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Two townships (Neebing and Paipoonge) and the Fort William Town Plot were surveyed in 1859-60 by the Province of Canada's Department of Crown Lands and opened to settlement.
A large section of land adjacent to the Hudson's Bay Company post remained in dispute until 1875, when it was surveyed as Neebing Additional Township.
The CPR subsequently consolidated all its operations there, erecting rail yards, coal-handling facilities, grain elevators and a machine shop.
In April 1892, Neebing Additional Township and parts of Neebing Township were incorporated as the Town of Fort William.
In March 1881, the inhabitants of Neebing and Neebing Additional petitioned the Ontario Legislature successfully to separate the southern townships from Shuniah and to create the Municipality of Neebing.
By 1883-84, the Montreal-based CPR syndicate, in collaboration with the Hudson's Bay Company, clearly preferred the low-lying lands along the lower Kaministiquia River to the exposed shores of Port Arthur, which required an expensive breakwater if shipping and port facilities were to be protected from the waves.
The federal Department of Public Works, and later the Department of Railways and Canals, took seven years (1875–1882) to build the Thunder Bay Branch from Fort William to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Ontario Legislature incorporated the Municipality of Shuniah in March 1873.
For eight years the residents of Neebing and Neebing Additional townships battled Port Arthur residents for the Thunder Bay terminus.
The post was abandoned in 1758 or 1760 during the British conquest of New France.
The fur trade was quickly re-established with most people using Grand Portage.
The post was named Fort William in 1807 after William Mc Gillivray, chief director of the North West Company from 1804-1821.
After the union of the North West Company with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) in 1821, the fort lost its raison d'être because most trade shifted to York Factory on Hudson Bay. The original site disappeared under development of Canadian Pacific Railway railroad tracks and coal piles in the 1880s.
Fort William was incorporated as a city in April 1907.