Thunder Bay downtown north core for an event centre

Thunder Bay City Hall Andrew Foulds Current River

Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – Its the downtown north core for an event centre. At least that is the recommendation headed to City Council. The completed Phase 2 Feasibility Study Report on a proposed Thunder Bay Event Centre will be presented to Council as a first report on Monday, Oct. 15.

The consulting team, using a broad-based Site Evaluation Matrix, is recommending the Downtown/Waterfront site because it offers the greatest short- and long-term benefits. A flexible, multipurpose facility is recommended that will include both spectator and conference components including 5,700 seats and a 50,000 square foot conference centre with major meeting rooms and a banquet hall for up to 1,000. Based on the Phase 2 Feasibility Study, the proposed Event Centre will have significant one-time and ongoing direct economic benefits to the City. The corporate report recommends moving forward with an initial Request for Expressions of Interest related to private sector interest in the project.

“The Downtown/Waterfront site is exceptional in terms of character and potential,” said Conrad Boychuk, Senior Director, CEI Architecture, lead on the Phase 2 Feasibility Study. “A new Event Centre on this site would result in a truly unique entertainment venue that will garner national attention, build on the success of Prince Arthur’s Landing, and promote Thunder Bay as an event destination.”

“For more than two years citizens have told us that they are solidly in support of a new Event Centre providing it’s affordable and a catalyst for economic growth of the City and region,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “The consulting team with a wealth of knowledge of Event Centres are recommending that the Downtown/Waterfront site presents the greatest immediate and future benefit.”

Based on the Phase 2 Feasibility Study, a number of positive economic benefits are expected as a result of construction and operation of the proposed Thunder Bay Event Centre. During operations, 265 to 380 full-time jobs will be created with annual employment income of about $5 million. The proposed Centre will support more than $20 million in new spending annually including $6 million in visitor spending.

The report process has been designed to provide time for Council and interested members of the public to review and consider the findings and recommendations. The report is available for public review at and at City Hall, and a public meeting will be held on Nov. 21 with a presentation at 7 pm at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. The Corporate Report will then be discussed by Council on Monday, Nov. 26.

“Subject to Council’s approval, the next step in the process is a detailed design and financial/business plan which would include exploration of funding opportunities and public/private partnerships,” said Tim Commisso, City Manager. “We have already invested more than two years of work in the development of this major project and there will be several more years ahead to put all the pieces in place. We have a proven track record with Prince Arthur’s Landing and we can bring that expertise to bear to create a destination for residents and visitors that will continue the transformation of our city.”

Previous articleEuropean Union is looking to expand
Next articleSIJHL – Thunder Bay North Stars vs Dryden Ice Dogs or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but we are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862