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City Government

Fort William Gardens Future Use

Phase 2 Feasibility Study

Event Centre

The Phase 2 Feasibility Study on a proposed Thunder Bay Event Centre is now complete. The Corporate Report, including the consultants' recommendations and direction to move forward to Phase 3, went to City Council on Nov. 26, 2012 and was approved following a third and final Public Information Session held at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Nov. 21. Over 400 people attended the final information session and 545 people followed the live stream.

This report was made possible with financial assistance from FedNor/Industry Canada.


phase 2 history

The City of Thunder Bay retained the services of a consulting team in early 2012 to look specifically at the Downtown/Waterfront, Thunder Bay Airport, and Innova Business Park sites as potential locations for the new facility. 

Overview on Phase 2 Feasibility Study Adobe PDF, 3 pages, 699 KB

Led by Conrad Boychuk of CEI Architecture, assisted by Ron Bidulka of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Adam Rose of Thunder Bay’s True Grit Consulting Ltd., and Alun Lloyd of the B.A. Consulting Group, the consulting team will be responsible for:

  • Reviewing the development opportunities for each of the three sites
  • Assessing the economic impact
  • Analyzing the traffic and parking issues, and;
  • Developing an overall conceptual cost estimate for the development of the three sites

The Process

The Consulting Team will undertake the following specific tasks and share their findings with the community through the open house process:

  • Develop an Evaluation Matrix for rating the 3 sites. 
  • Develop an appropriate and supportable Concept Design for each of the three sites.
  • Review the concept designs for each of the three sites to evaluate Revenue-Generating Opportunities.
  • Review the development of each of the three sites to evaluate the overall Economic Impact on the City and District of Thunder Bay as a market area.
  • Develop a Traffic Study assessing the impact of the development of each of the sites in terms of pedestrian, vehicular, and public (present / future) transit. Identify parking goals for each of the three sites. 

Public consultation

The City and their consulting team recognized the high level of interest in this project. Three Open House events  took place throughout 2012. The first Open House & Information Session was held on Feb. 29, and outlined the work of the consulting team and included concept designs for each of the three sites, as well as a general commentary on the economic impact, traffic issues, cost implications and site selection criteria for each of the three sites. 

The second Open House & Information Session was held on April 11, 2012. The consulting team presented refined concept designs for the three sites identified by the City of Thunder Bay (Innova Business Park, Downtown/Waterfront and Thunder Bay International Airport), provided information on the economic impact on the region, and information on vehicular site access and parking.

The third and final public Open House was held on Nov. 21, 2012 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium with over 400 people in attendance and 545 followers on the live stream.The consulting team provided the final Phase 2 recommendation as to a preferred site, a more detailed concept design for that site, an economic impact assessment, a detailed traffic and parking assessment, and an order-of-cost magnitude cost estimate for the overall project.