Our fair cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, combined now into Thunder Bay in 1970 has seen many changes, and a great percentage of these have taken place in the past year, counting a dozen or so buildings either razed or burn to the ground this past year. It is wonderful to see the progress, but many things we remember from the past have also deteriorated to a point of no return. Here are a few reminders of what it was and what it looks like now!
Here is 1969 and the thriving corner of May and Victoria Ave. It is Christmas and the shoppers are out there on the east side of what is now Victoriaville. You can see that even in winter, the area looked clean and bright. The photo was taken from the roof of the old Cooper Block which burned down soon after this was taken. The next photo here shows the same corner with a greyed structure that once was the Agnew Surpass shoe store in the Medical Arts building. The north west corner still houses the Bank of Nova Scotia.
Here is a wonderful postcard photo of May Street circa 1915 before the Royal Edward Hotel was built. Two of the buildings still stand, the lighter coloured brick building on the far left of the first photo here and the building on the right with the long facade. In the newer picture from google maps, the same building is white on the left(the I.O.O.F. Temple) and the long building is on the right. It's nice that some things don't change. In the old post card photo you can see a water delivery horse and buggy on May Street and the spire of the old city hall, which was on the same property as the newly renovated city hall today.
This is an incredibly sad reminder of deterioration and decay. The once thriving Fort William Ski Club, to later become the Mount McKay Ski Club is shown here near the end of its useful life in 1977. It was my Alma Mater in the skiing world here at the Lakehead and myself and my sons miss it very much. You can see that it was a thriving club by the photographs, then left to deteriorate.
Even in the summer months from the other side of the Kaministiquia River you can see all the ski runs as they were once cared for during the whole year. The ship on the river is at the former Great Lakes Paper Company loading dock and is the well known Gaspedoc. Myself and many friends had loaded this ship with newspaper for many US destinations back in the 1960's. The next picture here is a portion of a brochure from the 1960's showing all the runs at Mount McKay Ski Club that were available.
These photos were taken in the last few years. The area has even deteriorated more since these pictures were taken, as Mother Nature slowly but surely reclaims the land once cleared for one of the most popular ski hills here in Fort William....the place that kept me out of trouble for many winter months and years back then. NOTE: Another web post for the Fort William Ski Club was done last year as well....To see it, CLICK HERE, then come back http://hotrodsandjalopies.blogspot.com/2010/01/need-for-speed-in-winter-in-fort.html
Click on the photos to enlarge...some are smaller format and will not fully enlarge to screen size!