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“Great Experience!”

Fort William Historical Park
Ranked #3 of 69 things to do in Thunder Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed August 7, 2011

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at Fort William. We could have spent much more time there. Every person who worked within the Fort was in character and presented themselves as if we were visitor into the past. They must have to take extensive training to work there as each person was a wealth of information and spoke so knowledgeably about life in Fort William. It was really interesting hearing the historical information in such a fun way. I definitely recommend this as a stop when in Thunder Bay for all age groups.

1  Thank discover-fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 9, 2011

We went, we saw, we enjoyed. The cast and crew are pretty well versed in their particular roles. It is actually kind of entertaining to try to trip them up and drag them back into this century. The cast is largely comprised of post secondary students, trying to make a summer buck, pass on some knowledge, and have some fun while doing it. To the cast and crew, job well done.

Thank ThamesTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2011

Just fyi...no one goes camping in Thunder Bay in May. Even late May. It's cold. However, my friends and I picked the date that worked best for our schedules...and we were rewarded by having the campground and surrounding attractions to ourselves, even if we had to shiver through the nights.
Fort William, likewise, was pretty dead. This was one rare place where I think a few more people would have contributed positively to the experience. At Fort William, employees act as tour guides while acting out their positions as though it is still 1815. This makes for an AWESOME experience. However, when there are only a few tourists in the fort, less places are up and running (the fort is, in fact, a working fort--they really bake in the bakery, make boats in the canoe shop, do metal working and blacksmithing in that building, etc.) The "characters" are not so much acting all the time as standing around (some working) and waiting to tell you about their particular area.
I'm sure seeing the fort in full swing in the middle of June or July would be truly an amazing and enlightening experience. In late May...it was still really cool. Just a little quieter.

4  Thank ShiningHalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2010

Old Fort William Historical Park is a great way to spend a couple of hours, or more likely, a half or full day. It is good family entertainment, but I enjoyed visiting on my own as well. Wear comfortable walking shoes, since the park is a full-sized recreation of the original Northwest Company Fur-trade post. Bring a camera, too! The best time to go is during Rendezvous Days, when the re-enact Voyageur arrivals by birch-bark canoe (to the accompaniment of firing cannons) and business meetings of the company partners.

Begin your tour at the Native Encampment just outside the walls of the fort. You might see aboriginal people making deer-skin clothing inside a tee-pee, or hear an elder talk about native customs and spirituality. And if you're lucky, you might get to taste some freshly cooked bannock.

Inside the fort is a working farm, all the shops and sheds needed to keep the fort and the voyageurs' canoes outfitted and in good repair, including a blacksmith's shop, a barrel-making shed and a canoe shed. There are permanent houses (for the partners and doctor) and temporary camps (for the voyageurs) which are bustling with historical interpreters who are great at staying in character.

The doctor's house, fur packing shed, gaol (jail), trading shop, and great hall are some of my favorite spots. The main square is usually hopping with games, fiddling and dancing, and historical vignettes.

There are plenty of places to sit and relax and there is a restaurant for refreshment. The washrooms are modern and clean. They offer shuttle service from the visitors center, but if you are able to walk the quarter-kilometer or so to the gates, do so. It's a lovely stroll through beautiful forest.

3  Thank 1DreamWhisperer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2010

Fort William was at the top of our list of things to do when we got to Thunder Bay. The park's visitor center is beautiful, as are the grounds that the park sits within.

Do bring a camera and do make a point of attending all the special events planned thoughout the day. Definitely wear comfortable shoes. Plan on 2-3 hours at minimum, more if you attend all the special events.

Our only regret was that we were unable to plan our visit earlier in the summer (mid-July) to coincide with the Great Canadian Rendezvous...next time!

1  Thank BobbiP_55025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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