In 1912, the Canadian National Railway established a line between Longlac and Port Arthur(now the City of Thunder Bay) that ran along the shore of Orient Bay.
With railway access and transportation capabilities, came the significant development of commercial fishery in MacDiarmid. The industry especially flourished in 1917 with a food shortage caused by World War I. The fish were unloaded at MacDiarmid and taken by horse-drawn sled to the Orient Bay rail stop to be shipped out.
Commercial fishing is still an important part of community economy today as is tourism.
Resorts and charter cruises offer nature lovers a tranquil escape beneath some of the most striking views of the Pijitawabik Palisades. Here ice and rock climbers from all over the world travel to climb the towering Palisade cliffs and experience the natural wonder that is the MacDiarmid/Orient Bay area.