Province/Territory: Ontario

Pass Through the Gates and Enter the World of the Fur Trader’s Life

  • 200 years ago
  • 42 historic buildings
  • 01 piece of bannock to go

Live the life of a voyageur! Venture 200 years into the past at Fort William Historical Park, the inland fur trade headquarters of the North West Company of the early 1800s. Discover the fascinating story of how the fur trade played a key role in forming the foundations of Canada.

Immerse yourself in one of the largest living history attractions in North America and see where crews of voyageurs brought goods from the east and furs from the west to barter and trade. Feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you walk among 42 historic buildings, painstakingly reproduced based on archaeological evidence and exhaustive research. Interact with members of 19th-century fur trade society – Scottish fur traders, French voyageurs, artisans, farmers, First Nations Ojibwa and Métis – and hear their personal stories. Witness demonstrations such as canoe building, blacksmithing and tinsmithing. Sample traditional fur trader fare such as bannock. Participate first hand in the camaraderie, humour and singing of the fur traders while paddling in a voyageur canoe on the Kaministiquia River. Be part of an era gone by, and come away with a keen understanding of how fur traders lived their lives.

Why you should visit
  • Learn what the fur trader's life was really like at the world's largest fur trade post
  • Discover how beaver pelts were made into felt hats
  • Mingle with the fur traders
  • Visit a native encampment
  • Watch an artisan craft a canoe


When to go
  • Open Year Round
  • Peak Season (mid-June to mid-August)
  • Tour reservations are required during Winter Season (mid-October to mid-May)
Need to know
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes
Getting around

Located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, just 10 kilometres from the city's centre. Thunder Bay International Airport is approximately a 1 hour 15 minute flight from Pearson International Airport in Toronto or 14 hour drive by car from Toronto along well-maintained highways. Click here for current highway conditions.