Thunder Bay Nearby: Fort Frances
Once an important community of trade and commerce, Fort Frances is now a booming paper town. It's located where the Rainy River flows into sprawling Rainy Lake, one of North America's cleanest bodies of water. The "Fort" was begun as a trading post in 1688, and was first named Fort St. Pierre. In 1831, the name was changed in honor of Lady Frances Simpson (1812-1853), the first wife of Sir Giorge Simpson, and the cousin of Sir George, the governor in chief of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1820-1860.
With a population of 8,000, it is the largest town in the Rainy District. Fort Frances is connected by bridge to International Falls, Minnesota, making it the "Gateway to North Western Ontario", and a busy tourist crossing. The town is the oldest settled community west of Lake Superior.
The town provides a variety of historic pioneer and aboriginal culture as well as local art found at the Fort Frances Museum. Other attractions include the Rainy Rapids, the retired logging boat Hallett, Fort St. Pierre, Lookout Tower Museum.
Fort Frances Business listings
Fort Frances Attractions
Boise Cascade Canada Ltd.
Scott and Central Ave.
(807) 274 - 8878
Tour this paper manufacturing plant and see the entire process of how pulp ends up as its finished product. Open June - Aug; Mon - Fri; Closed Holidays; Must be 12 years of age; Reservations are required. This company also offers slef-guided forest tours on teh road between Fort Frances and Atikokan.
Fort Frances Museum & Cultural Centre
259 Scott St. (Hwy 11)
(807) 274 - 7891
Displays of Indian culture, fur traders and later settlement, with changing exhibits. Open all year daily; Closed holidays in winter.
Fort St. Pierre
3 km east on Hwy 11 in Pithers Point Park
Walk through a model of the original fort built in 1731. Watch displays of early fur trading.
In Pithers Point Park
A 18 metre (60 ft) tugboat, the biggest logging boat on Rainy Lake until it retired in 1974.
Lookout Tower Museum
In Pithers Point Park
See the showcase of displays on the lower levels then head to the top for the extraordinary scenic view of Fort Frances and Rainy Lake.