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Big changes announced for transportation museum

The newly-named Transportation Museum of Thunder Bay also gets a new logo and a dockside market

THUNDER BAY  The Lakehead Transportation Museum Society has a new name, a new image and new plans to grow its profile.

The volunteer group held a news conference beside the Alexander Henry museum ship on Wednesday to discuss how it plans to achieve the goal of becoming a world-class destination for tourists.

After operating for seven years as the LTMS, it's rebranding itself as the Transportation Museum of Thunder Bay, launching a new logo that reflects all the major elements of the city's transportation history, and establishing a dockside market for local vendors to sell their products whenever cruise ships dock at the Pool 6 site.

Spokesperson Anthony Foglia said the board decided that "Lakehead" isn't effective for marketing to people from out of the area who don't know the history of Thunder Bay when they are doing research for their next vacation.

"They're looking for places to see and things to do in Thunder Bay, and Thunder Bay needed to be part of that name," he said.

Local author and artist Heather Dickson came up with the new logo.

"Combining stylistic images representative of our marine, air, rail and road-related history, we've captured ... the heart of what the museum is preserving and celebrating," she said. "Plus, the image is just plain fun. Anyone who looks at it smiles."

Foglia said the museum doesn't currently have items that reflect all the facets of local transportation history, but the logo reflects what it aims to become as it expands its displays.

The dockside market will be introduced on June 5, the scheduled date for the second cruise ship visit of the year.

"We'll have local artisans and local vendors. We have tons of great companies and vendors that are really interested in the dock market. It's unbelievable, the response that we've had, so we're trying to accommodate as many as possible for that. It will be all through the summertime," Foglia said.

Among other plans for this year, he said the Transportation Museum of Thunder Bay hopes to expand on the success of last October's inaugural Haunted Harbour fundraising event.

The Alexander Henry open for tours for the first time this season next week.

Wednesday's news conference was the first to be held since the departure of long-time LTMS president Charlie Brown last December.

His resignation brought into question the future of two Thunder Bay-made Brill trolley buses that were brought to the Pool 6 site in 2021 by another non-profit group — Buddies of the Brill — which was also headed by Brown.

Foglia confirmed that the buses will not be part of the museum's display this year. 

"We are in discussion about what's going to happen with the future of the buses," Foglia said. "I can't really speak to where they're going to end up, but they won't be part of our tour this year. They'll be wrapped up until a decision is made."

He also revealed that talks are underway with the Thunder Bay Railway Historical Society about the possibility of relocating the refurbished caboose that is parked near Marina Park's south entrance to the transportation museum's compound near the Alexander Henry.


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