Ontario Supporting Economic Development Opportunities in Thunder Bay

Posted on September 05, 2023

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing more than $4.3 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for six economic development projects in Thunder Bay. This investment will enhance municipal and recreational infrastructure and expand business operations in Northwestern Ontario.

“I am pleased to see the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s support of the City of Thunder Bay and area businesses and organizations,” said Kevin Holland, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay—Atikokan. “NOHFC funding is important to the success of Northern Ontario, and I encourage municipalities and businesses to research this funding stream when considering projects.”

The NOHFC is funding the following projects:

  • $2 million for the City of Thunder Bay to reconstruct sections of Red River Road and Court Street in the waterfront district, which will create flexible space that can accommodate patios and event programming, and $523,458 to upgrade recreational facilities in preparation for hosting the 2024 Ontario Winter Games in February
  • $1,233,050 for the Matawa Training and Wellness Centre to develop a dedicated cultural room that will help facilitate connections to language, land, ancestry, family and communities through Elders, cultural teachings, and integrated supports and programming
  • $320,294 for KBM Forestry Consultants Inc. to purchase an aircraft and expand its flight training unit
  • $130,000 for the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) to enhance accessibility by repaving the trail system, building a washroom and making drainage upgrades to the parking lot at the Cascades Conservation Area
  • $124,225 for Jasa Spring Water Inc. to expand operations by purchasing equipment and constructing a new building for additional production and warehouse space.

“Our government is building strong, resilient and prosperous communities and businesses in Thunder Bay by investing in municipal infrastructure upgrades, community wellness and business expansions,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development. “By working hand-in-hand with our northern partners, we continue to make Northwestern Ontario an attractive place to live, work, play and do business.”

“Events provide opportunities to connect and have always been the heartbeat of our community,” said Mayor Ken Boshcoff, City of Thunder Bay. “With NOHFC’s support, this funding will allow us to develop flexible public space in the North Core for more community events. Improvements to the Canada Games Complex and Fort William Gardens will ensure Thunder Bay’s success as the host of the 2024 Ontario Winter Games and many more sporting events in the future.”

“Thanks to NOHFC funding we can complete 3,100 square feet of renovations to the Matawa Training and Wellness Centre (MWTC) which has been allocated and designed as a Cultural Room,” said David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO, Matawa First Nations Management. “It will be the only Indigenous-specific cultural space available in Thunder Bay that is year-round and will be a safe space for individuals to their improve their quality of life and well-being to sustain life-long change.”

“The Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority (LRCA) is grateful to receive funding from the NOHFC for work to improve accessibility at Cascades Conservation Area, which enables us to enhance inclusive outdoor recreational opportunities for residents of the Lakehead Watershed,” said Donna Blunt, Chair, LRCA.. “The recently repaved parking lot, the regraded and repaved AODA-compliant wheelchair-accessible loop trail, and the forthcoming wheelchair accessible outhouse will enable more people to come out and explore the LRCA’s most popular conservation area.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $685 million in 5,656 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 9,000 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.

Additional Resources


Media Contacts

Curtis Lindsay, Minister’s Office -- 437-240-7317 -- curtis.lindsay@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch -- mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca