Terrace Bay

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For the community in the United States, see Terrace Bay, Indiana.
Terrace Bay
Township (single-tier)
Township of Terrace Bay
Terrace Bay ON.JPG
Motto: Gem of the Northshore
Terrace Bay is located in Ontario
Terrace Bay
Terrace Bay
Coordinates: 48°48′N 87°06′W / 48.800°N 87.100°W / 48.800; -87.100Coordinates: 48°48′N 87°06′W / 48.800°N 87.100°W / 48.800; -87.100
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
District Thunder Bay
Settled 1940s
Incorporated 1959
 • Mayor Jody Davis
 • Federal riding Thunder Bay—Superior North
 • Prov. riding Thunder Bay—Superior North
 • Land 151.04 km2 (58.32 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,471
 • Density 9.7/km2 (25/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code FSA P0T
Area code(s) 807
Website www.terracebay.ca

Terrace Bay is a township in Thunder Bay District in northern Ontario, Canada, located on the north shore of Lake Superior east of Thunder Bay along Highway 17. The name originates from a series of lake terraces formed as the water level in Lake Superior lowered following the latest ice age.


Terrace Bay originated as a company town in the 1940s when a pulp and paper mill was established there by the Longlac Pulp & Paper Company, later renamed Kimberly-Clark Forest Products. At the same time, the Aguasabon Generating Station was created by the Ontario Hydro water division, to redirect the northward flowing Long Lake south through the Aguasabon River system to Lake Superior. The Long Lake and Ogoki diversions which combine to end at Terrace Bay are the most significant water diversion into the Great Lakes and after it was opened, it boosted Lake Superior water levels by 2.4 inches (61 mm), Lake Michigan and Lake Huron by 4.3 inches (110 mm), Lake Erie by 3.1 inches (79 mm), and Lake Ontario by 2.8 inches (71 mm).

On September 1, 1947, Terrace Bay was granted status as an Improvement District. The pulp mill was the lead developer with construction of the community's basic infrastructure. By the end of 1948, Terrace Bay consisted of about 230 houses serviced with sewer, water and electricity but surrounded only by bush as the highway was still not completed through the town. In 1951, the Lakeview subdivision was started, with sewer, water and electrical services provided for well over 100 houses. By December 31, 33 of the 35 new houses were completed and occupied. Other additions to the community were two new churches, 22 bed modern hospital, post office, bank, liquor store, theatre, clothing store and railway station. Construction of the Memorial Recreation Centre was completed in July 1953. The building consisted of an arena, curling club, restaurant, bowling alley, library, offices, 3 meeting rooms and public washrooms. In 1958, the mill converted to chlorine-dioxide bleaching and had sold 63 houses to employees and another 28 houses were privately built. The next year, Terrace Bay became a municipal township.

In 1972, the Kimberly Clark Pulp and Paper Company Ltd. and Kimberly Clark of Canada Ltd. amalgamated. From 1972 to 1977 the population of Terrace Bay increased from 1,755 to 2,299 persons, directly attributed to Kimberly Clark's expansion program. The pulp mill was the lifeblood of the region and in 2005 Kimberly-Clark sold the mill to Neenah Paper Inc who then sold the mill to Buchanan Forestry Products in 2006 and the mill was renamed to Terrace Bay Pulp Inc. The mill operated until it ran into financial hardship and was shut down in 2009. After financial reorganization, it reopened in October 2010 to strong pulp markets.

Terrace Bay Pulp completed its annual major shutdown just prior to the explosion of a blow tank on October 31, 2011, that resulted in the death of an employee. The unexpected shutdown that occurred as a result of the explosion happened at a time when the mill was vulnerable to additional expenses and a lack of production due to the annual shutdown. This resulted in a major liquidity crisis at a time when pulp prices were declining, and the company decided to idle the mill for three months. It did not restart operations and was put up for sale. In July 2012 a deal was announced with the Aditya Birla Group where they agreed to purchase the mill and invest $250 million into the operation to convert it to produce a dissolving pulp. The Aditya Birla Group through this investment created the new company AV Terrace Bay Inc. for the operation of the pulp mill. The Aditya Birla Group is a $40 billion company and their investment is viewed as a huge boom for the Community and an end to the previous up and down nature of the pulp mill.

