Ontario Supports Major Expansion at Thunder Bay's Waterfront Park
Projects Include New Gallery Spotlighting Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario Artists
Ontario is helping to make Thunder Bay's award-winning waterfront more vibrant and attractive, with support for three projects that will improve public space, pay tribute to the city's history and provide a high-profile showcase for Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Thunder Bay today to announce funding through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for the three projects at Prince Arthur's Landing at Marina Park. The park offers a wide array of attractions, including a marina, arts centre, splash pad, concert venue and places to walk, skate, cycle and skateboard.
Ontario's funding will help strengthen this lively community-gathering place for residents and visitors by:
- Building a new 40,000-square-foot waterfront home for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery -- which has a special focus on works by contemporary Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists -- giving the gallery twice as much space as its current location at Confederation College
- Providing funding for waterfront redevelopment to the City of Thunder Bay, including to extend the Sleeping Giant Parkway, improve the boardwalk and prepare the site for the new gallery
- Supporting the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society's relocation of the Alexander Henry, a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker built in Thunder Bay in 1958, as part of a new interactive transportation museum.
Boosting tourism and supporting arts and culture in the North are part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Through the NOHFC’s Strategic Economic Infrastructure Program, Ontario is providing $5 million to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, $1 million to the City of Thunder Bay and $150,000 to the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society.
- Prince Arthur’s Landing has won 15 national and international awards for excellence in downtown revitalization, green design, Indigenous community planning, landscaping, city planning, and urban and architectural design.
- The Alexander Henry worked in the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1984, breaking ice, rescuing people and transporting lighthouse keepers and their families. It was later displayed at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston.
- Since 2013, the NOHFC has invested more than $593 million in 3,745 projects that have helped create or sustain over 15,100 jobs in Northern Ontario.
- This includes more than $98 million invested in 731 projects in the Greater Thunder Bay Area that have helped create or sustain more than 2,400 jobs.
“Thunder Bay’s waterfront has come so far already, it is exciting that we are taking the next steps in building a truly unique experience for locals and visitors alike. Our investment in Prince Arthur's Landing, including giving people a chance to see extraordinary art by Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists, will celebrate Thunder Bay’s history as a transportation hub and make the waterfront an even more exciting place for everyone.”
“These investments demonstrate our government’s commitment to enhancing tourism infrastructure in the North and helping communities like Thunder Bay take advantage of economic development opportunities through the NOHFC. These new tourism attractions will further strengthen our city’s waterfront as one of the must-see destinations for tourists and residents in the Northwest, and will create new opportunities in our region’s hospitality sector and strong local economy.”
“By supporting the redevelopment of Thunder Bay’s waterfront, the NOHFC and our government are demonstrating how strategic investments in community infrastructure can support increased fairness and opportunity for residents and businesses in the North.”
“As the NOHFC continues to invest in our community’s priority tourism initiatives, it demonstrates the commitment from the province to Thunder Bay as we continue to strengthen our local economy. These projects will help ensure that residents, tourists and businesses take advantage of opportunities in our magnificent waterfront and continue to make Thunder Bay their destination of choice. I would like to add a thank you to our two ministers, who continue to pay attention to our city agenda.”