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Urban Design Guidelines & Image Routes

Through a partnership between Clean Green & Beautiful and the City’s Planning Services Division, an Urban Beautification Urban Design Study was completed in 2012, after considerable work and public consultation. This work improves the quality of our City’s built environment by guiding the character of the City streets and informing future Municipal work.

Urban Design Guidelines are an important tool for shaping the design and character of Thunder Bay by establishing the community’s overall design vision. The Guidelines clearly articulate the expectations of the community and City Staff for new development. Urban design guidelines often provide planning and design direction for use in the review of development proposals.

The Urban Design Guidelines developed for the City of Thunder Bay address the full range of design considerations including community/neighbourhood structure, context and placemaking, community focal points, public spaces such as parks and streets, site and building design, heritage and culture, accommodating pedestrians and other alternative modes of transportation, landscaping, signage, lighting and environmental sustainability.

Read the Interactive Urban Design Guidelines: (click image below)

Download the Urban Design Guidelines  Adobe PDF, 203 pages, 24MB*

*this large file may take a few minutes to open.

Image Route and Streetscape Guidelines

Detailed Streetscape Guildines for the original three Image Routes were developed and approved by City Council in June 2012. These Image Routes were first identified in the 2001 Beautification Strategy and have been developed to reflect the unique history of each the routes.

The themes for the original Image Routes are as follows:

  • Arthur Street – “A Civic Legacy”
  • May Street, Memorial Ave. and Algoma Street – “A Commemorative Route”
  • Red River Road – “A Gateway to Canada”

Thunder Bay’s New Image Route

On June 25, 2012, City Council approved the Image Route Guidelines and Detailed Streetscape Designs for three Image Routes and confirmed that a fourth Image Route be approved as follows: Simpson Street, Fort William Road, Water Street, Cumberland Street and Hodder Avenue [though Hodder will be added to the study area as part of a future update to the Image Route Plan in conjunction with the update to the Official Plan].

A visioning exercise looked at the streets that align Lake Superior (Simpson Street, Fort William Road, Water Street, and Cumberland Street), connecting the South and North Core. The Waterfront Image Route further expands on the existing City Wide Urban Design Guidelines and the Image Route and Streetscape Guidelines by developing context specific recommendations. The Streetscape vision aims to:

  • Improve the quality of the City’s built environment
  • Reinforce the Clean Green and Beautiful Initiative and the City’s Official Plan
  • Assist the Development community in the preparation of site plan applications
  • Balance city-wide design quality with the unique elements of each Image Route; and,
  • Guide future Municipal work within the road right-of-ways on each of the Image Routes.

Detailed Streetscape Designs for the Image Routes

Due to the large file size, this document has been provided for download in four sections. 

1-4. Image Route Guidelines (The Image Routes, Enhancing the Image Routes, 

         Design Tools, Demonstration Plans)
5.1 Detailed Streetscape Design (Arthur St. / the South Core)
5.2 Detailed Streetscape Design (May / Memorial / Algoma Streets)
5.3 Detailed Streetscape Design (Red River Road / the North Core)
 Waterfront Image Route Vision   Adobe PDF, pages, 9.88 MB