The waterfront development plan "The Next Wave: Charting a New Course for Thunder Bay's Waterfront" was completed in 1998, prepared by The Planning Partnership, Moriyama & Teshima Architects, and Hemson Consulting Limited.

The report's four main components were: an overall master plan for the entire waterfront, more detailed plans for key areas of development, a business plan and marketing materials, and an implementation strategy. The plan also included two major privatization proposals, one of which was not implemented - the Science North Complex - and the other of which is currently underway - a full-service hotel.

The framework for the master plan is based on three features: new waterfront districts, a new waterfront drive, and a healthy ecosystem. The new waterfront districts are aimed at shifting the urban core to the waterfront in order to provide a waterfront where citizens and tourists can eat, shop, work, live and play. The plan is clear in that it avoids sacrificing the industrial activity of the waterfront but rather includes it as the heritage of the port and the city.

A highlight of the proposed waterfront developments is a new Waterfront Drive that would provide public access to the whole of the harbour. Beginning in Current River, the Waterfront Drive would follow the lakefront to Westfort, passing over both the McKellar and Mission Islands. The master plan envisions the new Waterfront Drive as landscaped and green, creating a pleasant parkway road that animates the beauty of the waterfront.

The healthy ecosystem is praised and identified as being paramount to the development. The plan provides that the City environmentally enhance watercourses and woodlots, maintain and re-establish marshes, enhance aquatic habitat along shoreline, and continue to encourage industries to reduce their environmental footprints. The co-operation between the City and industry ensures the sustainability of this waterfront vision.

Archives location: TBA 7969-29

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