Our History

Canoes leaving Fort William by river

In the 1800s, Fort William was a major centre of commerce whose history was deeply intertwined with the economic and political development of North America. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Fort continues to play a vital role as a regional economic catalyst and a premier tourist attraction of the Ontario government.

Visit our Fort William circa 1816 section to learn about life at the Fort, the Great Rendezvous, and the North West Company. These stories are accompanied by movies and videos to provide a better sense of the fascinating and colourful nature of Fort William's past. The Reconstruction describes modern Fort William from the chronicle of the complete reconstruction of more than 40 historic buildings in the 1970s and 80s to the evolution of our progressive corporate ethos that has made us an award-winning heritage site.