Skip to content

Thunder Bay's $5-million waterfront redesign should kick off this summer

The city will be posting the request for proposals this week, which will close in early May.
Conceptual design for festival area renewal 2024

THUNDER BAY — The festival area at Thunder Bay's Marina Park will be seeing a renewal over the next few years.

The city has released sketches of what the new festival area will look like as part of phase two of its waterfront master plan.

“Well, the key is really to redesign and rebuild the site so that we can accommodate greater performances, larger performances,” said Guy Walter, landscape architect for the City of Thunder Bay.

The key feature to the new design is flipping the stage area to the north side of the site, which Walter said will really maximize use of the site.

“We're hoping to get the capacity upwards of 15,000 for the largest events,” he said.

“The other element with the redesign is we're going to still maintain a lot of that infrastructure for where the existing performance areas are so we can actually create two stage areas for multi-stage and event spaces.”

Along with the changes to the position of the main stage, the city is planning accessible washrooms, and changes to the nearby parking to make it friendlier to larger vehicles like buses, all of which Walter said complements the improvements happening across the waterfront.

"The Pool 6 master plan, this site is very much connected to that,” he said.

“Each of these are seen as phase two — they're working hand in hand and it's really all about building out the unified vision of the waterfront and seeing how things complement each other."

The Pool 6 property — which takes its name from a former grain elevator that stood on the site — includes 12.2 hectares of land on the city's waterfront.

Future developments that are to be developed in the area include the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and a science centre proposed by Science North. Cruise ships touring the Great Lakes also dock nearby.

The city will be posting a request for proposals this week for the festival area, which will close in early May.

The price tag for the work is estimated at $5 million, with the city, province, and federal government each covering roughly 33 per cent of the cost.

Walter said construction will only happen outside of performance and venue opportunities, so it should not disrupt any events in 2024 and 2025.

— TBnewswatch