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City Celebrates Civic Pride with New Awards Ceremony

September 29, 2008 – City Council presented the first-ever Clean, Green & Beautiful Awards along with official recognition for the winners of the Civic Beautification Awards, Best Block Award and participants of the Art in City Hall program, at a special Committee of the Whole Meeting today.

Clean, Green & Beautiful

The Clean, Green & Beautiful Awards celebrate businesses and organizations who are improving the physical environment and the quality of life in our city. These new awards recognize building and renovation projects that enrich the life of the community through public art, beautification, heritage and environmental greening.
"A clean, green & beautiful Thunder Bay depends on the pride of residents of all ages, businesses, and property owners," said Mayor Lynn Peterson. "Clean, green & beautiful cities attract visitors, investment and highly skilled workers, and enable us to live, work and play in safe and pleasant surroundings. Tonight we are recognizing individuals and organizations who exemplify these principals. The winners have demonstrated that together, we can grow and nurture a community that we can all be proud of."
Recipients of Gold Level Civic Pride Awards include:

  • Barewood Furniture,
  • GRK Fasteners Inc.,
  • The Friends of Chippewa Park, and
  • The Valhalla Inn.

These organizations achieved three elements in each of the Clean, Green & Beautiful categories ranging from conserving energy or planting trees to incorporating public art.
Abitibi Bowater and the Westfort Business Association were presented with Bronze Level awards for achieving one element in each of the criteria categories for projects completed within the last year.

Art in City Hall

Kay Anderson, Evelyn Konrad, Eugene Lefrancois, Alastair MacKay, Jean Paul, and Edward Sajna were recognized by City Council for their participation in the Art in City Hall Program. In addition to the permanently displayed artworks throughout City Hall, temporary artistic displays are installed in the lobby and in Council Chambers through the "Art in City Hall Program".  Under this program, an exhibit titled "Celebrate Spring!" was installed from March to May of this year for which these artists donated exhibition of their works.

"The display of artwork in City Hall is a long-standing practice," said Mayor Peterson. "These artists are being thanked for their contributions to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of City Hall and showcasing the talents of our local arts community for all citizens to enjoy. Thunder Bay is fortunate to have so many talented artists who are willing to contribute to the beautification of their community."

Contributions to Civic Pride

The City of Thunder Bay, in conjunction with the Thunder Bay Horticultural Society, recognizes business, industry and homeowner efforts that beautify our city. The following winners of the Civic Beautification Awards were thanked before council for their contributions to civic pride:

  • Scandinavian Home Restaurant,197 South Algoma Street, for the Mayor's Commercial Frontage Award
  • International Friendship Garden, 101 Legion Track Drive, for the Institutional/Public Grounds Award
  • Maggie Colbon, 429 Parkway Drive, first place winner of the Residential Property Award
  • Maggie Kuppinen, 373 North Brodie Street, second place winner of the Residential Property Award
  • Ray Smith, 145 West Miles Street, third place winner of the Residential Property Award
  • Terence & Sylvia Gunnell, 519 Richard Street, first place winner of the Mail Carrier's Front Yard Award
  • Mr. & Mrs. Maki, 239 N. Marks Street, second place winners of the Mail Carrier's Front Yard Award
  • Henry Schelling of 566 Acadia Court, third place winner of the Mail Carrier's Front Yard Award.

Also recognized and thanked was Wolvernine Crescent, winners of the Best City Block Award. The Kiwanis Club of Westfort, in conjunction with the City, sponsors this award that recognizes beautification and neighbourhood pride of a city block or street.

Honourees were treated to a barbeque reception with Council sponsored by the Thunder Bay & District Cattlemen's Association.

For more information on how to get involved in civic pride initiatives visit watch for details this spring as the City celebrates its first Civic Pride Month in April.

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Contact: Mayor Lynn Peterson, 625-3601


Clean, Green & Beautiful Award Winner Profiles 

Barewood Furniture – This locally owned furniture store works with many Canadian manufacturers to offer consumers solid wood merchandise. Barewood recently redeveloped the 50-year-old former Cochrane-Dunlop Warehouse into a clean, green and beautiful operation and showroom.

Barewood Furniture earned a Gold Level Clean, Green & Beautiful Award by: 


  • Conserving energy by using only energy efficient light bulbs and increasing the building's R Value with added insulation
  • Caring for and maintaining the area around the CN Railway tracks adjacent to their store to contribute to the community
  • Recycling paper and all cardboard in the store and reusing packing materials
  • Donating fabric and leather samples to local crafters
  • Reducing greenhouse gas by choosing not to use air conditioning to cool the large building
  • Using and promoting water based finishes for furniture products to reduce VOCs in the environment 


  • Preserving local features by using local rocks in landscaping
  • Incorporating green space in the driveway and parking lot development
  • Redeveloped exterior of the building with energy efficient insulation and siding material 


  • Adding a decorative wall plaque to exterior signage as public art
    Featuring work of local artists throughout the store
  • Making the building accessible to all by adding ramps and widening doorways to accommodate the use of wheelchairs

GRK Fasteners – This locally-owned manufacturer completed extensive renovations to their Roslyn Road location. Renovations to the interior and exterior were completed by using primarily Thunder Bay firms including architects, contractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, flooring installers and landscapers which benefited the local economy.

