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Dryden is the seat of the Kenora District Municipality and a regional service centre for Northwestern Ontario. It is also known as "The Gateway to Northern Ontario." Dryden was named after John Dryden, a former British Poet Laureate. The city's coat of arms includes an image of Parnassus, alluding to his birthplace in London on Mount Parnassus overlooking the Thames River. In addition to its role as a regional service centre, tourism plays an important part in Dryden's economy due largely to its location near Wabigoon Lake and numerous recreational activities available at nearby Quetico Provincial Park (the largest wilderness park in Canada) and along Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg; it has been designated by Tourism Northwestern Ontario as one of seven gateways into that region from southern parts of Canada or from overseas via Thunder Bay International Airport which serves both domestic flights within Canada (mainly Toronto Pearson International Airport)and international flights such as those originating at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Frankfurt am Main airport).