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Stormwater Management Plan

Stormwater Management Plan logo

As part of its commitment to environmental stewardship and community sustainability, the City of Thunder Bay has created a Stormwater Management Plan. This 20-year action plan has been developed with the help of the multidisciplinary consulting team at Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR), and will protect water quality and the health of the water resources that shape and define Thunder Bay. The City has sought input from community groups, stakeholders and residents throughout the study.


Stormwater Mgmt. Plan - Vol I: The Plan   Adobe PDF, 226 pages, 5.2 MB
Stormwater Mgmt Plan - Vol. II: Appendices   Adobe PDF, 133 pages, 6.0 MB
May 2016 Presentation to City Council   Adobe PDF, 20 pages, 4.2 MB



History of the Plan

The City committed to the development of a Stormwater Management Plan in 2008 in the City of Thunder Bay EarthWise Community Action Plan. This commitment was reinforced in the City of Thunder Bay 2011-2014 Strategic Plan (City of Thunder Bay, 2011). Work was begun on the Stormwater Management Plan in June, 2014.

Thunder Bay City Council approved the Plan in principle on June 13, 2016.



The course of developing the final Stormwater Management Plan has involved two public Open Houses, during which information was shared and feedback gathered. An online survey was also made available.

Sept. 2014 Open House Presentation   Adobe PDF, 37 pages, 3.4 MB
Sept. 2014 Open House Storyboards   Adobe PDF, 15 pages, 6.5 MB
Stormwater Management Plan Flyer   Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 7 MB


March 2015 Open House Presentation   Adobe PDF, 25 pages, 7.2 MB
March 2015 Open House Storyboards   Adobe PDF, 9 pages, 19 MB  
Stormwater Management Plan Flyer #2   Adobe PDF, 2 pages, 4.8 MB


Why is Stormwater an Issue?

Stormwater Drains to the LakeStormwater is the result of rain events and melting snow. Stormwater that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which flows into rivers, ponds and lakes – taking with it pollutants like chemicals, sediment and trash. Managing the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff is important for two reasons: one related to the volume and timing of runoff which can result in flooding, and the other related to contaminants the water carries – pollution.  

The 20-year Stormwater Management Plan will address the function of the City’s stormwater system in relation to ecological challenges, land use patterns, and climate change. Existing infrastructure will be assessed, retrofit opportunities identified, and strategies developed for future design and implementation.  


Stormwater 101

Life of a Raindrop

Nature continuously recycles our water supply through a dynamic process that has existed for millions of years. The water cycle has these basic components: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, groundwater recharge, and runoff.

Duck in waterYou can easily observe the effects of runoff into our local rivers and streams during a storm. Water that washes off construction sites, parking lots, roads and roofs carries trash, cigarette butts, chemicals and other pollutants directly into our waterways, and from there to Lake Superior. Our Stormwater Management Plan will help minimize this damaging runoff, while protecting our infrastructure and maintaining the optimal performance of our storm sewer system.


What Homeowners Can Do Right Now

  • Rain GardenPlant a rain garden
  • Install a rain barrel or two
  • Dispose of hazardous waste at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot
  • Do not wash automotive fluids into the storm sewer
  • Pick up after your pets
  • Clean up litter
  • Avoid the use of chemical fertilizers


EOR logoThe City of Thunder Bay engaged the consultants at EOR Inc. to assist with the development of our Stormwater Management Plan.


This project has received support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment./Ce projét a été réalisé avec l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l'entremise du ministère fédéral de l'Environnement.