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Waterfront Fast Fact #30 : Ingrid Koivukangas won a Public Art Competition with the concept of Diatom Whisper: Alchemy. The art piece, based on images of microscopic life, is made of cast and fused glass and was installed in June 2009.

Thunder Bay Waterfront Park Study 1975

North area of the Waterfront - 1996

The Thunder Bay Waterfront Park Study plan arose out of the Urban Renewal Scheme of 1967 and Master Parks Plan of 1971. This plan identified the Waterfront as a perfect place for urban renewal. In 1973, City Council agreed that a formal study on development options for the Port Arthur Waterfront was necessary. The Study Team consisted of The Proctor & Redfern Group, Consulting Engineers and Planners, and Steven Moorhead Limited and Richard Strong, Landscape Architects. The Waterfront Park Study Plan was completed in July 1975. 

1975 Report

Excerpts from the 1975 Waterfront Study

The focus of the report is on how to harness the beauty of the lakeshore in the downtown area in the Port Arthur Ward, establish an open space for access to the Bay, and provide facilities for public and private boaters. Once the passive park and boating facility are established, the plan recommends increasing pedestrian and vehicular access to the grounds. The concepts discussed include: open lakeshore, accessibility, varied uses, accommodation of boats, and use of pre-existing facilities.

A balance of emphases on beauty, public access, and public and private development would be employed in developments in the North area of the Waterfront over the next thirty years.

Involving the community in the development of the lakefront was integral to the project. The Study Team held public meetings in July 1973 and December 1974, and integrated that feedback and the advice of the Coordinating Committee into the final report.

The 28-page report includes technical drawings accompanied by descriptive text, including: Context Plan, Existing Conditions, Concept Plan, Development Plan, Boatyard Detail, Pier & Slip Detail, Terrace Detail, Overlook Detail, Servicing Plan, and Phasing Plan. Also, the appendices to the Study set out basic cost estimates as the groundwork for detailed designs and associated contracts proceed.

The report was well received and was used as the basis of development for years to come. Waterfront users, citizens and tourists saw the benefits as it kicked off the first major projects to develop the Waterfront as both a recreational area and boating facility.

Archives location: TBA 4735-28

For more information on this subject, or any other subject of interest, please visit or contact the City of Thunder Bay Archives