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Heritage Site

Gateway Arch

Site 22:
Gateway Arch
Lee Park
Date Originally Built:
Present Use:
Municipal Parking Lot Entrance
Evaluation Score:
Priority One

The Gateway Arch was first constructed in 1928 and spanned Highway 11B (currently Lakeshore Drive), where it acted as a welcome to North Bay and marked the boundary between the city and West Ferris. Today it serves as the entrance to a municipal parking lot as well as being an important symbol of North Bay, the “Gateway City.”

Although the arch has undergone many alterations and taken different forms, it remains very similar to the original arch that was commissioned by the Association of Canadian Travellers (ACT). The arch was later donated to the City of North Bay by the ACT.

The two pillars supporting the arch are made of large, rounded river stones that are held in place with cement mortar. Though it was originally made of wood, the archway is currently made of metal for greater durability. The building contract was awarded to the Billington & Co. construction firm, which also built the Cecil Hotel.

The term and concept of “Gateway to the North” first appeared around the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This term came about due to the realization that North Bay, because of its geographical location, was an inter-connecting link for both north-south and east-west traffic.

Although the context for the arch has been changed throughout the years, it remains an icon of the past and an enduring symbol of North Bay’s persona and identity as the “Gateway City.”