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Builders & Developers


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The Development & Emergency Services Department takes a 'one-stop shopping' approach to property development. This streamlines development approvals to the fullest extent possible by assembling cross-functional teams under the guidance of a Project Facilitator.

The divisions within the Department all have specialized areas of expertise as they apply to the 'one-stop' approach. Cross-functional teams also include representatives from other City divisions or outside agencies, including:

  • Engineering - servicing, grading, drainage, traffic impacts and drainage;
  • Parks - parkland, landscaping and aesthetics;
  • Fire - fire protection;
  • Lakehead Region Conservation Authority - environmental impacts;
  • Heritage Advisory Committee - protection of built heritage;
  • Accessibility Advisory Committee; and
  • Other stakeholders that may include Business Improvement Areas or provincial ministries.

How Does it Work?

  • This service is geared mainly towards developments that need several approvals or the process requires input from various departments;
  • To take advantage of this service you should contact the Planning Services Division with a proposal and the necessary submission information further outlined below;
  • A Project Facilitator will be assigned following a submission. The Project Facilitator is normally a planner who will coordinate municipal efforts and chart the path for the approval process and act as a point person from the conception of the project to its final inspection;
  • The proposal and plans are circulated to relevant agencies as determined by the Project Facilitator;
  • The Project Facilitator will chair a development review meeting within 10 working days with the proponent as well as other stakeholders. You are encouraged to include your agent and draftsperson or other individuals that you feel should be present;
  • This initial review will serve as the first round of revisions for the site plan and set out the approvals that are required. After this meeting you should have a good idea as to whether the municipality is supportive of the project, what alternatives or additional issues you may have to consider and likely timelines.

Information Required

A 'One-Stop Shop' response is based on the information that is supplied; therefore we need good submissions from you. The more information you can provide the better. All inquiries are confidential.

The information required depends on the proposal.  Prior to assembling the information, you should download and complete the appropriate application form. You should also refer to the City of Thunder Bay Zoning By-lawOfficial Plan, Urban Design and Landscape Guidelines, Engineering and Development Standards, or any other guidelines as applicable. City officials are always available to offer advice while you are preparing your proposal. 

Information that should be provided includes:

  • A good map of the subject property including the property boundaries, a north arrow, significant on and off site features, servicing information, street names, and the location of any buildings. This map must be to a metric scale;
  • A second map showing what the site would look like after the proposed development, including a conceptual drainage plan, parking layout and landscaping plan;
  • An aerial photograph of the site (available on the City website);
  • A thorough description of your proposal. It would be useful for you to check the Zoning By-law regulations to ensure that the proposed use is permitted;
  • Contact details, name, address and telephone number;
  • Photographs of the site as it is;
  • Sketch elevation drawings of your proposal.

Depending on the type of development, other information that could be of assistance may include a brief history of the previous uses of the property, parking studies, environmental reports and noise studies.