There are eight massive grain elevators in the Port of Thunder Bay, situated on the western shore of Lake Superior. Trains bring much of the bounty from the Canadian prairies to Thunder Bay -- wheat, durum, canola, feed grains, peas and other crops, as well as grain by-products (smaller amounts are also shipped to Churchill and Vancouver). These foods are temporarily stored in these enormous structures before being loaded onto ships that then make their way through the St. Lawrence Seaway, bound to countless ports around the world.
The Port of Thunder Bay has the largest grain storage capacity in North America, currently handling about 6 million tons of grain each year (though capable of more). Ship loading rates range from 1,000 to 3,400 tonnes/hour. The Thunder Bay elevators are owned and run by larges agri-businesses.
Thunder Bay's port is open from mid-March to season close in January.