GRK Fasteners earned a Gold Level Clean, Green & Beautiful Award by: 


  • Conserving energy through installing tinted and mirrored, energy efficient windows on the exterior and installing windows in all inner office areas to take advantage of natural light
  • Care and maintenance of public space
  • Recycling and reuse of all possible materials including cardboard, paper, metals, wood and plastic
  • Reducing greenhouse gas through a new energy efficient heating and cooling system
  • Adding a `Pop Cans for Charity' bin onsite for recycling by the public and staff 


  • Preservation of natural features
  • Landscaping entrance and exit driveways with large decorative rocks adding to the security with natural elements
  • Protecting biological diversity and ecological integrity
  • Installing an underground sprinkler system that runs on timers to conserve water
  • Seeding and grooming lawns weekly without the use of pesticides
  • Landscaping of grounds with several flower arrangements, trees and bushes 


  • Including innovative architecture through gold glazed glass in exterior windows
  • Building a picket fence that displays the company's logo to enclose and hide a large utility box but allow for easy access
  • Decorating the grounds with natural seasonal displays purchased from local vendors including haystacks, pumpkins, cornstalks, pine wreaths and LED Christmas lights
  • Creation of space for staff to enjoy breaks and lunches outdoors
  • Conserving built heritage by adding a sizable addition to the main level and addition of a second level to existing facility
  • Celebrating cultural heritage by displaying flags that pay tribute to Thunder Bay, Canada, Germany, the United States, Taiwan and Switzerland
  • Making buildings accessible to all


The Friends of Chippewa Park – This group has raised and invested $5.8 million towards the redevelopment of the Park including clean, green and beautiful improvements to buildings, roads and the grounds.

The Friends of Chippewa Park earned a Gold Level Clean, Green & Beautiful Award by: 


  • Conserving energy by insulating the walls of the Historical Pavilion
  • Upgrading the parks electrical system to three phase to increase energy efficiency
  • Installing unbreakable glass in the Pavilion to minimize vandalism and energy consumption for future repair and replacement
  • Removing and properly disposing of lead painted planking throughout the Pavilion
  • Preventing land-based run-off to eliminate contamination of Chippewa Bay and installing a storm sewer to divert water away from public swimming ares
  • Caring and maintaining public space by including new landscaping and planting trees and a garden
  • Recycling and reusing the existing log structures 


  • Re-establishing the cave at the Tourist Camp through brushing
  • Rehabilitation of the beach to preserve the Park's natural features
  • Planting both new and mature trees through the park
  • Landscaping continuous open spaces with plantings
  • Protecting biological diversity using acceptable methods for beach remediation to protect aquatic life 


  • Showcasing local art in the Pavilion
  • Conserving built heritage by protecting the pavilion from collapse through construction of a new foundation, new floors and the replacement of lead painted walls
  • Celebrating cultureal heritage by developing a series of interpretive panels in the Pavilion that outline the history of the Park and the people who worked, lived and played there
  • Adding the log cabin and log frame building identity to all buildings in the Park including unsightly concrete block buildings
  • Removing unsightly monkey house from the main area of the park -  opening up the Sleeping Giant vista from the main entrance
  • Establishing a Sleeping Giant viewing station, in conjunction with Union Gas, that includes two benches, a garden and an interpretive plaque
  • Making all but one public building wheelchair accessible. The remaining building will become accessible this fall.

Valhalla Inn Thunder Bay – The Valhalla Inn is Northwestern Ontario's largest premier full service hotel and includes 267 guest rooms, 15 meeting and banquet rooms, two restaurants and lounge along with an indoor heated swimming pool, whirlpool and sauna area. The Valhalla Inn also received a 2006 Municipal Green Award presented by the City and the Zero Waste Action Team.
The Valhalla earned a Gold Level Clean, Green & Beautiful Award by:


  • Replacing all incandescent lights with new energy efficient bulbs
  • Replacing all dysfunctional machines with new energy efficient models including dishwashers and laundry machines with water saving devices
  • Training all hotel associates in conservation practices
  • Placing blue recycling boxes in every guest room and office
  • Recycling all cardboard, plastic and glass and returning all beer and liquor bottles
  • Using only recycled paper in fax machines and printers
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by declaring the property a 'No Idle Zone' with posted signs
  • Placing a recycle towel card in each guest room to avoid unnecessary washing
  • Recycling linen and towels for use as rags
  • Using only biodegradable and environmentally friendly laundry and cleaning products
  • Using biodegradable garbage bags


  • Continuous planting and designing of their urban forest
  • Taking pride in the year-round care and maintenance of extensive grounds and maintaining the adjacent property including Shell Canada and Imperial Oil for a consistent look near hotel
  • Landscaping open spaces and courtyard
  • Providing bicycles for guest use


  • Displaying all types of art including local and native art and reproductions of the community and culture and well as, historic and cultural artifacts in all public areas and guest rooms
  • Celebrating our cultural heritage with a lobby display of Fort William Historical Park
  • Making all floors, restaurants and public spaces wheelchair accessible.


Bronze Clean, Green & Beautiful Award Winners: 

Abitibi Bowater for the Broadway Avenue Urban Forest Project

Westfort Business Association for the clean, green and beautiful improvements made to Frederica Street businesses.

For award criteria visit


Contact: Valerie Marasco, Communications Officer, 625-2348,