Thunder Bay History - Gaining Cultural Diversity

The forests are the source of much industry in the region Along with the growing industries came immigrants from all over the world. The forestry industry was a special attraction for the Finnish. This is noticeable today with the omnipresent saunas, the shops of Little Finland on Bay Street and the prevalence of nordic-style skiing, Thunder Bay boasts one of the largest settlements of Finnish people outside of Finland.

Other ethnic groups, including large numbers of Poles, Italians, and Ukranians, settled close to the factories and dockyards, creating early working class settlements around the communities now known as "West Fort William" and the "East End".

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