• A Vibrant Community
  • Formation of the Board
  • The MLS Service

Formation of the Board

Growing with the

The history of the local economy and community goes back to the 1800s and the fur trade in Canada. The area became a vital link in trade routes between eastern colonies and provinces, and fur trading regions of the country.

The provincial government passed legislation which created the Town of Port Arthur in 1884. With the growth of population and industry, an area was separated in order to incorporate the Town of Fort William in 1892. In addition to establishing public works, street railways, and maintaining order, a rivalry developed between the two communities. With the first turn of sod for the construction Canadian Pacific Railway in the town square of Fort William, 1875, the predictions were for a prosperous future. With the completion of the first rail line from the west in 1882, an increasing flow of grain also shaped the development of the local economy. By the 1920’s, the Lakehead ports had the greatest


grain handling capacity in North America.

The history of organized real estate in the region dates back to 1914, and the creation of the Association of Port Arthur Real Estate Agents. At the initial meeting it was “resolved unanimously by those present that a Real Estate Association would be of mutual advantage to real estate dealers and property owners.” G.H. Rapsey was elected the first president.

Formation of the Board

It was in 1950 that the Fort William Real Estate Board was formed with brokers from nine local firms making up the original membership. A Multiple Listing Service® was introduced in 1954 as a separate organization from the Board, which was a common practice during that period. Although it was suggested to the MLS® group that that name be changed to Co-op Listing, the suggestion was ignored. In a sense the Board was just waiting for the rest of Canada to catch up to it as eventually all boards adopted the Multiple Listing Service® name.

The Multiple Listing Service® was amalgamated with the other functions of the local real estate Board in the late 1950s, another change becoming prevalent throughout organized real estate.

After several years of study and political campaigns pro and against, the City of Thunder Bay was created through a provincial bill on May 8th, 1969. The new city became a reality of January 1, 1970 with local businessman Saul Laskin as Mayor. He had also served as Mayor of Port Arthur from 1962 to 1969. The new City consisted of Fort William, Port Arthur and the adjacent geographical Townships of Neebing and McIntryre.

As a result of the municipal merger, Fort Williams Real Estate Board and the Port Arthur Real Estate Board merged, creating one organization and MLS® system serving 135 members. In 1971 the name was changed to Thunder Bay Real Estate Board, creating the local real estate organization as it is today.