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Fort William Gardens Future Use Assessment

Photo compilation of potential future uses of the Fort William Gardens

Final Report - Fort William Gardens Future Use Assessment  Adobe PDF, 34 pages, 7.53 MB


Fort William Gardens Futurue Use Assessment - First Report Presentation Adobe PDF, 27 pages, 1 MB

Corporate Report  2014.035 Committe of the Whole July 21, 2014  Adobe PDF, 5 pages, 2.48 MB

Couldn't Make it to the Feb. 4 Public Open House? View the presentation online and access the materials below:


The first Open House took place on January 8, 2014 at the Fort William Gardens. 70 participants came out to the tour and workshop to give their input on the future uStatement Photose of the facility.

As part of the workshop, citizens gave us their ideas for what they would like to see. See more

Open House Materials
Presentation - Fort William Gardens Future Use Open House Adobe PDF, 34 pages, 5.69 MB
Story Boards - Fort William Gardens Future Use Open House Adobe PDF, 10 pages, 6.25 MB

Don't miss the next opportunity to get involved, a second Open House will be held:


As part of the Thunder Bay Event Centre initiative, City Council has asked for a Future Use Assessment
for Fort William Gardens. The Gardens is nearing the end of its life as a spectator facility and City Council would like to know how it may serve the community, especially if a new event centre proceeds.

The City selected the Planning Team of Thunder Bay’s FORM Architecture Engineering working with Event Centre consultants CEI Architecture and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Fort William Gardens has served our community well for more than 60 years,” said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities, Fleet & Transit Services. “However, the Gardens is nearing the end of its life as a spectator facility and it’s time for us as a community to consider the very best possible future uses for the building and the site.”

The assessment will look at the full range of options to use the Gardens as a non-spectator facility.

“All ideas are encouraged and will be considered,” said Conrad Boychuk of CEI Architecture. “Those ideas may mean removing some or all of the seats. As the project moves forward, ideas will be assessed against the guiding principles to identify those options that are the most meaningful to residents and operationally efficient, among other criteria. Following that, the recommended options will be provided to City Council for future

The Future Use Assessment is scheduled for completion on March 4. Community input is critical. We look forward to hearing your ideas.


Wednesday, January 8
6 pm Tour of Gardens
6:30 pm Presentation and Workshop

Tuesday, February 4
6:30 pm Presentation and Open House
* Both sessions at Fort William Gardens, 901 Miles Street E.

Imagine the Future of Fort William Gardens Printable Invitation  Adobe PDF, 1 page, 1.6 MB

Guiding Principles

  • Heightened community relevance - with the decommissioning of the facility as a spectator venue, a re-purposed Gardens should serve the community and the City on a daily basis, and not on an event basis.
  • Maximum flexibility – a re-purposed Gardens should provide a broad range of uses, and not have a narrow or focused range of activities.
  • Maintain meaningful events – there are meaningful community-oriented events that have taken place within the Gardens and these should continue. School graduations and Remembrance Day services are examples.
  • Take Advantage of what the Gardens has to offer – the one exceptional feature of the Gardens is the large columnfree area. Future uses should capitalize on this feature.
  • Recognize uncertainty – the Fort William Gardens can only be re-purposed once a new Event Centre is built. Future uses should not assume or be based on immediate needs or actions.
  • Balance costs, operations, and continued value – future uses should help reduce the overall operating cost of the facility and if appropriate, include demolition. This balance needs to be realistic and supportable in terms of construction costs and land value.
  • Consider partnership options – depending on the future use, public and/or private-sector partners may be interested in participating in the re-purposing.
  • Make the vision supportable – the Future Use Assessment is part of the larger Event Centre due-diligence. The direction needs to be supportable by Council as well as other possible funding partners.