Thunder Bay City Council Looks to Revitalize Downtown Cores

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May Street in Thunder Bay's Fort William downtown
May Street in Thunder Bay’s Fort William downtown

THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay is looking to improve the downtown cores in Fort William and Port Arthur.  A new Community Improvement Plan to promote development and rehabilitation of Thunder Bay’s core business areas will be introduced at a City Council Public Meeting on June 20.

The Plan recognizes Thunder Bay’s downtowns and the Westfort Business Area as strategic core areas where revitalization and intensification efforts will be focused to promote vibrant, walkable, mixed use districts.

“The health of a downtown is a reflection of the overall well-being of a city,” said Leslie McEachern, Director of Planning Services. “The downtown cores must be revitalized and restored to their full potential and serve as community hubs for work, shopping, entertainment and living as they were in past years.”

The Plan applies to three defined project areas:

  • The North Core – including the Waterfront District BIA and Bay/Algoma Business area
  • The South Core – including the Fort William Business District and Simpson Street BIA
  • The Westfort Business Area

Subject to Council support in the 2017 Budget, the Community Improvement Plan would introduce three financial assistance programs intended to stimulate growth and development in these areas by providing grants to help offset the cost of rehabilitation and improvements.

“The Planning and Building Fee Grant would waive fees in the Project Areas, the Tax Grant Rebate would grant back increases in municipal taxes resulting from improvements and the Building Grant Program would offer a one-time grant to offset the cost of construction,” added McEachern.

The meeting begins at 6:30 pm, in City Council Chambers at City Hall. Business and property owners in the project areas, along with members of the public, are encouraged to attend to hear about the Plan and share their views.

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