Fort William Was Industrial and Water Connected
THUNDER BAY – Riverfest on Saturday was a sharing of the history along the Kaministiquia River and the south of Thunder Bay.
The history of the former City of Fort William was tied to both rail and to the water. The grain elevators across the south of modern day Thunder Bay were a direct connection for the city to the world.
The Industrial Kam
The first grain elevators in the area were along the Kam River. It was the efforts of Port Arthur business owners and C.D. Howe who put in place what today are the strings of elevators along the Thunder Bay North shoreline.
The entire area is continuing to change. Today, Fort William is more of the hub of civic government, and government services. The new court house on Brodie Street is shifting the downtown. The renovations at City Hall have made a huge change in how people connect with each other. This summer’s City Hall Sounds brought the plaza alive.
Downtown gaining a more solid connection to the waterfront and our past should be a task that the city and businesses look at.
At Riverfest, there are more people down at the Kam River Park than at any other time of the year.
This year, there was activity. That activity reduced some of the less desired activities that citizens have raised concerns about with city officials. Many have expressed concern over the level of police patrols in the area. Those concerns were made evident on Saturday when the James Whalen was unavailable for tours. Reportedly the volunteers found that people had broken into the tugboat and were living in the ship.
The Via Rail Train was also closed at Riverfest.
The music and fun of Riverfest offered a very welcome respite for Kam River Park.