a number near the marina.

Thunder Bay Ontario has a large Finnish community and, amongst its influences, is Hoito. This Finnish restaurant is nearly a century old, very very popular and within walking distance of the marina.

Gargoyles Grille and Ale is located close to the marina. Menu items range from pasta to filet, all accompanied by an extensive wine list.

The Prospector Steakhouse has been a landmark in Thunder Bay for over 25 years. Serving beef from their own ranch, The Prospector is famous for its steaks and prime rib dinners.


Thunder Bay has many galleries and museums which are certainly worth exploring.

Fort William Historical Park, although a taxi ride away, is an outstanding reconstruction of the original Fort William, at its time, the largest fur trading post in the world. Virtually every one of Canada's significant explorers such as Simon Fraser and Alexander Mackenzie and many many more passed through its gates. There are all kinds of active programs running here, day in and day out, all year round. (Its one of my favourite places to visit.)

About 20 mi/32 km outside the city is Kakabeka Falls, the 'Niagara of the North'. It is certainly worth the car rental to visit, especially if you have children on board.

Centenial Park has a reconstructed 1910 logging camp and a Logging History Museum. The Muskeg Express is a former logging train and offers daily train rides. Again, kids on board (of all ages!) will love it. A quick look at this Thunder Bay Ontario tourism site will give you many ideas on getting the most of your visit.

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