The Municipality carried out an ambitious plan for growth in 2010/2011 including the downtown revitalization plan, the cultural centre project, and a total rebranding of the Township based on Lake Superior and the new Terrace Bay Lighthouse attraction that was built and Lake Superior. This plan resulted in renewed interest in the Community, job growth, and Terrace Bay being recognized as the Northern Ontario Entrepreneurial Community of the Year 2010/2011 by the Northern Ontario Business Awards.


Terrace Bay's McCausland Hospital is a modern, fully accredited 45-bed community hospital. It serves a population of approximately 4,000 residents from the communities of Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Rossport, Jackfish and Pays Plat. Named for the town's first physician, Michael McCausland, the present structure was built in 1980 and is situated overlooking the shores of Lake Superior. The McCausland Hospital expanded with the creation of the Wilkes Terrace 22-bed long-term care facility which opened in May 2011. The Aguasabon Medical Clinic is located in the McCausland Hospital and has a full complement of physicians with same day medical service. Upon moving to Terrace Bay and visiting the clinic, new residents are immediately assigned their own family physician.

The town has three elementary schools; Terrace Bay Public School, St. Martins Catholic School, and École Catholique Franco-Terrace. Lake Superior High School accommodates students from surrounding communities.

The towns Recreation Centre holds a hockey arena, outdoor pool, curling rink, fitness centre, bowling alley, and various athletic courts. During the summer months, the Aquasabon Golf Course opens and during the winter months, the Trestle Ridge Ski Hill. The Voyageur Hiking Trail passes through the community. The Terrace Bay Cultural Centre was built in October 2010 which includes the expanded Terrace Bay Public Library, the Terrace Bay Seniors Activity Centre, and the Michael King Community Hall.

The large majority of businesses, including a grocery store, pharmacy, post office, LCBO, flower shop, gift shops, outdoor supply store, stationary and print shop, [(CIBC)] and various restaurants are located on the main street, Simcoe Plaza, which saw a major revitalization effort in 2011. Simcoe Plaza had renovations done to its look as well as landscaping and streetscaping which also saw the construction of a 50 foot lighthouse attraction for visitors to climb and take in views of Lake Superior, the nearby Slate Islands, and the rest of the Municipality.

Terrace Bay boasts a multitude of sandy beaches on the shores of Lake Superior as well as smaller inland lakes. Accessible by vehicle and hiking trails, the Lake Superior beaches boast waves in the late summer months that bring a variety of water sport lovers to the town including surfers, and body boarders. The inland lakes provide warm sheltered swimming for the many hikers and campers that come to the area.


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1991 2,477 —    
1996 2,324 −6.2%
2001 1,950 −16.1%
2006 1,625 −16.7%
2011 1,471 −9.5%

Slate Islands[edit]

The Slate Islands, now a provincial park, are located in Lake Superior within Terrace Bay's municipal limits. The island features the highest lighthouse on Lake Superior, the largest known shatter cone in the world, abandoned gold mines, and wildlife including the largest unthreatened Caribou population in Canada. Visitors can book charters to the Slate Islands by local tourist outfitters.


In 1999 local car enthusiasts group, Superior Classics Car Club, began the annual three day Drag Racing event known as Terrace Bay's Dragfest. In 1999 it had participation of 187 competitors, which has grown to over 300 in 2010, with spectators now number over 10,000. Most drivers originate from the Thunder Bay area, but the event has attracted participants from Southern Ontario, Winnipeg, and Minnesota.

Over its ten year history, the race has been financially successful, allowing continued investment into permanent and improved facilities for competitor and spectators alike. Money has also been used to supported local service clubs and charities, with total donations now exceeding $150,000. Major recipients include the Camp Quality, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, Terrace Bay McCausland Hospital, local fire departments, ambulances, food bank, and animal shelters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Terrace Bay census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  2. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  3. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  4. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census

External links[edit]