|Etymology||from the French "Rivière aux courants"|
|• coordinates||48°46′36″N88°56′47″W / 48.77667°N 88.94639°W|
|• elevation||476 m (1,562 ft)|
|Mouth||Thunder Bay, Lake Superior|
|48°27′08″N89°11′02″W / 48.45222°N 89.18389°W Coordinates: 48°27′08″N89°11′02″W / 48.45222°N 89.18389°W|
|180 m (590 ft)|
|River system||Great Lakes Basin|
|• left||North Current River|
The Current River is a river in the City of Thunder Bay and Unorganized Thunder Bay District in Thunder Bay District, Northwestern Ontario, Canada.   The river is in the Great Lakes Basin and is a tributary of Lake Superior. The river's name comes from the French "Rivière aux courants", referring to the river's currents.
The Current River begins at Current Lake in Unorganized Thunder Bay District and flows northwest, then turns southeast, passing out of Ray Lake over a dam, then under Ontario Highway 527 and reaches Onion Lake.  It continues southwest, passes into geographic Gorham Township,  flows past the community of Stepstone, and turns southeast before entering the City of Thunder Bay. It takes in the left tributary North Current River, turns south, passes under Ontario Highway 17, then flows through Boulevard Lake and over Boulevard Lake Dam, and flows into Thunder Bay on Lake Superior.
The river's name is the English version of the name given it by early French explorers: "Rivière aux courants", referring to the river's currents. In 1859 Lindsay Russell, Surveyor-General for Canada, followed the river from its mouth in Lake Superior towards its source, reporting that:
Two other sizable rivers and a creek — the Neebing River, the McIntyre River and McVicar's Creek — run between Current River and the Kaministiquia River to the south, but in 1858 neither of these two rivers were of sufficient interest to be identified by name. From the vantage point of Fort William, the Neebing River was referred to as "First River" and the McIntyre continued for some time to be known as "Second River."  Sometimes, from the vantage point of Prince Arthur's Landing, the names were reversed, the McIntyre being the First River and the Neebing River the Second River.
Early references to development along the Current River include mention of John McKenzie's acquisition of land along it in 1857, and William Petit Trowbridge's 400 acre (162 hectare) purchase of patented mineral lands at the river's mouth in 1865.  About 1867 brothers Peter, John and Donald McKellar discovered silver deposits near the river, and their Thunder Bay Silver Mining Co. operated near its mouth from 1866 to 1870, when fire destroyed the buildings.[ citation needed ] The Duncan-Shuniah Mine also operated in this area from 1867 to 1881. An 1875 editorial in Prince Arthur Landing's satirical newspaper Thunderbolt mentions (facetiously) factories and mills on the Current River, but there was no industrial activity on the river until the 20th century.
In 1901 a dam was built near the mouth of the river, resulting in flooding which created an artificial lake known as Boulevard Lake. The land around the lake was developed as a municipal park. Industry has continued to build at the mouth of the river—predominantly pulp, wood and newsprint mills, along with rail and lake shipping facilities—but numerous parklands follow it inland. Eventually it disappears into roadless wilderness, reappearing from time to time near roadsides and at dams constructed along its course.
Thunder Bay is a city in and the seat of Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada. It is the most populous municipality in Northwestern Ontario and the second most populous municipality in Northern Ontario; its population is 108,843 according to the 2021 Canadian Census. Located on Lake Superior, the census metropolitan area of Thunder Bay has a population of 123,258 and consists of the city of Thunder Bay, the municipalities of Oliver Paipoonge and Neebing, the townships of Shuniah, Conmee, O'Connor, and Gillies, and the Fort William First Nation.
Fort William was a city in Ontario, Canada, located on the Kaministiquia River, at its entrance to Lake Superior. It amalgamated with Port Arthur and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre to form the city of Thunder Bay in January 1970. Since then it has been the largest city in Northwestern Ontario. The city's Latin motto was A posse ad esse, featured on its coat of arms designed in 1900 by town officials, "On one side of the shield stands an Indian dressed in the paint and feathers of the early days; on the other side is a French voyageur; the center contains an [grain] elevator, a steamship and a locomotive, while the beaver surmounts the whole."
Thunder Bay District is a district and census division in Northwestern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario. The district seat is Thunder Bay.
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Thunder Bay is a large bay on the northern shore of Lake Superior, in Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide. It is bordered to the east by the Sibley Peninsula at the southern tip of which is Thunder Cape, marking the entrance to the bay for ships approaching from the east. The mesas and sills on the peninsula are known as the Sleeping Giant due to their appearance when viewed from Thunder Bay.
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