Its development awaited the slow progression of settlement up the Ottawa Valley and from southern Ontario that was initiated by the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1882). Later rail connections were made to Toronto (1886) and to the resource areas northward (1904). Town status (1891) followed by city status befitted North Bay's role as a regional supply centre and key rail point. It did not "boom" in the manner of many northern centres, but it also avoided the "bust" cycle so intimately associated with such resource-based growth.
The city's geographically advantageous position supported a variety of economic endeavours. It remains a major fur centre: its wild-fur auctions are among the largest in the world. Wood and wood products remain important. Recently, information technology, processing and general manufactures have supplemented traditional industries and tourism. North Bay is also home to a military base, NIPISSING UNIVERSITY and Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology. North Bay's population is largely of British origin with a strong French Canadian presence and notable elements of Dutch, Italian, Scandinavian and German stock - beneficiaries of a prosperous urban life with proximity to the "Near North." Among the historical developments celebrated are the DIONNE QUINTUPLETS (born in nearby Corbeil) and the invention of the ice-skating sport of RINGETTE, which was first played in North Bay in 1963.
Author PETER V. KRATS
Michael Barnes, Gateway City: The North Bay Story (1982) and North Bay: Northern Gateway (1997); Kevin Hoffman, Old North Bay (1989); W.K.P. Kennedy, North Bay: Past, Present Prospective (1961).
Links to Other Sites
The official website of the City of North Bay, ON.
Dionne Quintuplets Museum
The Dionnne Quints museum features digitalized images and documents that tell the story of the famous Dionne Quintuplets.
North Bay Public Library
Online access to local library and community resources.
The Voyageur Heritage Network
This site is devoted to the museums, historical societies, cultural groups and institutions in the Rainbow Country, the Near North, the Algoma Country and the James Bay Frontier tourism region.
North Bay, Ontario: A History in Vintage Postcards
Explore the history of the North Bay region of Ontario through this fascinating collection of vintage Canadian postcards from the private collection of R. H. Stewart. From VintagePostcards.org.
Peter Smith Associates Inc.
Click on the building names to view illustrated descriptions of theatres and galleries designed by Canadian architectural firm Peter Smith Associates Inc.
The website for Jane’s Walk, a network of free walking tours that explore the quality and livability of local neighbourhoods based on ideas espoused by Jane Jacobs. Click on "The Community" to access the latest news and photos on their blog and more. Also, check out "Find Your Walk" for maps and descriptions of local walks throughout the country.