Thunder Bay Museum, Thunder Bay

#1 of 8 in Museums in Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society

Preserving History Since 1908

Our Story

The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society was created in 1908 to preserve and interpret the history of Northwestern Ontario through lectures, publications, the erection of monuments and plaques, and the preservation of documents.

Among the Society's many accomplishments in its early years, was the publication of a long series of valuable historical reports and the construction of a monument to the original Fort William fur trading post at the foot of McTavish Street in Thunder Bay. It was unveiled in 1916 by our founding father, Peter McKellar.

Our Museum

By 1942, enough documents and artifacts had been collected to warrant the opening of a museum in the basement of the local library and, in 1972, the Society moved to new quarters in a former registry office. Short of space for its growing operations, the Society undertook a major campaign in the mid-1990s to acquire and renovate a former police station and courthouse, which today is the home of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society. Our major exhibit gallery opened in 1997. The Museum is located at 425 Donald Street East, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Our Future

Although today the museum and its programs are fully operational, renovations to our building continue. As this rendering illustrates, plans exist to restore the front facade to its 1910 configuration. This was partially completed in 2007 along with the addition of a visible storage gallery to the right front of the building. All three floors of the interior including galleries, library, archives and administration areas have been completed. Only the upper portion of the facade remains to be completed.

We wish to thank all of our funders over the years -- each of the three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) and the many hundreds of individuals, businesses, and foundations whose generosity has made our renovations so successful.


donate now

Gallery Hours


Tues. through Sunday

1 p.m. to 5. p.m.


June 15-Labour Day

Daily 11 a.m to 5 p.m.


$3 (adults)

$1.50 (ages 6-17)

Children under 6 are FREE

Fully wheelchair accessible
Using our international travel planner, Thunder Bay attractions like Thunder Bay Museum can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create an itinerary including Thunder Bay Museum
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Thunder Bay Museum Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
43 reviews
  • The Thunder Bay museum is a collection of Thunder Bay's history from the beginning of life. There are three floors of displays. I recommend at least 1.5 to 2 hours to see everything. Cost is $3.00...  more »
  • The museum is located in the old courthouse. It has three floors of exhibits which take you through the history of the city. They have recreated what a lot of businesses looked like. The admission...  more »
  • Thunder Bay Museum not only saved a rainy day, but I really enjoyed visiting it. It was interactive and I learned a lot about the history of the Thunder Bay area. Would definitely recommend it.
  • This was a great local museum to visit on my trip. Went on a Tuesday because admission was free. The staff was friendly and helpful, and it was a great way to spend the day. It could have had a larger First Nations section, however, and not everything was labelled, but otherwise it was a good trip. I especially loved the "Local Music History" section!
Places to stay near Thunder Bay Museum

Plan your trip to Thunder Bay

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Nature in Thunder Bay

Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h 30 min
Duration:2 h

Side trips from Thunder Bay

Duration:2 h
Duration:1 h 30 min
Duration:2 h

Hidden gems in Thunder Bay

Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h 30 min
Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h

Museums in Thunder Bay

Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h

Nearby attractions in Thunder Bay

Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h
Duration:2 h