East End Thunder Bay Presents a Neighbourhood of Old and New

3174
Anemki Wajiw or Mount Mckay in the background, and CP Rail in the foreground.
Anemki Wajiw or Mount Mckay in the background, and CP Rail in the foreground.

THUNDER BAY – When is the last time you walked through the East End of Thunder Bay? For many in our city, it was in 2012 to tour the area after the flooding impacted the area.

The East End of the city is an area ripe with opportunity, friendly people, and has made the path back from the flood.

A walk through the East End starts with a walk through the tunnel off Simpson Street.

The walking tunnel to the East End just off Simpson Street
The walking tunnel to the East End just off Simpson Street

The tunnel is well lit, and although might seem frightening, the reality is you are simply walking your way into a special part of Old Thunder Bay.

Inside the tunnel.. walking into 'Old Thunder Bay'.
Inside the tunnel.. walking into ‘Old Thunder Bay’.

The East End of Thunder Bay has a feel like many of the small communities in rural Saskatchewan. You can see the evidence that once the East End was a bustling place with lots of businesses. But just like many of the small towns in Saskatchewan, lots of the storefronts are now closed.

The wide streets, with lots of room for traffic, are further evidence of the once busy neighbourhood.

Friday night, people across the area were out, enjoying the early taste of summer, greeting me as I walked along. Two young people out on their bikes joked with me that they were Spiderman.

The area bustles with evidence of the past as a busy, almost self-contained town.
The area bustles with evidence of the past as a busy, almost self-contained town.
Changes in technology, Netflix and Youtube and iTunes movies have in many cases replaced the old video stores.
Changes in technology, Netflix and Youtube and iTunes movies have in many cases replaced the old video stores.
The East End is the original location of Fort William, the fur trading post operated by the North West Company
The East End is the original location of Fort William, the fur trading post operated by the North West Company

There are churches, old corner stores, and to walk the neighbourhood, a spirit of friendly opportunity. The East End presents the opportunity for an inner city neighbourhood.

The East End offers people wide streets and opportunities to get to know their neighbours.
The East End offers people wide streets and opportunities to get to know their neighbours.

Perhaps it was the flood that brought the neighbourhood closer together. Through the work of recovery, there is a stronger sense of neighbourhood in the East End.

Work continues in the East End with new sidewalks and other infrastructure being cared for.
Work continues in the East End with new sidewalks and other infrastructure being cared for.

For many in our city, perhaps what is needed is for us to get out of our cars, and go for a walk and realize that we live in an amazing community that as we continue to work together, will continue to prosper into the future.

For me, in Thunder Bay, our best days are ahead of us, and with the right attitudes, positive thinking and energy, we will continue to move forward.

If you have not gone for a walk in the East End, I invite you to stretch your legs.

James Murray

Anemki Wajiw or Mount Mckay in the background, and CP Rail in the foreground.
Anemki Wajiw or Mount Mckay in the background, and CP Rail in the foreground.