Projects get funding boost

·3 min read

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Economic development projects in Thunder Bay are benefitting from more than $18.7 million of investment from the province through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

Greg Rickford, minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, says Thunder Bay is the largest city in Northwestern Ontario and is recognized as a major economic hub, industrial centre and tourism destination.

“By investing in projects from varied sectors, our government is promoting a more diverse economy and supporting job creation in the community,” he said.

The City of Thunder Bay received $1.2 million for further developments on the cruise ship docking infrastructure at the former Pool 6 grain elevator. Work is underway to crush and process the rubble at the site to accommodate the Waterfront Trail. And new tie down bollards, rubber dock fenders, lighting, seating, beautification and security fencing is being installed, which was all made possible through this funding.

“It’s going to help enhance the visitor experience for the guests arriving and departing from the terminal and it’s also going to ensure that the dock itself meets the standards of the evolving cruise ship arrivals and it will help us attract more future cruise business to the city while creating a more welcoming environment for the vessels and their guests,” said Paul Pepe, manager of Tourism Thunder Bay.

Confederation College received $1.5 million from the NOHFC and combined funding of $1 milion from FedNor, $500,000 from the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and $15,000 from the Student Union of Confederation College — totalling more than $3 million — for the expansion and modernizing of its aviation programs. The funds will provide modification to the program’s infrastructure, the purchase of five trainer aircraft and two flight simulators.

Kathleen Lynch, college president, said they are “incredibly appreciative” of this significant investment which helps to facilitate the college’s ability to meet the demands of the aviation industry.

“So many communities in Northern Ontario depend upon (aviation) for the transportation of goods, services and people,” she said in a statement to The Chronicle-Journal. “This funding also enables the college to provide and expand state-of-the-art programming for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to be successful in aviation careers.”

The Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge received $477,375 toward the $676,000 price tag for the construction of a long-awaited car museum that will house a collection of racing cars and automotive items at the Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village site. The museum board has been working on this project for more than 15 years to create a space that will showcase the history of car racing over the decades in the Thunder Bay area.

Lucy Kloosterhuis, mayor of the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, says the building has already been built and organizers are waiting for the snow to melt to install all of the historical cars and items, many of which are being stored at the site. The items were part of the Duke Hunt collection and will be combined in the new building along with a large collection of antique classic cars that have been donated to them by Russ Wanzuk.

“We’ve now amalgamated our Duke Hunt Historical Museum into the Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village, which has many antiques and artifacts, and we’re very fortunate that Russ has given us this, all of his cars,” said Kloosterhuis. “We’ve been at it for a long time and we’ve been trying to find the money to build this building for the museum. We are in the process of selling what used to be our Duke Hunt Museum in Rosslyn village . . . to cover what this building costs so (with the funding), it hasn’t cost our local taxpayers anything. It’s a terrific asset to our community.”

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting