To work towards improving outdoor and indoor air quality, by reducing air pollution and noise emissions.

Why it matters

Local citizens enjoy the natural environment and expect the outdoors to be free of air contaminants and unwanted sounds (noise). Lines on a map do not stop air pollution from travelling far from the source. Sunlight, moisture, clouds, and precipitation, geography and weather conditions all affect air pollution levels. Unwanted sounds come from noise source locations, terrain between the source and receptor, and weather conditions.

Thunder Bay has excellent air quality overall, primarily because of a smaller number of industrial sources and the absence of major transportation routes, as compared to cities in more urbanized areas. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change measures Thunder Bay's air quality index (AQI) site and it is consistently among the best of the 40 provincial stations.

As the largest community in Northwestern Ontario, the City of Thunder Bay must be a leader in protecting air quality. Thunder Bay is the most significant contributor to air emissions in the region and has the largest population subject to potential air quality impacts from constantly changing issues: the evolving nature of local industry has impacted air and noise emissions; there are fewer resource-based industries; there is a move to biomass fuel or alternate power generation; and, climate change could be impacting the nature of air contaminant sources.

Currently there are robust provincial and federal regulatory frameworks that address air quality, noise and consumer products. We must support citizens, visitors, and business leaders to promote air quality through education, information, tools, and options to make environmentally responsible choices and decisions.


  • By 2016 the City of Thunder Bay has developed and implemented anti-idling programs, reducing emissions from idling vehicles.
  • By 2020, reduce emissions from household wood combustion and garbage burning.
  • By 2016, adopt fragrance free policies in public buildings and commercial establishments.
  • By 2020, traffic noise control measures are in place.
  • By 2020, Thunder Bay citizens have the air quality and noise resources they need to make environmentally responsible decisions.

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