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Thunder Bay waterfront projects receive provincial funding

Art gallery proponents, city, museum ship volunteers reap the rewards
Waterfront Development-Pier 2

Thunder Bay’s award-winning waterfront park received more than $6 million in provincial funding for three projects at Prince Arthur’s Landing.

The campaigners behind the construction of a new Thunder Bay Art Gallery got a $5-million infusion through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.

The proposed 40,000-square-foot building will place an emphasis on displaying works by contemporary Indigenous and northwestern Ontario artists, and provide twice as much space as at its current Confederation College location.

The city has committed $5 million to the $33-million project with the expectation of more dollars coming from Queen’s Park and Ottawa.

Premier Kathleen Wynne delivered the news in Thunder Bay on Jan. 31.

The City of Thunder Bay will net $1 million for ongoing waterfront redevelopment work to prepare a site for a new gallery, for boardwalk improvements and to extend the Sleeping Giant Parkway.

Lakehead Transportation Museum Society is using $150,000 in funding to make the Alexander Henry, a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, more shipshape.

The vessel was acquired and towed from Kingston last year. Volunteers plan to open the ship for tours in May as a new interactive transportation museum.

The ship was built in Thunder Bay in 1958 and operated on the Great Lakes until 1984.

“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,” said Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs in a news release.

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.

“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,” said Wynne in a statement.

“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.”